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Campus News / News

Rockford University Alumna uses yoga, heavy metal, and counseling to bring mental health resources to the community

05/24/2021 9:00 am

After she started practicing as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Marissa Ebert ’11, M.S.Ed., LCPC, NCC, RYT-200, realized that some of her clients needed more than just counseling sessions and some needed an entirely different approach to meet their mental health needs. So she opened Alt Yoga in 2018.

The name stands for Alternative Yoga because Ebert’s style isn’t traditional. Her yoga sessions started with metal music, and have now evolved to include all different styles of music.

“I have stayed true to myself and have created a unique style of yoga that has brought in people who have never considered it before,” said Ebert. “I use my knowledge as a counselor and incorporate therapeutic, empowering elements into my practice. It’s fun for me to host and I enjoy seeing my participants have fun and release all of the stress they have been carrying!” 

Once Ebert started working as a counselor, she encountered many different people with various traumas, which helped push her outside the bounds of traditional counseling.

“I have this desire to help as many individuals as I can because I want to make a difference,” said Ebert.

Ebert credits her career path to Joel Lynch, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Psychology, who prompted her to think about life after college during one of his classes.

“His curiosity caused a shift that day, and I started to look onward on what I wanted to do post-graduation,” said Ebert. “It has helped me to do something I am passionate about: connecting with others and helping people.”

During the spring 2021 semester, Ebert brought her knowledge back to RU students as an adjunct professor teaching Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.

“I can still remember what it was like to be a student and get excited about the information I was learning, so to be on the ‘other side’ as a professor has been very rewarding,” said Ebert. “I love being able to teach on this topic because I’m educating students about an area that I am familiar with in regards to my job as an LCPC.” 

Ebert is grateful for her time at Rockford University and the path her post-graduation life has taken, allowing her to share her skills with the community both in and out of the traditional office setting.

“It has been an enlightening journey,” said Ebert.