Melanya Helene


Melanya Helene

I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals doing trauma integration, have led well over 500 groups and classes in embodied attunement practices. I founded Play after Play, a program where I played/worked with thousands of children in attachment/interpersonal neurobiology informed healing play in private programs and in schools. In addition, I taught classes in non-verbal attunement and play to parents and preschool educators.

My performance is very much connected to the healing work I do. I’m an award-winning performance artist, best known for Hopeless, a one-woman show that ran for eight years, as well as The Eternally Present Past, a performance that was not only about, but supported audience members in trauma healing and integration, and has been seen by over 1000 people.

Melanya Helene

I graduated from Naropa University in 1996 where I studied and practiced somatic mindfulness practices such as Body Mind Centering and Authentic Movement. I mentored with Paul Ortel, a renowned performance artist and teacher, in presence-based performance art. In 2002, I began training and performing with Scott Kelman, one of the founders of the off-off broadway theater scene in NYC and an influential director of the experiential performance world in the 80’s in Los Angeles. Scott passed his life’s work of mindfulness-based improvisation and performance to me before he died in 2007. 

In teaching these workshops, I found that the work was stimulating old trauma for many people so I began an in-depth study in Interpersonal Neurobiology completing multiple year-long trainings and a personal mentorship with Bonnie Badenoch, one of the leaders in the field and an early direct student of Dan Seigel, the founder of Interpersonal Neurobiology. I’m currently completing a three year immersive training with Thomas Hubl, an international facilitator and teacher specializing in healing ancestral and collective trauma.

I’m so passionate about trauma healing because I see that we have all been born into a fragmented, traumatized world. Each one of us carries some part of this trauma and also the potential for healing, integration and wholeness. When any one of us heals any part of our personal or ancestral trauma, we bring more wholeness to our own lives, to the lives of those around us and this touches the collective too. I believe we need to heal our collective trauma to truly address the issues we face as humans: climate change, institutionalized racism, the oppression of women, abuse of power and the disconnection from the earth. And so I’ve dedicated my life’s work to offering space and guidance for this deep healing process, through individual and group work as well as creative performance experiences.

And I love to knit. I love working with natural fibers and making gifts of warmth and coziness!

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