Madeleine Reber


Madeleine Reber is a movement educator, choreographer, and Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She has been teaching dance and movement at colleges and universities, and in the professional dance community for over twenty years. She teaches workshops in Integrative Movement, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, experiential anatomy, release technique, and improvisation. Her knowledge of Laban/Bartenieff work, along with extensive experience in somatics and diverse movement practices, allow her to convey a deeply embodied and clear conceptual understanding of the body in movement. Reber has served on the dance and theatre faculties of East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Illinois State University. She has also taught at Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, and Antioch College. She is currently adjunct faculty at Embodied Education Institute Chicago and teaches Integrative Movement classes at The Antioch College Wellness Center.

Jessica Young


Jessica Young, MA, BC-DMT, LCPC, GL-CMA, Associate Professor Columbia College Chicago Dance Center.  Recipient of the 2020 American Dance Therapy Association Excellence in Education Award and President’s Award. The arc of her 20-year career includes serving those who are homeless with severe and chronic mental illness, educating graduate students in dance/movement therapy (DMT), and teaching undergraduates how to tend to their own and others’ joyfulness and well-being.  She has facilitated over 30 peer reviewed national and international conference presentations in DMT and counseling and regularly publishes on DMT. She maintains a private practice at New Prairie Counseling Center and provides clinical supervision.  Jessica joined EEIC guest faculty in 2022.

Ebony Nichols


Ebony is a somatic mental health and wellness practitioner, Board Certified Dance/Movement Psychotherapist, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, licensed cosmetologist, and entrepreneur. She completed her BA at The College of New Rochelle in psychology and a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Dance/Movement Therapy. She was awarded the presidential scholarship to attend Lesley University's Doctorate program in Counseling and Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education and Applied Research, where she plans to continue her research and work rooted in cultural/race identity, trauma-informed healing care, centering Black Aesthetics of the African Diaspora through cultural movement narratives, non-verbal communication, and somatic-based healing practices. Ebony joined EEIC as a guest lecturer in 2022.

Kristen Menona


Kristen Mennona is the owner of Nurture Family Counseling LLC, a counseling practice designed to treat pediatric eating disorders, OCD and anxiety within the context of the family. In 2022, Kristen was a contributing writer for a book on pediatric anxiety with Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. She presented at the 2022 International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals on the intersection of body image distress the use of expressive arts. She also hosts an Instagram account called, “The_Body_As” to inspire more people to work on their body image acceptance and to pass that acceptance on to the next generation. She has presented nationally on the topics of self-acceptance, eating disorders/body image distress and reconnecting to the body. Kristen is a licensed professional counselor, a board-certified dance/movement therapist, a certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS), a registered yoga instructor (RYT 200) and a BTTI trained clinician for pediatric OCD. Kristen combines best clinical practices with ancient, embodied experiences for her clients. She believes in the inherent wisdom of the body to bring forth that which needs healing.

Melissa Walker headshot
Melissa Walker


Melissa is a licensed Somatic Psychotherapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist who specializes in sex and relationship therapy for couples and individuals. A graduate of Naropa University in 2009, Melissa weaves together her Masters level training with additional training in Pragmatic/Experiential Therapy for Couples (PET-C), Sex Therapy, Psychodrama, and Authentic Movement. She is also certified in Somatic Archaeology and is a SomaSource LifeCycle Practitioner. Melissa is former adjunct faculty at Naropa University where she taught Counseling Ethics & Professional Orientation for 4 years.

Through study and work, Melissa has crafted the Somatic-Concentric Sex Therapy (S-CST) model for working with clients. S-CST is a confluence of somatic, dance/movement therapy, contemplative, social-justice, and sexology theories. This model harnesses the client’s actualizing tendency, a tendency towards growth and complexity, toward a fully embodied experience and expression of the sexual self. This model includes the practice of Erotic Bodyfulness, full-body arousal anatomy with a whole-person approach to the human sexual response, and embodied expressivity toward one’s personal erotic potential and healthy relational sexuality.

Her book, Whole-Body Sex: Somatic Sex Therapy and the Lost Language of the Erotic Body was published in January 2021. Whole-Body Sex supports the somatic dismantling of the shame and performance-centric model of sexuality to craft a personally meaningful and sexuality-affirming embodiment of self.

Melissa Schleicher-Park

LCPC, BC-DMT, CFRC, iRest® Level 2 Teacher

Melissa Schleicher-Park, LCPC, BC-DMT, CFRC, iRest® Level 2 Teacher, is owner of Metta Counseling Chicago, LLC. Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2011, she has worked in community mental health centers throughout Chicago providing counsel, education in trauma-informed care and support in recovery from the effects of chronic and severe mental illness.

In 2021, Melissa joined a group of wellness professionals at Chicago’s Swedish Hospital to develop a wellness program devoted to providing mental health support, wellness education and workplace stress management for healthcare professionals hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through generous support from the Swedish Hospital Foundation, Melissa has become a facilitator of Mental Health First Aid, is trained in Critical Incident Response through ICISF and in 2022 completed certification as a Certified First Responder Counselor (CFRC). She is passionate about educating anyone who will talk to her about the role mental health plays in every person’s wellbeing, quality of life and ability to form meaningful connections throughout this wild ride we call “life”.