About Dr. Ashley

yasheluah (yah-SHAY-loo-ah): peace through struggle

Dr. Ashley Davis Gavila, Trauma Recovery Coach and Spiritual Midwife

Hello, friend! I’m Ashley (she/her). My quest is restoring our connections with the Divine, which heals broken relationships with self, Creator, and creation. I am a trauma recovery coach, spiritual midwife, abuse survivor, author, aesthete, and semiotician, as well as a workshop and conference educator.

As a trauma recovery coach and spiritual midwife, I am passionate about working in harmony with the Spirit to embody compassion and hope in the lives of those I come alongside. As an aesthete, I search for the divinely human beauty in you and your stories. As a semiotician, I look for the ways you create and represent meaning. And then I work with you to bring it all together, to connect the dots as you reintegrate your beautiful, whole self. You can learn about my services via this menu.

If you’d like to see what my clients say about working with me, click here.

Helping people heal from spiritual abuse and toxic theology is a high priority for me. I understand the deep loss we experience when we leave a previously-trusted community of faith, and I acknowledge and validate the grieving, deconstruction, and reconstruction processes look different for everyone. I had many positive and healthy experiences during the years I attended and led within Southern Baptist churches and parachurch organizations, which spanned three regions of the US and three continents. However, during that time I also witnessed consistent spiritual abuse of others and experienced it myself. In 2016, I made the deeply painful decision to leave the SBC and devote my energy to reparations and finding ways to support others as they heal from similar adverse religious experiences.

Often referred to as “the one with the purple hair,” I am known for my creativity and for seeing the world just a little bit differently. I am neurodivergent, highly sensitive, and an empath. I love singing and musical theater, photographing flowers and birds, and finding Creator’s work in unusual places.

I was born and raised on Pueblo land (Albuquerque) in New Mexico, and I live with my family in an intentional community on Duwamish land in Seattle, WA. You will see some photos of us below!

I look forward to connecting with you! May you find peace and wholeness along your journey.

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EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

I hold a Master of Arts in Family Life Education and a Doctor of Ministry in Semiotics & Future Studies, and am a lifelong learner around trauma, attachment, and healing (especially via the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, the Trauma Research Foundation, EFT International, Embodied Philosophy, the Gottman Institute, and Asha Frost, Indigenous Healer). I also currently serve as the mental health advisor to the board of Free for Life International.

RESEARCH, SPECIALTIES, AND OTHER INTERESTS:

  • Attachment theory, God attachment, and the reciprocal self
  • Self-compassion, neutralizing shame and the inner critic
  • Mindfulness of emotions, body, and spirit
  • Post-traumatic growth and healing across the lifespan
  • Polyvagal theory and somatic applications for healing traumatized nervous systems
  • Anti-racist work; social justice, dismantling white supremacy and divesting from colonization
  • Genealogy and ancestral/generational trauma
  • Native American and First Nations culture and spirituality
  • EFT tapping
  • The Enneagram
  • Perichoresis
  • Biblical hermeneutics
  • Trinitarian theology and covenant epistemology
  • Intersection of body, mind, and emotion in neuroscience
  • Parish ministry and fresh expressions of church
  • Christian feminism and liberation
  • Healing from evangelical purity culture
  • Positive discipline and gentle parenting
  • Parenting children with special needs
  • Nonviolent communication
  • Collaborative law and dispute resolution
  • Sexual abuse prevention
  • Recovery from narcissistic abuse

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

  • EFT International
  • Energy Medicine Professional Association
  • Open Path Healing Arts Collective

Disclaimer: While most clients find our time together therapeutic, I am not a licensed mental health care practitioner and do not provide psychotherapy or mental health treatment. During your intake process and subsequent plan we develop together, I will refer you to therapies, counseling, coaching, legal, and/or medical help as necessary.