Talking to Storms

Connor Simonoff Oenomel, MSW

Consulting | Education | Coaching.

Talking to Storms creates an affirming, trauma-informed, and strengths-based context for growth that recognizes the complexity of thriving in a diverse environment. We provide diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting, professional education, and individualized coaching services, all with a special focus on gender diversity and LGBTQ+ communities.

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What's New?

Professional Education Offering: Understanding & Serving Multi-Faceted Gender Identities
Understanding & Serving Multi-Faceted Gender Identities is a 3-part professional education seminar that allows medical, mental health, or holistic care providers of all kinds to learn how to better serve transgender & non-binary patients/clients.
Increasing your competence with transgender patients will lead to better healthcare outcomes such as reduced medical mistrust in this population, improved mental health and safety, and reduced medical stigma. We will explore the basics of transgender terminology and gender theory, learn from transgender individuals about their experiences, understand the statistical realities of this population, and learn strategies to welcome transgender patients and clients into your practice. This seminar is for all care providers: medical, mental, holistic, behavioral, and more.Please contact me to learn more about scheduling this workshop for your group or organization!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Transition Journaling Workbook
Have you been curious about transition journaling? Keeping a journal about your gender transition can be a gratifying, helpful, and therapeutic experience as well as just fun. The Transition Journaling Workbook is designed to be a printable resource you can use to jumpstart your transition journal. You can print it and fill it out to get a sense of what kinds of things might be useful for you when transition journaling. Or, you can use it as simply an idea-generator or even as your journal itself! There's no wrong way to do it.
This is an entirely free resource you can use yourself or with your students, clients, friends, or kids to help reflect on and keep track of everything related to the process of transition.To access your free copy, all you need to do is sign up for the newsletter:

About

Connor Simonoff Oenomel, MSW
Connor is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, USA and currently resides in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He's passionate about working with the LGBTQ+ community and counteracting stigma and oppression by de-pathologizing mental health, sexuality, and gender. As a macro social worker, Connor works as a coach/counselor, an educator, and a consultant to address both micro and macro levels of diversity, equity, inclusion, healing, and social change. He identifies as white, trans, Jewish, queer, and polyamorous and uses he/him/his pronouns.

Talking to Storms
Talking to Storms provides trauma-informed, empathetic, and empowering counseling, consulting, and education services to an international audience. We specailize in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and especially in issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community. We create an affirming, strengths-based environment for growth that recognizes the complexity of thriving in a diverse environment.
Our name is inspired by Ellen Kort's poem "Advice for Beginners".

Areas of Interest
Sexuality & Gender
LGBTQ+ communities; TINGE (transgender, intersex, non-binary, and gender expansive) communities; transition coaching for gender diverse individuals; polyamory and non-monogamy; sex- and kink-positive
Mental Health
trauma; anxiety; depression; burnout; self-care; self-esteem; self-advocacy; coping with big life changes
Systems & Macro Social Work
mutual aid; community organizing; liberation health; health and healthcare equity; cultural competency; diversity, equity, and inclusion; trauma-informed public policy

Credentials
Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
Massachusetts, USA
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Specializations: Macro Social Work | Trauma & Violence
Boston University, 2020
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
Minor: Sexuality & Queer Studies
Brandeis University, 2012

Professional Memberships
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Massachusetts Chapter
Beroepsvereniging van Professionals in Sociaal Werk (BPSW)Society of Gender ProfessionalsShare-Net Netherlands

Coaching, Counseling, Therapy....What's the Difference? Learn more here!

Coaching v Counseling v Therapy... What's the difference?

