Meet Dr. Ellie Zarrabian.
As a child, Elham “Ellie” Zarrabian or Dr. Ellie, was destined to follow her deep calling to practice Shamanism as it was taught and passed down through her Jewish/ Sufi culture and upbringing. However, when war broke out in her native country of Iran, immigration to the United States set her initially on a different course. It wasn’t until many years later when she returned to her roots and combined the art of traditional healing practices with in her background in psychology.
Over the course of twenty years, Dr. Ellie pursued a Master’s and a Doctorate degree in psychology with an emphasis in Transpersonal studies. She also earned certification in Therapeutic Massage and worked for several years as body oriented trauma specialist. Using Therapeutic Massage and later, Therapeutic Touch, Dr. Ellie treated people suffering from emotional and physical trauma as a result of years of abuse, neglect, violence and illness.
In 2000, after completing her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology, Dr. Ellie became a drug and alcohol counselor and worked closely with the underserved population in Los Angeles. For the next several years, she worked with individuals in recovery from heavy drug and alcohol misuse and abuse. By offering individuals counseling as well as a weekly group called “Awareness,” Dr. Ellie taught her clients the practice of mindfulness while addressing psychological, physical and emotional trauma.
Inception of Centerpeace Foundation.
In 2003, Dr. Ellie took a faculty member post in the Department of Psychology at Santa Monica College. There she taught young adults of diverse cultures, ethnicities, socio-economic and religious backgrounds the theory as well as the application of spiritually integrated psychology while covering other general topics like Developmental, Biological, Cognitive Behavioral and Humanistic psychology. Over the course of the nine years she taught at the college level, Dr. Ellie formulated the theory and practice for healing trauma from psycho-spiritual perspective.
Throughout the years seeking higher education and working with diverse populations, Dr. Ellie continued working and learning from her Sufi roots. The practice of shamanism came easily because she was born into a culture where it was practiced for centuries. Her grandmother had healing skills which she passed on to her as did her father who, although he did not practice shamanism, was well-read in Sufism. Over the years she began blending the healing work from her Sufi background, body work, Therapeutic Touch, and Transpersonal psychology. Gradually she created a craft to treat trauma using a blend of contemporary shamanic healing practices and counseling psychology.
After receiving her doctorate degree in 2010, Dr. Ellie founded the Centerpeace Foundation, a holistic center for psychotherapy and spirituality. The mission of Centerpeace is to help people live a better and more peaceful life by resolving conflict that begins within the self and extends out into the world. Through Centerpeace, Dr. Ellie goes out into the greater Los Angeles community and gives talks, workshops and presentations on resolving conflict and healing trauma. She also has a full time private practice where she works with individuals and couples.
Realizing that the work she does with individuals is greatly needed in communities around the world where people are experiencing first hand trauma through social unrest, war and terrorism, in 2013, Dr. Ellie put together the Centerpeace Project. Through the project, Dr. Ellie and her team of therapists, consultants, yoga teachers, nutritionists and community builders, go out into communities around the world and set up programs to help young adults deal more effectively with conflict, violence and generational trauma while teaching them the skills they need to create more sustainable, and co-creative solutions for living in greater peace.