Illysa has experience working with mothers, children and families in a variety of settings, including education, parenting consultation, midwifery and psychotherapy. She has two daughters, ages 18 and 22 whom she homeschooled for many years, and then transitioned to high school and college.
Illysa studied psychology as an undergraduate at Texas A&M Corpus Christi where she graduated with highest honors after the birth of her first child in 1992. She worked as a preschool teacher and child dance instructor between 1986 and 1991. Later she traveled to Austin to study Human Development and Education in the Educational Psychology Department at UT Austin. She has 60 graduate hours in areas relating to psychology with a focus on human development and resiliency. Her graduate work includes observations in the NICU and research in parent-child interactions. Illysa’s youngest child was born after she graduated from UT in 1997. Between 1996 and 2005, Illysa taught at Austin Community College in the departments of Psychology and Human Development. During this time, she also opened and operated Imagination School, a child-directed preschool in south Austin where she provided parent consultation and educational services for children ages 2-6. She taught many classes with Austin Area Homeschoolers and founded CLAP (Collaborative Learning Academic Program, AKA Monday Co-op).
After her children became more independent, Illysa began her midwifery studies at the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program and apprenticed in Central Texas with homebirth midwives and at birth centers. She opened her midwifery practice, Sisters Midwifery, in 2007. Illysa co-authored Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice (2011) and has published articles and trained midwives in the area of ethics for the past five years.
Illysa’s career shift to psychotherapy started in midwifery practice, where she effectively counseled hundreds of women and their families through preconception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods. Illysa is licensed by the Texas State Board of Psychologists as an Licensed Psychology Associate (LPA). She is supervised by Joellen Peters, PhD, Licensed Psychologist and is active in biweekly peer supervision with somatic and Jungian clinicians. Illysa continues to write and train other professionals in areas of midwifery ethics and perinatal psychology. She is also a lecturer at Texas State University in the Family and Child Development Program.