It's important that you know something up front, because transparency is important to me.
There are differences between several of the terms I use to describe my services. Transparency is an important value for me and I want every client I work with to understand fully what I mean when I use the terms I do. This page is designed to provide that information.
Let me be clear: I am a mental wellness provider and I am passionate about helping people reach their goals by helping them process emotions, understand patterns, practice skills, and achieve their goals, but I will never act in the capacity of a healthcare provider or provide "psychotherapy" in that I will not diagnose or treat illnesses or disorders.What I Offer:
I have an MSW and an LCSW licensure in the state of Massachusetts, USA. The LCSW is valid only in the state of Massachusetts, USA. These credentials mean that I completed an extensive academic degree, two internships, and passed a licensing exam (see more below). I am not, however, an official healthcare provider in either country. This means that there are several things I cannot do such as: diagnose mental illnesses, provide treatment for mental illnesses, refer clients to other providers or treatments, provide letters of diagnosis/treatment/referral/etc, or take health insurance. However, this doesn't mean I can't help people. I can still provide counseling and coaching and use my skills and knowledge to help people process emotions, set & achieve goals, learn coping skills, practice self-advocacy or self-esteem, and feel good about themselves.
Why I sometimes use the word "therapy:"
Therapy means many things in many different cultures and languages. Consider, for example, how certain professions are also therapists even though they do not work in mental health (massage therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists) or how we compare certain everyday activities to therapy because they make us feel good (retail therapy, chocolate therapy). In the end, therapy is about helping clients feel good, heal, and achieve what they want to achieve. Therapy is most strongly associated with mental health care because of it's association with the word "psychotherapy", which is used to describe therapy provided with the aim of diagnosing and/or treating mental illnesses, psychological disorders, neurocognitive conditions, or neurodevelopmental disorders.
But not all therapy is psychotherapy! "Therapy" is a recognizable term that can be translated well across several languages. It immediately brings to mind mental wellbeing help. That is why I sometimes use the word therapy: it's a convenient shorthand for the very broad concept of helping people achieve balance and healing. Psychotherapy is a regulated profession in many places; governments have legally decided who may call themselves a psychotherapist and who may not. I respect those definitions and therefore on paper my services are called coaching or counseling. I try to only use the word 'therapy' as a way to quickly get across what I'm trying to express rather than falsely claiming I am a 'therapist.'Read my Scope of Practice Policy and other Policies here.

Definitions of Various Professions

What is Social Work?
Social Work is a field of practice, an academic discipline, a profession, and a licensure. The International Federation of Social Workers defines social work as
"a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.”What is an LCSW? What is an LICSW?
In the State of Massachusetts, after completing a degree and internship hours, one studies for several months, obtains letters of recommendation from faculty and supervisors, and takes an extensive examination which is offered by the Association of Social Work Boards or ASWB. Upon passing this exam, the person can obtain the status of a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Every state and country has a different pathway for social work licensure and some have different acronyms. In Massachusetts, the LCSW licensure is the first of two levels. The second level is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LICSW), which one can achieve by completing a certain number of hours of supervision and taking another exam. The difference between an LCSW and an LICSW is that an LICSW can practice independently without supervision whereas an LCSW must be supervised by an LICSW to practice psychotherapy. An LCSW may practice social work including research, consulting, education, coaching, program management, or any number of a million different careers without supervision.
What is a Coach?
A coach is an unlicensed profession that aims to help people by helping them conceptualize, pursue, and achieve goals as defined by the client. The International Coaching Federation describes coaching as
"partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership."What is a Counselor? What is Counseling?
Counseling is a licensed profession that, according to the American Counseling Association is
"a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals."Counselors often carry the credentials of LPC, LMHC, LCPC, LPCC, LCMHC, or LMHP. Read more about the differences here. However, by USA law other professionals who are licensed under other statues (ex: social workers, psychologist, clergy, lawyers, etc) may provide 'counseling' services. In this way, 'counseling' is two things: a) a licensed profession and b) a colloquial term used to describe giving advice or help to another person.What is a Psychologist/Psychiatrist?
The American Psychological Association says that a Psychologist is a doctorate-level professional who has scientifically studied the cognitive process, normal and abnormal mental states, and counseling techniques. Whereas a Psychiatrist is a doctorate-level professional who has scientifically studied diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Psychologists and Psychiatrists are both medical professionals (doctors). Psychiatrists are typically able to prescribe medication, whereas psychologists are not.

Therapy

Talking to Storms provides coaching and counseling that is an interactive process of exploring thoughts and emotions, setting goals, gathering resources, practicing skills, healing, and expanding your definitions of what's possible. Our approach is down to earth and is grounded in empathy, humor, and optimism, and helps you connect the dots of your life and make positive change.Sessions are virtual and available for people all over the world. Therapy is conducted in English. I have immediate availability!

Coaching, Counseling, Therapy....What's the Difference? Learn more here!

