Our Services

Therapy | Consulting | Training | Supervision

The Union Street Health Associates offers an integrated mind/body and spiritual approach to the therapy, consulting, training, teaching and supervision. We work with groups, couples, and individuals to help them discover their own unique healing process.


Union Street Health Associates' highly experienced therapy staff is trained to help people facing the stress of changing life situations such as serious illness, challenging relationships, and career changes.

USHA offers ongoing healing circle support groups for:

  • Illness
  • Loss
  • Cancer
  • Surgery
  • Body Image
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Support

  • "(In my dance) the artifices of dancing are thrown aside, the great Rhythms of Life are enabled to play through the physical instrument, the profundities of consciousness are given a channel to the light of our social day. These profundities of consciousness are in us all."

    Isadora Duncan

    Dance Therapy  The healing arts are especially useful to us today because they provide a cost-effective complement to traditional medicine. The creative force awakened in the healing arts is a powerful medicine when used in service of healing. With this force, people are better equipped to face life with energy, flexibility, improvisational skills, an enriched inner life, and stronger resources. Through the arts, people can express their experience and meaning of having an illness, explore their own imagery and resources for healing, and decrease loneliness by deeply sharing rhythmic and non-verbal connections with others.

    Rituals can help each woman prepare for surgery or a medical intervention, express and find ways to cope with fear and often overwhelming emotions, learn to grieve, and go on to live each day fully. For group members, who support each other by participating in, and helping each other create rituals, this is an intense lesson in sharing and showing love.

    Dance as medicine is not one technique, nor even one theoretical perspective. Rather, it combines both modern and ancient images of healing practices. These images are of sacred dance, which linked the physical world and the world of spirits, using sounds and bodies as instruments to create group connections through rhythm and space. In healing dances, all members participated. Connecting the individual to the greater context of community and the gods, sacred dance helped restore a sick person's harmony with tradition, social order, and the cosmos. The rituals of sacred dance named divine powers, marking cycles of generation and cosmic creation. Patterns which emerged in the dance celebrated cosmic patterns such as circles, lines, and actions of planting, gathering, rising and falling. The dance therapist as shaman is a community healer who uses sacred sources of healing to combine art, ritual, diagnosis and treatment for revitalizing individuals' lifeforce within the context of community. Re-awakening and re-imagining these root images of dance therapy practices can provide insight and perspective to the ancient and modern art of dance medicine.


    With over 30 years of experience in healthcare settings, in- and out-patient psychiatric hospitals, children's hospitals, nursing homes, health spas and hospital wellness centers, the USHA has helped staff design therapeutic support groups using the Arts.

    We help organizations and individuals in the following ways:

  • Set up ongoing clinical support groups
  • Train staff to run arts medicine groups
  • Provide family support during grief, loss, emotional & physical crisis
  • Individual and group psychotherapy for life-threatening illnesses
  • Psychological consultation for treatment teams to maximize cooperation
  • Consulting to the Catholic clergy
  • Help with loss of a pet
  • Grief support
  • Consulting with Clergy — House of Affirmation, Whitinsville, MA: Supervising Psychologist in residential treatment center for psychologically impaired Catholic religious.

    Consulting with Business — In a talk for a San Francisco architecture office entitled "Space, Movement and Healing," Dr. Serlin showed the interrelationship of space, movement and healing, particularly in how buildings are constructed to evoke certain movements, both historically and at present. Labanotation, a movement language system used by choreographers, was used to discuss parameters of time, weight, space and flow factors in the vocabulary of movement and space. Examples demonstrated healing and movement work done in the context of a support group for women with breast cancer.

    Loss of a Pet — In her work with those recovering from a loss of a pet, Dr. Serlin states, "We know that our animals are our friends, part of our families. Yet we are told that we should remember that they are 'only' animals, and we should just replace them. We may need a place to talk about the overwhelming feelings, often of loss and loneliness. Sometimes there is guilt, or regrets. Sometimes this loss reminds us of other losses, which we also did not grieve."

    Work-Related Stress — Employment and Development Department, State of California Health and Welfare Agency, San Francisco: "Reconstructing our Work Lives after Traumatic Events."


    The experienced staff at Union Street Health Associates provides workshops and consultation in such areas as:

  • discovering your inner healer and letting it guide,
  • transforming pain and loss into acceptance and life changes,
  • learning to navigate stress,
  • exploring body image, femininity, masculinity and sexuality,
  • creating personal rituals of healing.
  • Scholarships are available.

    Contact Dr. Ilene Serlin for more info.

    Past training courses at USHA

    Arts Medicine: a workshop at California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda Campus
    Arts medicine can enhance wellness through improved body image, vitality, and sense of self. It can benefit people dealing with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and AIDS, and problems such as depression, loss and aging. This workshop teaches basic arts medicine skills. It uses case histories to teach assessment and intervention approaches. Methods used include basic skills and the use of art, movement, music and ritual to promote healing. No prior experience with art and healing is necessary, just a desire to explore one's own creativity and to incorporate it into the healing process.

    Contact Dr. Ilene Serlin for more info.


    Ilene Serlin, Director of the USHA, is currently supervises doctoral students in psychology at Chrysalis Counseling Center in Santa Rosa. She offers ongoing individual and group supervision in Dance Therapy, Arts Medicine, and Depth Psychology.