My Professional Journey
My life practice of intellectual and philosophical inquiry, and spiritual seeking began more than 35 years ago. I was influenced, inspired and educated by five years of study and work in India and East Asia. The experience broadened my worldview of cultures and systems, and the effects they have on our lives—both for our betterment, or to our detriment. Today, through my years of diverse experience between then and now, I bring a grounded maturity, openness and wisdom to those seeking help.
Early influence came through my work in state government and the private sector as a communications specialist and lobbyist. Though I had a successful career in corporate leadership, I decided to follow a deeper calling, and pursued a career in psychology and coaching.
During this transformative period, I received a master’s degree in psychology, a master’s in humanities with an emphasis on women’s studies, and a doctorate degree in clinical and transpersonal psychology. I also continued to study the origins and practices of eastern philosophy and spirituality. The combination of these studies shaped my counseling and coaching style.
While recovering from a life-threatening illness, the time and space I had allowed me to delve into my core values once again. It was during that time of restful retreat, deep introspection, and healing that I decided to switch directions from the constrictive diagnosis and pathology model of clinical psychology, to the more wellness-oriented practice of life coaching.
In Service to Community Wellness
An important part of my spiritual practice is using my knowledge and skills to serve my community.
I’ve had the privilege of counseling mothers who are struggling to provide a safe environment for their children in impoverished areas.
I’ve taught Mandarin Chinese to adults and children wanting to establish a deeper connection to their East Asian roots, and English as a Second Language to Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees for five years. As a lecturer at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan ROC, I taught English and cultural values to future college teachers.
In 1993, I was given the McInroy-Sheffer People Trust’s Health Practitioner of the Year Award for meeting high standards of excellence in serving Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians, one of the highlights of my 20 year commitment to teaching yoga and 6 years of practicing shiatzu.
I have offered bereavement counseling groups at the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Kara, and Pathways Home Health & Hospice. I hold the group wherever there is need for people to come together and share their grief. Each participant in my groups is supported in their journey through grief in a nurturing, contained, and attuned environment.
If giving back to your community, volunteering your time, or supporting a cause is something you’d like to pursue, I’d be happy to help you find ways of integrating these positive experiences into your busy schedule.
An Inspired Education
In addition to my degrees in psychology, humanities, women’s studies, and Indology, I am a certiﬁed Professional Yoga teacher, registered with Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT 500 level.
I have been a practitioner and teacher of vipassana and shamata meditation since 1991. I completed training as a Zen Shiatsu therapist based on Five Element Theory and the Taoist system of Yin and Yang with Carolee Parker in Philadelphia.
My spiritual growth into Theravada Buddhism has led me to practice and study with some of the most revered western teachers of that tradition. With an integrative, meditative, respectful approach, and informed from many traditions, I have brought Yoga and contemplative practices to corporations, hospitals, yoga studios, bereavement centers, colleges, universities and community centers both here and on the East coast for over twenty years.
A New approach to Grief
Through a combination of my spiritual and professional practices, I created a methodology for grief that is know as Easing Your Journey Through Grief.
While working on my doctorate, I participated in a clinical practicum at a bereavement center where I counseled people who were deeply affected by grief and loss. The center offered clients a conventional group experience in which they could share the death event, do talk therapy, socialize, and get group/community support. It struck me that, while the groups were helpful, they did not include a focus on the body — the very place where grief lives.
As a long-time yoga practitioner and teacher, I knew that grief and stress can cause physical pain in addition to emotional pain, and created a new group protocol. This protocol combines yoga movement, breath work, meditation, and sharing, along with conventional psychological methods, to form a program that fully addresses the body and mind. My research, as well as a large collection of client testimonials, has shown that this combination is particularly effective in working through loss of all kinds.
If I sound like a good fit for your needs, please contact me to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation. I'd love to speak with you!