I have been a “mental-health professional” for over thirty years, licensed as a Marriage and Family therapist, a certified Child Psychoanalyst, and a Research Psychoanalyst. After giving birth to four daughters—now grown and the mothers of our five grandchildren—I returned to UCLA to complete my B.A. in intellectual history, followed that with an MA and a Ph.D. in Social-Clinical Psychology (Wright Institute, LA,1982), after which I earned a second Ph.D. in Psychoanalytic Child Psychotherapy (Reiss-Davis Child Study Center, 1984). My husband and I founded the Canyon Psychotherapy and Counseling Group in Santa Monica-Pacific Palisades, where we lived and practiced, focusing on children from two to eighteen years of age, together with their families. When our marriage began to suffer from power struggles between two-strong-minded professional therapists who did not know how to truly listen to each other, so determined were we to cross the bridge and try to “fix” or “save” the other, we were advised to attend the Imago Couples Workshop, “Getting the Love You Want”—an experience that not only changed our relationship, it changed the course of our lives and careers.
We were so taken in our personal lives by the power of the Imago dialogues and processes which we were incorporating into our marriage, and which, not incidentally, were having a powerful impact on our growing children, that we decided to get trained in Imago Relationship Therapy so that we could help couples in our practice. After getting certified as Imago Therapists, we undertook the training to become Certified Imago Workshop Presenters, eventually traveling throughout the Southwest US, Southern and Northern California, as well as in Mexico and Central Coast of California, presenting the Workshop for Couples, the Workshop for Individuals, as well as our Private Intensive for Couples, in beautiful resorts in such places as Santa Fe, Sedona, San Diego, San Francisco, and in Mexico (Palace Resorts).
From my many years of working with children and sharing the experience of trauma visited upon children who survive divorces, I have been blessed to be able to assist in the re-birth of passion, compassion and love in many marriages and thereby do my part in saving children from that trauma, and my little part in making the world a safer—because more compassionate—place for families to thrive, not just survive.
In addition to doing coaching and therapy with Couples, I have a life-long passion for myth, literature, poetry, and symbol, having written a dissertation that examined how creative therapists call upon the imaginal to gain deeper insight into their patients. What I discovered in the many therapists I interviewed for this project—as well as in myself—is that when both therapist and patient open to the imaginal (in poems, songs, myths, and symbols that are rumbling around in the minds and imaginations), these imaginal pieces can become very healing, helping the patient penetrate deep into the unconscious, uncovering old narratives and stories that might have been blocking a person’s development, and when opened up and told, can also become empowering aids to self discovery and growth (“The Therapist’s Use of Mental Imagery,” Diss. Wright Institute, Los Angeles, 1982). I have also completed a Master’s Degree in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute (near Santa Barbara, CA), and an all-but-dissertation doctorate in that subject.
My husband and I founded a non-profit organization, the Center for Consciousness Studies and Transformational Learning, whose mission is to take our Dialogue for Couples from the nuclear and intimate realm of coupleship out into the wider world of communities, corporations, schools and learning centers, calling it now “Communologue,” and leading, showing, guiding, larger groups in the ways of having conversations that matter in an atmosphere of sharing and listening to one another as “brothers and sisters under the skin”—respecting diversity and cultural differences, without rancor, competitiveness, or any “Us-versus-Them” syndromes. (For more information about this project see: www.center4consciousness-transformational learning.org).
Please also see my personal Inner Paths website where my work goes into deeper on a personal level.