The central interest I bring to my life and my work is the power and potential for transformation. I believe that our lives are what we make them, and we have the ability – either innate or learned – to make our lives filled with compassion for ourselves and others, happiness, and a deep and enduring sense of fulfillment.
Of course, difficulties are a part of everyone’s life, and I have come to see that the key to shifting the perceptions of our experience – and our experience itself – is learning how to look at the difficulties in our life with inquiry and curiosity rather than with judgment and fear.
Our difficulties have profound value to us, and when we can move toward them and investigate them with a benign, curious interest, they reveal gems that are the seedlings of change. They are our turning points, the fulcrums of change and transformation.
I come to this way of understanding experience through a great deal of professional training, and from my own experience of difficulties. I benefitted greatly from psychotherapy, and at a time of particular stress, I was introduced to meditation – not at all knowing much about it – during a 10-day retreat led by Ruth Denison, the renowned Buddhist teacher. Unexpectedly, I found a profound opportunity for support and awareness through meditation, and I began a life-long practice that has defined my life ever since including daily practice and regular retreats led by most of the leading Insight (Vipassana) teachers.
Body awareness is an essential component of our lived experience. For decades I have worked deeply with the body/mind connection in order to assist clients, with multi-modality interventions, integrate and make congruent their body, thoughts, emotions and spirit. This integration and transformation is the core of what I offered during my 9 years at Duke Integrative Medicine, and now in the Triangle community.
My professional training includes a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University with additional training in Mind/Body Therapy and the Expressive Arts. Since 1998, I have been in private psychotherapy practice in Durham, North Carolina. I have been a Mind/Body Psychotherapist at Duke Integrative Medicine from 2006 to 2015. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (NC#2898), Licensed Bodywork Therapist (NC#01885), and a member of the North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor Association, the American Counseling Association, and the Carolina Group Psychotherapy Association. I am a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and have trained in other body energy systems and shamanic practices.
In 1995, I completed an internship in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, MA under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn. Since 1999, I have taught 45 8-week MBSR courses to groups including the Foundation Class and Graduate Classes that I have developed.
I am a graduate of the 2 ½ year Community Dharma Leader program (cdl3) sponsored by Spirit Rock Meditation Center and am Co-Founder and Guiding Teacher for Triangle Insight (triangleinsight.org), a 5 1/2-year old sangha in Durham, NC with 40-50 weekly participants. I give monthly dharma talks, hold a seat on the Board, and co-lead retreats.
I also hold a Masters in Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Still a passion during my free time, my work in cold-forged aluminum has received national attention; a piece of mine has hung in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.