I went to undergraduate school at Oneonta State, in Oneonta, NY, receiving a bachelors in Psychology, an independent study award for a research program, teaching assistantships in behavioral psychology, and was awarded a field placement at a mental health center in which she began her training as a psychotherapist. I attended Indiana - Purdue in Indianapolis, Indiana for her MSW in Family, Individual, and Group Therapy and Communications on a full scholarship with a work stipend, was the staff assistant to the family therapy professor, with a focus on family therapy, group and individual therapy, systems theory, and communication.
Later in life, I studied many forms of improvisational sound and movement therapy during my undergraduate program in Psychology at the University of Oneonta, in upstate NY, including alternative music theory and composition courses, modern dance, expressive movement, and independent studies in expressive sound therapy. I was also awarded an undergraduate field placement in a mental health setting, which is where I began studying some of the more traditional art therapies and decided to go into social work, as it was non-illness oriented and did not involve any use of drugs. During my MSW program in Social Work at Indiana - Purdue University in Indianapolis, In., I majored in family therapy, individual and group therapy, and systems communication theory, and studied family sculpting movement, sound healing, authentic movement, and improvisational movement and voice in school and in the surrounding dance and music communities in the area.
After graduate school, I chose my first MSW position in Medical Social Work as the therapeutic member of a Medical Infant and Maternal Care Unit team. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of a medical team, having been very strongly connected to hospitals for many of my early years. Much to my delight the members of our team were very open to complimentary alternative medicine, which was a huge part of why I chose the position. I was a therapist and support person for many wonderful pregnant teenage mom’s, to whom I happily taught meditation, song, and dance as methods of self-empowerment, physical and emotional healing forms, and avenues for re-claiming their spirits and personal choices in their lives. It was a truly delightful experience for all, and after a while the medical team asked me to begin teaching meditation to the staff so that we could all lower our blood pressures and learn to enjoy life more. I remember how my heart sang when one of the younger mom’s came back six months after our initial meditation session, thirty pounds lighter, (which was a goal of hers), and completely centered in her life, heart, and spiritual practice for the first time in her life. I was deeply touched by her self healing, empowerment, discipline, and dedication to spirituality after just one touchstone session... she was truly an inspiration to us all.
I stayed in Indiana for exactly nine months after graduate school in my medical social work job, ( a full term), and then proceeded to travel across the country studying communal government and various forms of sound healing, shamanism, improvisational movement, and spirituality. I eventually landed in Eugene, Oregon, which offered everything I had been seeking in the creative arts, including the best music and dance communities that I had found anywhere across the country. I found my new home for the next twenty years, and proceeded to study contact improvisation, various forms of jazz, improvisational and modern dance, and authentic movement, which I fell in love with immediately, as it was the most natural form of movement I had ever experienced, and it spoke me on all levels. I also spent many years studying voice while living in Oregon, and more fully entered the world of improvisational music. Eugene was also a tremendous musical and spiritual Mecca, and it was a wonderful place to continue my life path in shamanic sound healing. I joined an ongoing women’s authentic movement group, where we also played instruments and sang during our group sessions, and discovered my propensity for playing music on my alto recorder that everyone thought was Native American in sound and form. I had been playing improvisational meditation music on my wind instruments for healing and as a language form since childhood, but had never heard any native music before. I expanded my early childhood fascination for indigenous music, and became more aware than ever that many forms of ethnic music lived within each one of us from past lives, as well as from the universal akashic sounds that constantly float through the ethereal atmosphere through our connection with all living beings.