Specializations

LGBTQ+
Talking to Storms is specifically aimed at providing services to queer, trans, polyamorous, or other LGBTQ+ individuals. I specialize in working with LGBTQ+/LHBTI+ individuals on issues of identity exploration, coming out, transition, self-advocacy, or healing from oppression and discrimination. Talking to Storms is an explicitly sex-positive counseling/coaching service and I am affirming not only of all sexualities (including asexuality) and genders (including intersex, transgender, and non-binary), but also of non-monogamy, kink, and sex work.


Trauma
I specialize in trauma from both a micro and macro perspective and are comfortable working with people experiencing trauma, burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. Minority stress, microaggressions, pandemic trauma, capitalism, perfectionism, and anxiety can all feed into a somatic and emotional experience of trauma and Talking to Storms takes a holistic approach to trauma-informed care.

Coaching, Counseling, Therapy....What's the Difference? Learn more here!

Models & Modalities

Talking to Storms takes an integrative approach and works with a variety of different coaching/counseling modalities and theoretical models including, but certainly not limited to, the following:
- CBT/DBT
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Emotion Coaching
- Humanistic Therapy
- Existential Therapy
- Attachment Theory
- Ecological Systems Theory
- Liberation Health Model
- Mindfulness and Somatic Healing



Get a free copy of the Transition Journaling Workbook when you sign up for the Talking to Storms Newsletter.

Transition Coaching

Transition Coaching is a form of individualized counseling that is designed to help you explore your gender from a place of joy, to help you achieve your goals in terms of coming out or transition, and to give you support and hands-on tools you can use to advocate for yourself, care for yourself, and live authentically. It's a way of coming back to yourself and deeply nurturing your identities. It's primarily intended for transgender, non-binary, intersex, or gender-diverse individuals of any label.

What do we actually do in transition coaching sessions?

  • Self-advocacy skills, especially with medical providers, employers, or your jerk uncle. Learn how to stand up for yourself, set boundaries, communicate needs, etc.

  • Explore your identity from a mindset of joy, abundance, play, and creativity. Sometimes we even use collage or crayons! What would your life look like if was full of pride & gratitude?

  • Map out a path forward by setting goals and target them with a step by step approach. Sometimes we Google resources, make pro\con lists, or write scripts for phone calls. And yeah... Sometimes there's homework.

  • Revamp your self-care routine to make it a self-love ritual. Making nurturing yourself a habit is about way more than bubble baths; it's about getting down to the roots of who you are and giving yourself what you need to grow.

  • Process and unpack emotions related to everyday stressors, microaggressions, trauma, burnout, minority stress, or other oppressive experiences. Like an onion, everyone's got layers of things that will make you cry, even if they "aren't that big a deal."

  • Many transition coaching clients find transition journaling to be an incredible resource for them and we often work together to make a transition journal that works for you.

What makes you qualified to do this?

I am a transgender (transmasculine/genderqueer) social worker, coach, and educator. I have 10 years of experience working in various ways within the LGBTQ+ community including as a researcher, professional educator, diversity consultant, and counselor/coach. Please see my about page to learn more about me or contact me with any further questions.


What makes me qualified to do this:

I am a transgender, queer, and polyamorous social worker, coach, and educator. I have been in the ethical non-monogamy community for 9 years. I have 12 years of experience working in various ways within the LGBTQ+ community including as a researcher, professional educator, diversity consultant, and counselor/coach. Please see my about page to learn more about me or contact me with any further questions.


Relationship Coaching

Relationship Coaching is a form of "couples" counseling for polyamorous or non-monogamous people. Traditional couples counseling can be steeped in cissexism and can be monogamist and hetero-focused; it can be difficult to find a counselor who understands ethical non-monogamy. And it can fe frustrating to have to explain or justify your relationship style to someone who isn't poly-friendly.Relationship coaching is designed to assist non-monogamous groups (of any size or constellation style) with creating a solid basis for healthy relationships, working out ongoing issues, or processing through challenging emotions.

Together we can work on any of the following common issues for non-monogamous couples/constellations:

  • Creating healthy communication patterns among individual relationships or the group/family as a whole.

  • Working through feelings of jealousy or scarcity.

  • Learning how to generate secure attachment and how to heal attachment wounds.

