My formal training includes a B.S. in Psychology from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Chapman University. I received my license in 1988 and have been practicing as a psychotherapist, educator, and clinical supervisor since that time.
My post-graduate and continuing education studies are focused in the areas of jungian/depth psychotherapy, dreams, astrology, kabbalah, the western mystery traditions, shamanic healing, intuitive and energy medicine practices. I have studied with several professional groups and received both outer and inner world mentoring, apprenticeship and initiation with respected healers and teachers.
In addition to my work as a therapist and teacher, I am also an artist, creating art to wear clothing and jewelry that integrates and expresses my connection and love for nature, myth, mysticism, shamanism, spirit, and archetype. My artistic work is often an expression of my own personal healing, transformative experiences, and dream life.
Early in life I realized that I was experiencing subtle energies and was able to perceive things that other people did not seem to notice or be aware of. I took the path of many empaths who have difficulty acknowledging and mastering their gift and struggled for a long time feeling both misunderstood and isolated. My own healing path involved seeking out the knowledge, experiences, teachers and teachings that I needed in order to accept and master the gifts of empathy that I possesed.
I started my formal education with the intention of studying literature and creative writing but took a parapsychology course in my first year of college that changed my direction. In this class we explored psychology, mysticism, parapsychology, and the afterlife. It was here that I also received my first introduction to the work of Carl G. Jung and the depth/analytical psychology tradition. Completely intrigued, I changed my major to Psychology and went off inspired and hopeful, only to find that I would never hear the work of Jung mentioned again in any of my undergraduate or graduate training. When I would try to engage in any discussion or exploration around the more mystical and spiritual aspects of psychology, I was told that these things were outside of accepted practice and were not scientifically 'valid'.
Once again, I learned to hide my true interests, much as I had learned to hide my intuition and subtle perceptions growing up, and continued to study conventional psychology formally while developing an intensive 'hidden' life, studying with various mystical/occult groups beginning with Rosicrucianism and moving forward through astrology, kabbalah, and finally shamanic and energy medicine schools and practice. In my last year of graduate school, I researched and gave a presentation of Jung's 'Psychology and Alchemy', which was considered highly obscure but was tolerated as my professor, a fellow INFP (introvered-intuitive-feeling-perceptive) type, had a psychological closet life with spiritual/mystical interests as well.
I have always had an incredibly rich and profoundly mystical dream life. At a young age I was already dreaming prophetically and interacting with discarnate beings and spirits in both my dream and waking life. Conventional psychology taught me that dreams were by-products of waking events produced by the brain either completely at random or as an attempt to integrate/process experience. In my determination to make sense of what I was experiencing, I later learned many practices and traditions in which dreaming experiences are viewed as having a reality of their own. Jung termed this reality the 'objective psyche'. Kabbalists speak of the 'four worlds', a multi-dimensional map in which the material world of the body is only one possible experience in a realm of progressively more subtle layers of being with increasingly more refined vibrational resonance. Shamans learn to journey at will in consciousness to the Upper, Lower, and Middle Worlds and to become intimately familiar with the specific types of experiences and conscious beings found in each World. In conventional western psychology there is no such map of subtle, non-material worlds, therefore, it is as if they do not exist. Since much of our psychological experience and consciousness occurs in an innately and completely natural multi-dimensional way, this leaves a great deal that is unacknowledged, unrecognized, or worse, cut-off and rejected as invalid or flakey.
Through my studies, apprenticeship, and personal initiation, I have learned to sequentially master my extra-sensory, subtle energy, and multi-dimensional experiences. Integrating my own personal knowledge of the subtle realms along with exercises, practices, tools, and lifestyle choices allows me to bring a holistic, 'whole person', perspective and experience to my work as a therapist/healer and mentor. I identify and resonate strongly with the 'wounded healer' archetype central to shamanic calling and have come through the experience of my own healing to see the significant trauma and losses I was challenged with as spiritual opportunities/invitations for growth and initiation. I bring this same understanding and perspective to my work with individuals who are trying to find meaning in adverse and often overwhelming life experiences.
I learned some interesting and useful things in my formal training and education as a psychologist. For example, I learned a 'language' for describing symptoms (DSM training), the roles of 'nature vs. nurture' in the etiology of 'disorders', and the biological, socio-cultural, emotional, psychological and cognitive factors involved in addressing and reducing and/or managing symptoms. I did not learn how to 'heal' because there is no current paradigm for healing in conventional psychology. We diagnose, label, and treat symptoms. We do not have a framework for seeing those 'symptoms' outside of their biological, socio-cultural, or psychological manifestations and therefore we cannot function in the realms where 'healing' can truly occur.
Healing has always been intimately connected with Spirit. Traditionally, healing fell to the priests/priestesses and/or the shamans who were uniquely positioned to guide the patient back into right relatonship with the Divine. In the shamanic world view, all illness and disease is seen as having its root cause in a disrupted or imbalanced relationship with Spirit. In Jungian/Depth psychology we would frame this as the conscious/ego self being disconnected, disrupted, or out of balance with the Unconscious/Self. Whether we call it Spirit, or the deep Unconscious, these realms of experience transcend the individual ego and expand into our karmic past and ultimately into timeless eternity, home to both our Soul and Spirit levels of being. We need to be able to traverse and connect with those levels in order to achieve deep healing and to continue to expand into our potential, wholeness, and destiny rather than to continue to cycle in and out of repetitive imbalance with limited growth and diminished capacity for joy.
We are in a time in which we are all being 'called' to heal ourselves and our World, by addressing our own wounds and the wounds inflicted on the Mother Planet Earth that we are intimately dependent on for our sustenance. Therefore, we are all being asked to learn to be our own shaman, to be shaman to others, and and to live shamanically in an ecologically sane, sustainable and balanced way.
Healing ourselves and healing the planet go hand in hand, because you cannot heal the individual outside of the context of their environment. If the environment is sick, wounded, or out of balance, we will be as well. Every good shaman knows this. My mission is to help individuals to reconnect, joining the contemporary path of depth psychology with the ancient paths of the mystic/shamans, in order to support personal and planetary healing, growth, and evolution.
B.S., Psychology, Michigan State University
M.A., Clinical & Community Psychology, Chapman University
C.G. Jung Society of Chicago
Kabbalah Society, Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevi, Principal Tutor, London
Association for Psychological Astrology
SpiritWeavers; Path of the Heart Shamanic Training
Applied Energetics Institute; Intuitive and Energy Medicine Practitioner Training
MAIMH; Reflective Supervision Training/Certification
The Chaplaincy Institute/Tree of LIfe Teachings, Spiritual Psychology
Professional Activities and Memberships
"Fairy Tale Transformations", Summer, 2017, Altered Couture
"Tendrils and Blooms; in the Spirit of Nature", Winter 2015, Altered Couture
"Crow Mother", Winter 2015, Altered Couture
"Jailbird", Summer 2015, Altered Couture
"Old Roses", Summer 2014, Altered Couture
"Les Vieux Couleurs", Summer 2014, Altered Couture
"Textile Alchemy", Winter 2014, Altered Couture
"Spinning Straw", Winter 2014, Altered Couture