My teachers are too numerous to name – and many of them are not easily named. Among the nameable – but not easily categorizable – are Joanna Macy and The work That Reconnects, historians Marija Gimbutas, Max Dashu, Adrienne Mayor and others for tirelessly rescuing and making available the stolen, silenced, essential threads of women's culture and wisdom; Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Marion Woodman (and so many others) for so gracefully tending to the mythology of the wild female; Starhawk, Ruth Barrett and other fierce tenders and teachers of the ancient culture of animism, magickal craft as an expression of permaculture, erotic intelligence and the Earth; Susun Griffin, Germaine Greer, Mary Daly and other elder-women who have dedicated their lives to critical 'radical' feminist thinking and have often been vilified for it; the countless devotional essayists and poets including Mary Oliver, Pattiann Rogers, Adrienne Rich, Jane Hirshfield, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Merton and more; all modern day bards who have not forgotten how to pray; Bill Plotkin and all the soul-wilderness guides of SoulCraft and Dan Siegel for his sheer brilliance in identifying and cultivating the concepts of 'mindsight' and 'interpersonal neurobiology'.
And still, most profoundly, my teachers have been the other-than-human ones who have nurtured my own radical theosophy; those who so generously found me as a child and have remained with me throughout my life. The Wild has been, and continues to be, my greatest teacher and companion along with my lineage grandmothers and grandfathers, the ancient vibrantly well ones from whom I descend, whose brilliance I carry as a woven braid of care and ferocity for the wellness of the Earth and all its beings. The Earth grandmothers and grandfathers, the ancient elemental feminine, masculine and those beautiful ones who cannot be categorized (as none of us should), whose difficult and noble path is to walk the liminal lines, the in-between lines, the neither-this-or-that lines. It is the most beautiful act of nobility to stay true to our essential nature when, all around us, is a violence to conform, fall asleep, become small by forgetting who we are and thereby to become an unwitting adversary to Life. We are all indebted to the ones who remain awake and to those who are courageously waking up.
While I have been a psychotherapist since 1992, I have also spent considerable time in the worlds of business, entrepreneurship, high-technology, non-profit and political activism. I am not interested in conformity and my life reflects this. After flunking out of the 4th grade, getting kicked out of prep school and never graduating from high school, I received my BA, Cum Laude, in 1987 from Simon’s Rock of Bard College and my MSW in 1992 from Smith College’s, School for Social Work. In 2010 I became a Somatic Sex Educator and Certified Sexological Bodyworker.
In between those degrees I was an AIDS activist, a grant writer and an Assistant Vice President in a Fortune 100 Venture Capital firm. In 1993 I received my LICSW. Since then my desire to be of service to a thing larger than our beleaguered human culture has moved me ever-more off the map of traditional hierarchical talk therapy. In 2007 I gave up my clinical license so I can attend to more of the layers and threads of our human wounding; a wounding of disembodiment and shame, of alienation from the wild around and within us, and the primary intelligence that lives there, and a dumbing-down of our erotic intelligence (which, to me, does not refer to our sexuality but rather to the intelligence that guides all Life).
In my current practice I do not call myself a ‘therapist’. It is part of the mission of my work that we restructure psychotherapy and all forms of bodywork to include the entire body, in all its generative intelligent and wild capacities. That we allow that this work include the body in ways that are somatic and hands-on, as well as many other things. Yes, this is dangerous and given the way we currently train therapists to be with, and hold, the extraordinary experiences of, the clients who come to them, we, as a profession, do not have the capacity to hold the wild and tender nature of this work. Some radical 'reclamation practitioners' do have this skill, however. And it is my belief that those who do must work visibly - taking great risk - to insist that psychotherapy radically shift how it both trains its professionals (and holds them ethically, socially and culturally accountable to the individual and planetary healing ) and how it works with the individuals, couples and family systems who come to us.
I work as a guide in the landscapes of masculine and feminine, soul, myth, sexuality and intimacy as individuals, couples and communities re-wild themselves and each other. I accompany people in their excavation and exploration of the unique story that lives within each of us, without which the world will not be whole. It is my experience that the souls of individuals and couples are the intimate interface between the isolated experience of being human and the mystery of the larger world, to whom we belong, from which we come. Our souls speak a first language, one which is indigenous to all life. Remembering this language is the key to self love, to our purpose, our passion and our power. It is also, at this point, the key to our human survival and perhaps to much of the current expression and diversity of life on this planet.
I am the founder and current Executive Director of the OneWoman Movement/OneWomanRadio & Global Culture of Women, nonprofit organizations working to resurrect and celebrate women’s wisdom, voice and leadership which dismantles Patriarchy.
I am also an ancestral healing and wholing practitioner, though the work is typically not a separate event from any other work I do with people. As I have experienced ancestral work, it is activism of the most intimate and cultural kind. In my experience, one of the most powerful tactics of the global culture of Patriarchy is that it has alienated us from our belonging - belonging to the Earth and belonging to our people – and the power, intelligence and fierce dedication to purpose that comes from this belonging. We have been orphaned and made to fear, resent and belittle this fundamental and essential belonging. In my experience, ancestral lineage healing work is one of two primary steps in waking up and coming home to the primary relationship we have with the Life, with the Earth and with our people - human and otherwise.