  • Addressing ongoing issues such as recurring fights, triggers, envy/jealousy, or other challenges.

  • Determine if non-monogamy is right for you and your partner(s) and explore different relationship styles.

  • Make a plan for coming out to friends, coworkers, family, or others in your life.

  • Improve your relationships with your metamours.

Sliding Scale Pricing

We operate on a sliding-scale system designed to empower everyone, regardless of their economic reality, to access the tools needed for growth, healing, and competency. All rates at Talking to Storms are listed with the minimum and maximum and clients can choose their rate anywhere on that scale. While I encourage clients to consider their economic privilege in addition to their budget, you never need to justify why you pick a certain rate. Learn more about the concept of sliding scale pricing here.

Education/Consulting Rates

Per Hour Rate:
Euros: €40-€100 per hour
US Dollars: $43-$113 per hour
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept insurance.
Euro price excludes VAT.

Counseling/Coaching Rates

Personal growth takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. And for many of us, doing that healing is hard work towards which we need to dedicate time, energy, and space. My job is to help you achieve all your goals while balancing forward progress and efficiency with thoroughness and creating space for healing and processing.For this reason, Talking to Storms offers counseling/coaching services in a packaged form only.Packages allow us to ensure we make time for sessions to make progress but they also leave plenty of time and flexibility for you to get your needs met.

  • All sessions are virtual and offered in English only at this time.

  • Full Sessions are 1 hour and Micro Sessions are 30 minutes.

  • All packages are designed to support your growth over a 2-4 month period.

  • Packages expire 6 months after purchase.

  • If we still have things to work on after 6 months, we will meet and re-evaluate where to go from there.

  • All the offerings in each package are flexible; you can schedule your full sessions and micro sessions whenever you wish.

  • Some clients like to lay a foundation with full sessions, then do micro sessions whereas others want an intermingling with full sessions once a month and micro sessions in between. It's completely up to you!

Select a Package to Learn More

The Inspiration Package

This package is designed for people who just need a little space to explore. This is great for sampling out coaching to see if it's right for you or working on a small goal. If you're a previous client who wants to come back for a bit of a 'check-in' this is a great package for you!Package Includes
- 2 Full Sessions (1 hour each)
- 2 Micro Sessions (30 minutes each)
- Sessions can be arranged weekly for 4 weeks or every other week for 8 weeks.
- Flexible scheduling if you need to skip a few weeks!
Sliding Scale Rate
€180 - €360 (includes VAT)
$160 - $316
Do you need a payment plan? You can pay this rate in two or three installments 1 month apart if desired.

Reminders:

  • Packages expire after 6 months so all sessions must be scheduled and used within 6 months of purchase. This keeps us moving forward and making progress!

  • All sessions are virtual at this time.

  • Sessions are conducted in English.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept insurance.

The Possibility Package

This package is the next step up from the inspiration package and is our most frequently purchased package. It seems to be exactly the right amount of time to really dig and explore the possibilities of change in your life, experience growth, and complete a goal. This package is recommended for most clients.Package Includes
- 4 Full Sessions (1 hour each)
- 6 Micro Sessions (30 minutes each)
- Most clients schedule sessions weekly for 10 weeks, but other arrangements are possible.
Sliding Scale Rate
€420 - €850 (includes VAT)
$370 - $740
Do you need a payment plan? You can pay this rate in two or three installments 1 month apart if desired.

Reminders:

  • Packages expire after 6 months so all sessions must be scheduled and used within 6 months of purchase. This keeps us moving forward and making progress!

  • All sessions are virtual at this time.

  • Sessions are conducted in English.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept insurance.

The Progress Package

The progress package is designed to be for people seeking maximum support and growth. Choose this package if you are working through something especially complex or if you have several goals you want to achieve.Package Includes
- 8 Full Sessions (1 hour each)
- 8 Micro Sessions (30 minutes each)
- Designed to be used over the course of 3 to 4 months.
Sliding Scale Rate
€725 - €1,450 (includes VAT)
$630 - $1,265
Do you need a payment plan? You can pay this rate in two or three installments 1 month apart if desired.

Reminders:

  • Packages expire after 6 months so all sessions must be scheduled and used within 6 months of purchase. This keeps us moving forward and making progress!

