SoulCollage® Community Update
November 2018
Underserved: Where I Use My SoulCollage® Scholarship
 By Katherine L. Ziegler, PhD
 

In December 2012, Seena Frost and Mariabruna Sirabella graciously gave me a needed price break, to support my work with underserved populations, to attend their northern-California workshop on unbalanced, destructive forces in the world at large,. I had recently moved to the Oakland/Berkeley area and was in the process of re-establishing my private psychotherapy practice here. I had long been drawn to this area's wonderfully rich and diverse culture. I had long wanted to know more people of color, especially African-Americans, because of my growing sense that the white-dominant communities where I'd spent most of my life were missing out, and because I wanted in some small way to help counterbalance local African-Americans' centuries of intentional and systematic oppression and exclusion.
Friendship by Katherine Ziegler

I Am One Who knows the joys of friendship.


In fact, I arrived for the workshop (at a small, quiet Catholic retreat center) with an urgent desire to find some way I might help with the appalling degree of murderous violence and racial hostility, contempt, mistrust, and debased lives that prevailed especially in Oakland. The few African-Americans I was getting to know, as clients or as neighbors, had been affected by racial tensions even as middle-class professionals.

Our first assignment was to make a Protector card. As Mariabruna pointed out, the world's quantum of unwanted, destructive emotions and actions is usually much bigger and stronger than an individual's, so hefty protection helps. I first made an Inner Husband card, feeling the need for a safe, stable sense of home base and wise balance within:







Inner Husband 1 by Katherine Ziegler

(African Farmer) I used to poach protected animals to survive. Now, thanks to government assistance, I have the dignity of keeping my own goats and farming for my village. (Paleontologist, black hat) I have built a solid career in higher education around my fascination with buried remnants of our distant past. People say I Am attractive; if that helps some students get interested in my science, OK. (Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club)
I Am a sweet, honest, politically astute family man with a good head for business, who has always loved the natural world and so feels responsible to protect it. This is my life's calling.


Inner Husband 2 by Katherine Ziegler

I Am a Brahmin; I worship the supreme, ultimate, eternal reality of all existence. My spiritual practice is the most important aspect of my life. I Am
open and willing to share a meal with my neighbors of other caste, though so far it has not happened.

The Inner Husband 1 card showed me that while feeling frantic and desperate, I was not going to be able to help anyone, especially not when confronting a complex, centuries-old issue. It helped me calm down and settle in for the long haul of learning. A year or so later, I saw a photo of a Brahmin man in an Indian village and knew at once that this was an even more important aspect of my "inner husband." So I added him to the card (see Inner Husband 2 above )

Another big takeaway from that 2012 workshop came from an image (among the many available to us) that kept powerfully attracting me, even though I saw it as completely irrelevant to the somber reality I was facing: Michelle Obama, one eloquent forefinger pointed at her husband's chest, is telling someone just off camera something slightly embarrassing about him. He looks down, abashed but laughing.

This heart-lifting photo spoke volumes to me about the security of their love for each other and the admirable emotional flexibility of a man able to admit truth, laugh at himself, overcome heavy societal odds, and marry a strong woman. To my desperation about the urgent needs of African-Americans, the Obamas brought the lightness of loving support, good-natured humor, and a secure and right-sized ego (whatever his shortcomings in an impossibly difficult job) at the helm of our nation.

Then the Affordable Care Act went into effect and brought me a steady stream of low-income clients -- many of color -- for several years. I found SoulCollage® really useful. For instance, a beautiful Latina, born male, had lived as a woman for years; she had been bullied and abused since adolescence, was depressed, and wondered why she lacked self-confidence. She was startled when a magazine image of a magnificent moose answered this question, in a deep bass voice she said she actually heard: "Because you don't love yourself." She made and consulted SoulCollage® cards that encouraged her to be herself without the trappings of heavy make-up, to relax and accept her own nature and worth, and to come to terms with her "dark, greedy, angry, vengeful" side on her journey to living as a more "positive, loving, caring, warm, feminine, beautiful" person.

