Hi, I’m Anne.
I’m an educator, a coach, and a healer. And I don’t have it all figured out.
I wish I could tell you about the powerful moment when all of my pain and sadness and anger spewed out of me in a cathartic and deeply healing rush, leading me to begin my journey to becoming the person I am today. But my story starts with less of an “ah-HA!” and more of an “ah, f*ck.”
AND THAT’S OK.
I’m in the business of empowerment partly because it’s so desperately needed but also because it was something I deeply misunderstood for so much of my life, and I had no idea — until I started to literally implode. (Yes, I mean literally. Keep reading.) I’d been running a successful business for years. I was just accepted into a prestigious sex educator certification program. I felt supported by friends and family. I’d met the person I was going to marry. I did lots of yoga and hiking and never missed a chance to see live music. Plus, my social media feeds were filled with cat photos.
Life was pretty damn good. Until it kinda wasn’t.
In 2014, my body sort of just…stopped working. I mean, it had always functioned a little wonkily. I’d been managing a deeply uncomfortable (and occasionally painful) chronic dysfunction for almost 10 years and made it through several incarnations of a compulsive exercise problem, with a dash of disordered eating for good measure.
But one day I stopped being able to stand up.
My legs functioned and my knees bent as usual, but I became dizzy and woozy in seconds. If I didn’t immediately squat into the fetal position, I would pass out and tumble to the floor. To my deep dismay, there was no medical explanation for what was going on and soon my body started to wilt into something I didn’t recognize. It was as though my muscles had reached functional capacity and thrown in the towel, or maybe they were like, “ugh I just can’t anymore” and peaced out. Looking back on it, I would have peaced out, too.
I started working with my dreams in a therapeutic environment shortly before all of this went down, and it seems the more I mined into my subconscious, the more my conscious self responded. Among the gems I uncovered were:
Harmful belief systems about my body’s shape, size, and abilities that told me I was never enough.
Antiquated ideas about relationships and love that kept me disconnected (and exhausted).
Old behavior patterns that made sex performative, rather than personal.
Unfair judgments about self-worth that kept me stuck in unhealthy relationships.
And the hard-to-swallow reality that I may have spent the majority of my adult life in a perpetual (and detrimental) state of fight/flight/freeze and, to cope, became quite skilled at dissociating.
You see, this isn’t a sad story — my brain and my body had spent 30 years in a state of severe disconnection that simply stopped being sustainable, and I had to burn it all down before I could rebuild something strong, resilient, and rooted in empowered authenticity. Yes, it’s been messy and no, there’s no “you’re fixed!” finish line, but healing isn’t supposed to be clean, quick and simple. Almost 5 years later, I’m still taking steps forward, a couple backward, and maybe a sideways shuffle or two, but jeez, if I haven’t learn a thing or two (or three) about what it means to truly accept and connect to oneself.
Whether you’re contemplating a change, in the middle of a crisis, ready to wrap up a chapter, or start a whole new story, I’d love to support you along the way.
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Anne Hodder-Shipp, ACS, is a multi-certified sex and relationships educator with professional training in breathwork and holistic dreamwork. She boasts a unique understanding of age-appropriate sex education, trauma-informed healing, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence, and she brings a fun, friendly and sex-positive facilitation style to every session, group or event she hosts. Utilizing a non-judgmental and no-b.s. approach, Anne happily helps clients of all ages, experience levels and lifestyles heal, learn and grow.
With an ability to convey complicated (and sometimes sensitive) information in an accessible way, Anne coaches, guides, and supports clients through profound healing and specializes in working with trauma and shame — especially the ways trauma and shame affect (and disrupt) our day-to-day lives.
A cum laude graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, Anne’s journalism and sociology background inspired a unique perspective of the public eye, which led her to work as a journalist, editor and blogger covering the business of pleasure and the latest in human sexuality research. After readers reached out with vulnerable sex questions, Anne recognized a genuine passion for being of service, and she decided to train professionally as a sex educator. Anne received her first certification and endorsement by the renowned San Francisco Sex Information program and continued her training via the American College of Sexologists International and Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’s School Based Sex Education Program, where she honed a special skill for working with adolescents. Anne also holds professional training in breathwork facilitation under the guidance of David Elliott and dreamwork under the guidance of Kezia Vida. These two unique healing methods allow for deeper self-connection, emotional intelligence development, trauma resolution, and profound personal growth - and Anne often uses them in her one-on-one sessions. (With consent, of course!)
Anne has been working with, and writing about, sex and relationships in some form for more than 12 years, and she’s loved (almost) every day of it. In addition to her private practice and public workshops, Anne is the founder of and lead educator at Everyone Deserves Sex Education (EDSE), and also leads treatment groups for clients recovering from substance use disorder, eating disorders, compulsive sexual behavior and other stigmatized illnesses.