  • All sessions are virtual at this time.

  • Sessions are conducted in English.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept insurance.

The Non-Monogamy Package

If you are a polyamorous or non-monogamous couple, triad, or constellation, this package is created especially for you. Because of the different relationships present in non-monogamous groupings, it's important to take time to address each partner's needs both individually and as a whole group. For that reason, this package specifically creates time for the polyamorous group (couple, triad, constellation, whatever it looks like for you!) to meet as a whole and individual sessions for each member of the group as well.Package Includes
- 4 group sessions (1 hour each) where two or more members of the constellation participate
- 1 full session (1 hour each) and 1 micro session (30 minutes each) for each member of the constellation individually
- Designed to be used over the course of 2 to 3 months.
Sliding Scale Rate
€420 - €1,210 (includes VAT)
$370 - $1,050
Do you need a payment plan? You can pay this rate in two or three installments 1 month apart if desired.

Reminders:

  • Packages expire after 6 months so all sessions must be scheduled and used within 6 months of purchase. This keeps us moving forward and making progress!

  • All sessions are virtual at this time.

  • Sessions are conducted in English.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept insurance.

Create Your Own Package

Having trouble finding a package that fits? Do you want to do something a little different? You can create your own package! For some people, choosing a pre-set package doesn't feel right for them and they would prefer to customize something.Packages Can Include
- 2 - 15 Full Sessions (1 hour each)
- 2 - 15 Micro Sessions (30 minutes each)
- Anywhere from 1 - 5 months of sessions
Sliding Scale Rates
Please contact me for rates.
Payment plans are available.

Reminders:

  • Packages expire after 6 months so all sessions must be scheduled and used within 6 months of purchase. This keeps us moving forward and making progress!

  • All sessions are virtual at this time.

  • Sessions are conducted in English.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept insurance.

Consulting

Our businesses, organizations, groups, and lives are richer with diversity, but often that equity, inclusion, and healing is difficult to achieve. How do you create a work culture in which everyone belongs? What's the best way to support marginalized groups without talking over them? If you're struggling with making your organization more equitable and diverse, Talking to Storms can help. Our approach is strengths-based, efficient, down-to-earth, and participatory.What We Offer:
Needs Assessments
Evaluations
Forms/Policies Analysis & Intervention
Social Media/Website Analysis & Intervention
Trauma-Informed Policy Creation
Professional Development Training
Project Planning or Development
Workplace Culture Guidance
Participatory Goal/Objective Setting & Vision Mapping
To get started with consulting services, please contact us directly!

Areas of Focus

Talking to Storms works with clients all over the DEI spectrum, but specializes in the following:

  • LGBTQ+ diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Creating space for gender diversity in organizations & non-profits

  • Healthcare Equity & Access

  • Cultural Competency Training for Care Providers

  • Mutual Aid

  • Trauma-Informed Public Policy

  • Participatory Research & Community Organizing

Workshops

Talking to Storms provides workshops on a variety of topics and especially focuses on professional development trainings for care professionals. Connor Simonoff Oenomel, LCSW is a dynamic educator that has a knack for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-grasp pieces. He encourages participation and promotes a casual, safe, empathetic learning environment.

Testimonials

"Connor did a great job touching on both micro and macro interventions which can help make our clinical practice more inclusive towards gender diverse folks. We discussed concrete steps that can be taken in and outside the workplace to implement changes. Additionally, Connor uses tweets, memes, and videos to bring a light humor to a serious conversation, which helps make the training even more engaging! At the end, we were left with ample amount of time to ask questions and review real life scenarios. I highly recommend this training for all healthcare providers!"
-SD-
"Connor provides a safe space through his experience and availability to allow us to get familiar with theses concepts, to ask questions without risking harm, and provides context to a small but very real part of humanity in order for us to be better care providers for all people. Connor is very open and willing to help along people better understand the realities of LGBTQ+ people, he facilitates conversation and learning very efficiently and interactively."
-Annie-

Upcoming Events

None Right Now!
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Contact

Email
talkingtostorms@gmail.com
Phone
USA: +1 617-600-8891
(SMS & Voicemail)
NL: +31 06 112 33 019
(WhatsApp, Signal, SMS & Calls)

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