With a severely agoraphobic, chronically physically ill and depressed African-American woman (who continued to suffer multiple traumas, in her dangerous neighborhood, throughout our 16 months of therapy and survived on public assistance), nothing I tried worked. When I introduced SoulCollage®, she made a card depicting "everything I'm afraid of." Her Protector card showed a baby -- "they're the only ones who will never hurt you" -- between two resting lions. Asked to make a card showing people who are not afraid to go out, she made two: a young black girl dancing joyfully with friends on a city sidewalk, and three African-American boys playing jump-rope in a park -- "they're enjoying their friendship." Later she told me she had placed her Protector card on a stand above her (dry) 55-gallon fish tank, "My memory tank, full of obituary booklets of my family" and other keepsakes.

Shortly after, she was finally granted disability payments and braved the move to a quiet town in another state. On follow-up a year later, she was feeling more at peace and had even tried working again. And the fish tank? "There's fish in there now."

Over the years, I've become more deeply involved in my community and made more local friends, including African-Americans, and yes, shared meals with many! I have been amazed at the sense of feeling unwanted in this country that is quietly expressed by black men and women who seem to enjoy all the respect, career and personal appreciation, and rewards our culture offers. This has expanded my sense of what it means to be underserved; it includes all people whose lives have been crimped and eroded by a money- and power-centered culture.

One black woman attended a workshop whose theme was Hate. An amiable, well-educated woman who had long worked in a stable and lucrative industry and had a happy family and many staunch, admiring friends, she wept nevertheless while consulting her cards:

I Am a person who lives in a culture where there is no room for her. There is no door that is intended for me to access everything that this culture says is good. [...] I'm a person who believes that my position of strength is that you don't know me. What I show you is just what you need to see for me to have access. [...] I am lonely in this. I hate that I have to do this.

I Am One Who hates how my people are treated in this culture -- the fact that from the very beginning, the intent was cruelty and exploitation, and the fact that today, nothing has changed --[...] cruelty and exploitation [are] built in to the culture and the system. I hate the fact that, knowing that, I am asked to participate in the system as if I didn't know this....

I don't hate anyone, I hate the circumstance. And I hate the tacit attitude that people have about it, like it wasn't a thing. 

Her third card showed a battlefield, a full graveyard. Her anguish goes far beyond race to distress about the plight of all Americans. 
 
And I hate how we as a nation hold violence as a badge of courage against exploitation. And it's really about plunder and greed, and I hate that. The really interesting part is that the riches we get from this accrue to a small handful of folks. I hate that in the name of freedom, we perpetrate these acts of violence to enrich someone. I hate that.

The others in the workshop, all white, supported her completely. I was afraid, though, that her great distress with the topic might put her off SoulCollage® forever. But the next time I saw her, at a dinner at a local multi-racial church, she said before I asked, "I loved that! It was a wonderful experience." She has since told many people about SoulCollage®

Now I'm conducting, at this church's request, a grief group using SoulCollage® and am in talks with a network of caregivers, many of whom are African-American, about providing SoulCollage® for them on a regular basis. That 2012 scholarship has helped with two important aspects of my life's calling; I am very grateful.

Katherine L. Ziegler, PhD (CA Lic#PSY11596), a psychologist for 30+ years, conducts a psychotherapy and coaching practice in San Leandro, CA and leads SoulCollage® workshops in locations around the Bay Area. More information: www.selfawarelife.com and www.soulcollage.com.




It's so convenient to have your cards at the ready and on your phone or iPad. No matter where you are, you can pull cards, do readings and save your readings with notes for future reference.

SoulCollage® Card Box with Card-Making Supplies

These handmade boxes are made to fit your 5" x 8" SoulCollage® cards and can be collaged or decorated beautifully. They are lined with midnight blue flocking to cradle your cards' edges. They will hold up to 75 cards, depending on the collaged thickness of the cards and whether or not you use the plastic sleeves.

 From the SCU Archives

New Facilitators Speak: Stories From the Training 
In the June, 2015 SCU, Jen Patterson, Kathryn Bernardino, and Dave Room described their experiences before, during, and after their Facilitator Training.

