I am grateful that in my life, my work path and my personal growth path have become one. Over the years, I've integrated interests to find and create ways to work with people that combine my passion for science with my affinity for the inner life.
I began with a Master's degree in English Literature and Certification in Secondary Education. After teaching high school for five years, I became a licensed massage therapist in 1981 and started a private practice. At the same time, I was doing peer counseling and feeling frustrated that I couldn't somehow address the body and the emotions at the same time.
After a long search for an effective mind/body modality, I found Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement. Little did I know, at first, that my training would get me embodied enough to heal from my own trauma of being the child of Armenian genocide survivors. My healing process was supported by taking trainings at the Person-Centered Expressive Arts Institute.
In 1996 I became certified as a Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner, and four years later as an Introductory Workshop Teacher. In 2010, I was certified as a Bodywork Teacher, and I am currently on staff at the Rosen Method Open Center as a Certified Senior Bodywork Teacher.
Teaching and writing never left my blood. In 1989, I began offering classes in personal essay at Writers & Books, Rochester's literary center. All of my published works are creative nonfiction. Over the years, I've developed many courses, including those in Nature Writing, Leaving a Legacy, and most recently, Memoir: The Surprise Story of Your Life.
In 2004, I was awarded the Teacher of Adults Award for the Creation and Appreciation of Literature.
My latest exciting development is merging the healing that goes on with bodywork with the profound changes that happen for people in my writing classes. I was surprised to find a body of research demonstrating physiological and emotional healing coming from the very techniques of good narrative writing.
I've facilitated Writing to Heal classes at various venues: battered women's shelters, rape crisis centers, a breast cancer support organization, continuing education for adults and private classes. Creating a safe space comes easily to me, as does working with diverse groups and asking the right questions.