Charna Cassell

Charna Cassell is the founder of the Center for Passionate Living, a private therapy practice that endeavors to help individuals and couples deepen their embodied connection with themselves and others. For the past 25+ years, she’s worked in a variety of schools, nonprofits, and therapeutic settings as a teacher, trainer, counselor, workshop leader, psychotherapist, and somatic coach. She holds a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integrative Studies, a Master Somatic Coach certificate from the Strozzi Institute, and an Advanced Somatics and Trauma degree from Generative Somatics.

A member of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, she has taught body wisdom, resilience training, sexuality, and trauma education through a number of institutes, including the Global Gratitude Alliance’s Safe Embrace Trauma Healing (SETH) program, Sonoma State University, Marin City College, Wellesley College, Julia Morgan School for Girls, and Holden High. Charna has also given staff and volunteers “grounding” instructions when supporting suicidal and sexually abused youth at LYRIC, a LBTQQ youth center in San Francisco; led ongoing embodied sexuality workshops for women and provided trainings on the impact of sexual abuse at CUAV (Community United Against Violence).

She’s written and performed a number of satirical and autobiographical monologues about healing from trauma, and her short story, “SOS,” appeared in the anthology Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Routledge, 2014).  Articles she has written have been featured online on,,, as well as quoted as an expert in articles in Oprah magazine,,, and Charna has also been featured on Rachel Kaplan’s The Feeling Healing Shit Show, Mark Walsh’s The Embodiment Podcast, and Mind Body Radio. 

Born in Nepal and raised in Los Angeles, she’s the voice and creator of LaidOpen, a podcast dedicated to helping trauma survivors gain sexual freedom through real-life stories, wisdom from experts, and practical exercises. Charna lives with her dog Toshi in a magical Oakland oasis, where she’s often found on her yoga mat, in a dance class, or hiking in the Oakland Hills. The Authentic Yes: 6 Steps to Sexual Freedom is her first book.