Want to take the Facilitator Training?

Purchase and download this recorded video course  - - Fundamentals of SoulCollage® with Kat Kirby - - to start your SoulCollage® deck or to prepare for the Facilitator's Training.

You will receive an overview of SoulCollage®: the Suits, Transpersonal Cards, history of the process, and examples and discussions. A 16-page handout to be used for your own SoulCollage® practice is included as well as two videos and two audio files of the interactive course. The Fundamentals of SoulCollage® course is a pre-requisite for the SoulCollage® Training.
if Trainings are listed as " FULL", please connect with Trainers to  be put on  
the waiting list for a particular Training or a mailing list for future Trainings.
  
November 22-25, 2018  -  Laura Liu
HONG KONG in Mandarin  - CLICK HERE FOR INFO
November 29-December 2, 2018  - Kat Kirby, M.Ed., ATR-BC
USA Arizona  (Scottsdale) Franciscan Renewal Center in English - 2KatStudios
 - THIS TRAINING IS NOW FULL - EMAIL FOR WAITING LIST  
January 24-27, 2019 -  Laura Liu 
TAIWAN (Taipei) in Mandarin  - CLICK HERE FOR INFO
February 14-17, 2019 -  Mariabruna Sirabella
USA   California  (San Juan Bautista) St. Francis Retreat Center in English - INFO & REGISTRATION  
February 14-17, 2019 -  Chantel Zimmerman
USA   California (Los Angeles - Encino) in English - INFO & REGISTRATION  
March 14-17, 2019 - Catherine Anderson 
USA North Carolina  (Stoneville) in English -    INFO & REGISTRATION. 
March 21-24, 2019 - Mirabai Kolari
USA California  (Sonoma County) in English - INFO & REGISTRATION
March 21-24, 2019 - Mariabruna Sirabella
TAIWAN (Taipei) in English & Mandarin -  INFO & REGISTRATION
March 26-29, 2019 - Mariabruna Sirabella
USA California (Los Angeles) at the Expressive Therapies Summit  in English -  CLICK HERE FOR INFO & REGISTRATION
March 30-April 2, 2019 - Lucy Schaaphok
THE NETHERLANDS (Groesbeek) in Dutch -  INFO & REGISTRATION
April 11-14, 2019 - Kat Kirby, M.Ed., ATR-BC
USA Arizona  (Prescott) in English - 2KatStudios - INFO & REGISTRATION  
April 11-14, 2019 - Amy Rogers, MFT, ATR-BC
USA Vermont  (Burlington) Bishop Booth Conference Center (at Rock Point) in English - INFO & REGISTRATION  
April 26-30, 2019 - Marcia Chadly
USA Minnesota  (St. Paul) in English - INFO & REGISTRATION  
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*No degrees or certificates are required to attend the SoulCollage® Training. The purpose of the Training is to prepare people to share SoulCollage® with others. The pre-requisites for  the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training are your own active practice of SoulCollage® and your enthusiasm for sharing it with others, as well as taking at least one introductory SoulCollage® course, reading SoulCollage® Evolving by Seena B. Frost and listening to her CDs: Introduction to SoulCollage® and  Facilitating SoulCollage® in Groups.

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INFORMATION FOR THERAPISTS

CEs (up to 24) may be available
 for the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training 

Information on SoulCollage® as a therapeutic method:


Some SoulCollage® Facilitator Training events may be able to award CEs to LMFTs, MSWs, LPCs, nurses and psychologists  in many states (but if so, only by pre-arrangement with your SoulCollage® Trainer.) Please inquire about the availability of CEs for a particular Training or a particular license or a particular state by writing to your Trainer. Most Trainings offer them, but not all.
Before attending a Training, we want you to read SoulCollage® Evolving by Seena B. Frost, to have a SoulCollage® basic workshop experience with a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator or listen to a recorded class  Fundamentals of SoulCollage®, make some cards, do the exercise, " I Am One Who...", with your cards and do some SoulCollage® Readings, letting your cards answer at least one of your questions.