Since mindfulness is such an important potent force in psychotherapy and many fields now, here is a condensed version of my history which includes this background.
"Studying" began for me in the Zen tradition in 1983 which included meditation and koan practice, many times in long retreats in the remote mountains of Asia. I also practiced Tibetan Buddhism and in 1999, Vipassana meditation. These meditation practices are the basis for the forms of what we know today as "mindfulness" or "mindfulness meditation".
In 1997, I started studying empathy practices based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Since then in 1999 and 2007, I attended four International Ten day Trainings (ITT) with Marshall Rosenberg the founder of NVC. I eventually taught these practices in San Quentin and Cornell Corrections in San Francisco.
Before I was ever certified for state mediation and studied work place mediation, I was called to my very first mediation which involved people who I was told would kill each other if I did not come right away. Thankfully, instead, they hugged after a two hour session. This gave me a surprising experience of the power empathy because I was in many respects early in the training of empathy.
In 2009, I took the teacher training in Mindfulness Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Bob Stahl and started John F Kennedy University (JFKU) where I completed a three year Master of Arts in Counseling, specializing in Transpersonal Psychotherapy in Holistic Studies, with cross over studies in Somatic Psychotherapy.
Before training as a therapist, I worked as a Systems Engineer, Senior Network Engineer or IT consultant designing networks, procuring equipment and installing servers, routers and firewalls at companies such as Cisco, Apple Computer, Applied Materials, California State Automobile Association and mid-sized firms. I graduated from Brown University with a BS in Electrical Engineering. During my work, I seemed to have an uncanny -- verging on the unusual -- ability to find issues, solve them and know when to move forward or not on other decisions and installations. This kind of intuition, I find useful and see in my current work with clients.
Prior to licensure, I worked at a clinic for people who are in recovery and reentry. Many of the clients serving life-sentences from San Quentin used their incarceration as a training time to change themselves. Their self-knowledge, persistence and strengths to overcome incredible odds inspired me tremendously. In addition, I've worked with K-8 students at an amazing Catholic school. The staff and principal at the school were fabulous, making it an unforgettable experience. I liked to say it was like working in heaven.
Since I long appreciated the Gottman's work, when the opportunty to add the Gottman Levels 1, 2, 3 Training, I am pleased to be a part of it. This is research-based work with John and Julie Gottman with best practices on working with marriages.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), I am delighted to express gratitude to Bob Shelby, my main Supervisor for four years. He presented a settled calm and I enjoyed very much working with him. He provided an environment which was truly conducive to my growth. I also appreciate other supervisors who were instrumental in supporting me grow or helped me along the way.
All of these experiences give a depth to my practice and inform my work in collaborative relationships with my clients. May you enjoy bright illumination on your journey.
Whole Heart Awareness Coaching & Psychotherapy © 2012
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