Elsa Asher

I am a practitioner of somatics with a specialty in healing developmental and intergenerational trauma.

My ancestors are Sami, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Hebrew people, Scot-Irish, Western and Southern European, and Native North American.

I hold a master’s degree in Narrative Medicine and multiple certifications in bodywork and somatic therapy. I’ve trained with leading teachers in their fields, including: Anna Chitty, John Chitty, Ray Castellino, Myrna Martin, Daniel Foor, Rita Charon, Sayantani DasGupta, and Maura Spiegel.

I work with the modalities of Prenatal, Birth and Attachment Therapy, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, and Ancestral Lineage Healing and support individuals and families in-person and online. I have received smicha (ordination) as a Koheneh (Hebrew ritualist/priestx) by the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, and facilitate life cycle rituals and rites of passage. Additionally, I am a professor of Narrative Medicine and teach in both academic and community spaces.

I was born and grew up on Duwamish land - Seattle, Washington, lived on Lenni Lenape land - Brooklyn and New York, New York for a decade, and I currently live on Ohlone land - Berkeley, California.

I am a queer, non-binary trans person. My pronouns are they/them/theirs.

Email: elsa@elsaasher.com
Phone: 210.413.5029

Follow me on Instagram @tendernessftw 


Formal Education

  • MS, Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, 2012 - 2014

  • BA, Healing and the Humanities, Antioch University and The New School University, 2004 - 2010


  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist (BCST & RCST©), 2018 - present

  • Wilderness First Responder, 2017 - present

  • Prenatal, Birth & Attachment Therapist (PBA-T), 2016 - present

  • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, Red Cross, 2016 - present

  • Neonatal Resuscitation, Newborn Breath LLC, 2016 - present

  • Ordained Kohenet, 2015 - present

  • Certified Doula, DONA, 2010 - present

Selected Work Experience

Trauma Healing Training

  • Verbal Skills & Polarity Therapy Coaching, Anna Chitty, 2019 - present

  • Body into Being: Somatic Trauma Resolution Advanced 350-Hour Practitioner Training, Anna Chitty and Ray Castellino, 2017 - 2018

  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy 700-Hour Practitioner Training, Anna Chitty and John Chitty, Colorado School of Energy Studies, 2016 - 2018

  • Perinatal, Birth & Attachment Therapy 700-Hour Practitioner Training, Myrna Martin, 2013 - 2016

  • Full Embodiment: Foundation, Anatomy of Arousal and Embodied Relationships Workshops, 2016

  • Assistant Facilitator, Birthing Yourself Womb Surround Workshops, 2014 - 2016

  • Teaching and Clinical Support Apprenticeship, Embodied Beginnings, 2013 - 2015

  • Participant in Womb Surround Birth Process Workshops, 2011 - 2017

  • Loss and Grief Course, 2009

Holistic Reproductive Health Training

  • Full Spectrum Doula Training, Bay Area Doula Project, 2015

  • Birth in the Garden: Birth Worker as Healer, Year Long Course in Holistic Health, Embodied Beginnings, 2014

  • Lily Flower Essences in Bodywork, Julia Graves, 2014

  • Lily Flower Essences for Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum, Julia Graves, 2014

  • Acupressure and Craniosacral Therapy for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum, Embodied Beginnings, 2012 - 2014

  • Acute Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum, Embodied Beginnings, 2012 - 2014

  • Western Herbalism for Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum, Embodied Beginnings, 2012 - 2014

  • HypnoBirthing® for Birth Professionals, Embodied Beginnings, 2013

  • Mamma Primitiva Traditional Midwifery, 2012 - 2013

  • Advanced Midwifery Skills Intensive, The Farm Midwifery, 2012

  • Beginning and Intermediate Midwifery Skills Practicums, Embodied Beginnings, 2012

  • Herbs and Homeopathy for the Childbearing Years, Tioma Allison, CNM, 2012

  • Herbs for Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum, Sacred Vibes Apothecary, 2012

  • Fertility Awareness Method, Planned Parenthood NYC, 2012

  • DONA Birth Doula Training with Penny Simkin, Bastyr University, 2010

  • Removing the Barriers: LGBTQ Healthcare, National Lesbian Health Organization, 2010

  • HIV/AIDS Training, 2009

  • Certified Nursing Assistant, Washington State, NC 60135737, 2009

Ritual Facilitation Training

Creative Writing Training

Teaching Experience

  • Childbirth Education and Care Provider Trainings, Birthing Beyond the Binary, 2017 - present

  • The Body of the Story: 8 Week Online Workshop, 2017

  • Emotional First Aid, The Icarus Project, 2017

  • Street Therapy: Emotional Resistance in Action, The Icarus Project, 2017

  • Cultural Humility in Gender, Sexuality in Reproductive Health, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2017

  • Moon Tools: Primal Creative Process workshops, Moon Tools, 2016 - 2017

  • Gender and Sexuality Competency Webinar, Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 2017

  • Narrative Medicine and Prenatal and Perinatal Somatic Health Webinar, Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 2017

  • Reflective Writing & Narrative Medicine in Osteopathic Education Presentation, Touro University, 2016

  • Introduction to Somatic Trauma Healing in Your Practice 3-Part Webinar Series, The Simkin Center at Bastyr University, 2016

  • Creator and Lead Facilitator, Primal Sequence + Body-Mind Centering Workshop, co-taught with Chanti Smith, 2016

  • Narrative Medicine Workshop, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa, 2016

  • Narrative Medicine Workshop for Clinical Students, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2016

  • Comprehensive Reproductive Health, guest speaker, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2016

  • Lead Trainer, Full-Spectrum Doula Training, LA Doula Project, 2015

  • Narrative Medicine Workshop, California Academy of Family Physicians Conference, IONS, 2014

  • The Body of the Story: Introduction to Illness Narratives, Antioch University, 2014

  • Beautiful Terrible Things: live storytelling performance [graduate thesis] with Bit Smith, Columbia University, 2014

  • Creative Writing for First Year Medical Students, Columbia University with Chris Adrian, MD, MFA, MDiv, 2014

  • Writing the Way Through: Workshop for Caregivers, Gilda's Club NYC, 2014

  • Stories from the Narrow Place: Narratives of the Exodus, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, 2014

  • Panelist, Calling, Career, and Commitment, The New School University, 2014

  • Womb Wit: Writing Workshop, Mother Wit Conference, 2014

  • Healing and Childbirth Trauma, Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health Conference, 2013

  • Honey from the Rock: Notes from the Canyon of Fetal Loss [undergraduate thesis], Antioch University, 2010

  • Poetry readings in: Washington, New York, Connecticut, and California, 2000 - present



Residencies & Fellowshops

  • Narrative Medicine Fellow, Columbia University, 2015 - 2016

  • Writer-in-Residence, Richard Hugo House: Consultant, Youth Writing Camp Teaching Assistant, Open Mic Night Host, 2003 - 2004

Professional Memberships