I am Alexis Ornellas and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC) and I am the owner of Mana Counseling Services LLC. I am a body-based (somatic) psychotherapist and resiliency trainer. Mana Counseling Services LLC is located in Boulder, Colorado. “Mana” in Hawaiian or Polynesian culture, is the sacred life force inherent in all things, and is our source of power and ability to have agency and authority over our own lives. Mana is also our connection to energy and spirit and that which brings us passion and joy in life. Being of Hawaiian descent and being deeply connected to the Hawaiian culture and the “Mana” of the land and the people, and my inherent belief that everyone has strong Mana and innate wisdom, this name was fitting for my practice.
I became a psychotherapist due to my own transformation through psychotherapy, meditation, dance, and yoga. I suffered throughout my life due to my experience of stuttering and the traumatic effects suffering from this communication disorder can bring, including bullying, severe anxiety and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. I would try my best to hide my suffering, and substances would help to numb the pain and lack of self-esteem. Unfortunately, this lifestyle got me in trouble and landed me in jail. It forced me to start making significant changes within my life and reassess what was truly important to me, which was my health and happiness. Through self awareness and recognizing that both pain and pleasure are both inherent in life and impermanent, I developed the strength and ability to be present with both pleasure and pain, which brought a sense of freedom and confidence I didn’t know existed. I began to love and value myself, and so began to live my life in a way that was loving and caring to myself. Since that time, body based psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, yoga and dance have helped me overcome my struggles, and have helped me develop connection to myself in a way that I feel present in my life, powerful, confident about my abilities and without need to numb myself through substances. I have chosen to be happy and to radically love myself, no matter what.
I have made it my life’s mission to support others in their journey to health and happiness. I graduated Naropa University in 2011 with my Masters Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. I have worked in agency settings for years providing psychotherapy for substance abuse, trauma, and other dual diagnosis issues, however have been working in a multitude of mental health settings since 2006. I left agency work in 2015 to open Mana Counseling Services LLC in order to offer somatic based psychotherapy and resiliency training to adolescents and adults.
I live in Boulder, CO with my husband, daughter and dog, and spend my free time meditating, hiking, reading, dancing hula and soulsweat, doing yoga, and spending time with loved ones.