Archive for March 8th, 2012

Our academic community was silenced today by the news of Jeanne Achterberg, professor, researcher, mentor, scientist, and visionary, died yesterday at the young age of  almost 70.  To see her actual age in black and white and then to think about this legendary woman, I am astonished… there is always a disconnect for me for someone like Jeanne is appears so young, is so wise, and has such a long and fruitful career.

Jeanne had a ageless wisdom and gentleness about her as well as a sharp mind and extraordinary passion for healing.

Dr. Don Moss, professor of Mind/Body Medicine at Saybrook University had this to say about his mentor, friend, and colleague:  Jeannie Achterberg was a pioneer in mind-body medicine and complementary medicine. Early in her career, Jeannie collaborated with O. Carl Simonton, studying the quality of imagery in cancer patients. She was able to show that features in the imagery predicted the course of the illness. Since that time, she has championed the role of imagery in healing, the role of the mind and spirit in healing, and the shamanic role of the healer. Jeannie went on to serve in the Office of Alternative Medicine, co-chairing the panel on mind-body interventions. The OAM grew into NCCAM, the home of complementary and alternative medicine within NIH. She is also a past president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.

Other sites share these accomplishments:

  • Jeanne Achterberg was a Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University, a research consultant and a board member of many foundations. She also provided training in the use of mind/body therapies for health care professionals in Europe, Japan, Argentina, and to refugees in Kosova and Macedonia. She has authored over 100 papers and five books, including Imagery in Healing, Woman as Healer and Rituals of Healing. Lightning at the Gate, the story of her personal healing journey, was published in 2001. She was a Senior editor for the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine‘.
  • In collaboration with 5 large academic institutions (U. Wash, U. HI, UC Irvine, UCLA, Oxford,) Jeannie looked at the parts of the brain activated in the receiver when senders utilized different types of energetic processes.  With Qi Gong, the dominant area impacted was anterior cingulate cortex.  With Healing Touch, it was posterior cingulate cortex.  With Vibrational Sound Healing it was the left temporal lobe and left cerebellum.
    • These preliminary studies indicate a huge opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of the physical impact of different energetic processes.  Such findings will help decrease fear and disbelief, and increase respect and recognition for such traditional, yet unconventional practices of healing.

I never got to work with Jeanne on a class but I have countless friends who were mentored by Jeanne in their classes, theses, and dissertations.  I enjoyed participating in workshops with her and just being in her healing presence was a true honor.  The world should be sad for losing such an amazing soul that spent such a long career understanding healing and making strides in a number of disciplines as she did learned.

I am in awe of her pioneering spirit and her leadership as a strong female academic, healer, and scholar.

She has a lovely CD of a guided Vision Quest that I have on my Ipod.  I haven’t listened to it in a while and I think this weekend I will spend some time with it, to honor Jeanne and her life’s work and all that she brough to her students and peers at our school.

Jeanne, we honor your bravery for living life with illness, for making it your life’s work to understand healing, to be there as a role model for strong women in the role of an academic, a healer, and a community wise woman.  Your work lives on through all of those who you touched and we thank you for your guidance in our lives.

Be at peace.

(She also has an incredible 6 cd set on intentional healing from sounds true if you are interested in learning more about intentional healing, ritual, mind/body medicine, etc.  (link below).

Links to sites where you can find her books, cds, and audiobooks:




An interview with Jeanne…


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English: Broken Heart symbol

Image via Wikipedia

Excerpt From:  Don’t Take Away My Grief, From Doug Manning

            No one can say how long your grief will last.  No one can say how long your grief should last.  You will walk through the process in your own way and on your own schedule.  In general, we need to allow at least two years to go through the whole grieving process.  If it takes more time, that does not mean you are weak or that you are wallowing in your grief.  You will move at your own pace.

Right now two years sounds impossible.  Thinking you might hurt this badly for two years is not

comforting at all.  You will not be in solid pain for the entire time.  The pain changes in intensity almost moment by moment.  It ebbs and flows like the ocean tides.

It is important that folks know how long grief lasts.  Most of our friends (and even some professionals) will think that it lasts about three months.  If they have been through grief they will know better, but those who have not experienced grief may begin to pressure us to forget our grief.  After about three months you may hear:  “It is time to put the past behind you;” “It is time to get on with your life;” “It is time to stop talking about your loved one.”

Give yourself time to walk through the whole process.  Getting permission from others is difficult.

Giving permission to ourselves is even harder.

Don’t let anyone “It is time” you.  Don’t “It is time” yourself.

How long? 

As long as it takes.

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So happy to read this after a weekend of reading theories that suggest that grief should normally regress into the background of our lives within 6 months…. who makes up these rules??????

Memory Bears by Bonnie

~Don’t let someone tell you when to stop grieving. Are they walking in your shoes? Do they feel your pain? Do they know the depths of your loss? Are they you?

As much as someone cares about you and wants to help in your time of loss, they are not you. It is impossible for anyone but you to know the intensity of your pain or the depth of your love.

Someone can be there for you, support you through those early days of loss, and assist you with activities of daily living that may not matter to you at the time.

One thing they cannot do is own your grief for it is yours alone. Grief, like love, is a personal emotion and only you know the depth of it. Grief is an expression of love.~

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