LEIGH'S STORY

Leigh, Paul, Ginger and Daisy by their stream.

I have always been interested in the mind-body connection.

After spending a few years studying many different healing modalities in Santa Cruz, CA in the 1970's, I was most attracted to the holistic approach of Oriental Medicine. I came to NYC to continue studying the Five Elements at the Ohashi Institute and was certified as an Ohashiatsu Instructor and Practitioner. This experience strengthened my passion for teaching integrated practices and the transformative power of communication through touch.

I continued my private practice as a licensed shiatsu Massage Therapist, as well as teaching stress management workshops all over the country. My lifelong interest in psychology lead me to the Hudson Valley in 1982 to study Alexander Lowen’s somatic approach to psychotherapy at the Pathwork Center in Phoenicia, NY. I settled in Phoenicia to have a family.

I knew that the job I did as a parent would be reflective of my own psychological growth. However, I was surprised at how much there was to learn! Being the oldest of four, I had cared for babies but as my own children got a little older I began to see that parenting was a lot more complicated than I imagined. I took my first parenting course in 1992!

First garden on the homestead.

In 2004 I became a certified Love and Logic® parenting facilitator. It is an international program based in Colorado, created by America’s parenting experts, Jim Fay, and Foster W. Cline, M.D. The ideas and techniques were brilliant but I still had questions about why our own habitual reactions sometimes get in the way of applying good parenting techniques.

In my search for more answers, after successfully sending my two children off to college, I studied many different parenting programs and the psychology behind them. Living in Stamford, CT, I landed on Dan Siegel’s work and everything started to make sense! For years I immersed myself in his attachment research, his Mindsight lectures and his books about the brain and what it meant to, ”Parent from the Inside Out.” For five years, I participated in a consult group with four psychologists working to integrate Dan Siegel's and other neuroscientist's teachings into our work.

I started teaching Siegel’s Mindsight practices in my parenting classes and it immediately helped parents do what they intended to do and feel much more confident and in control of their own emotional reactions and fears.

The synergy I experienced between the Feldenkrais Method Training, Dan Siegel’s Mindsight perspective and the Conscious Discipline parenting program was so exciting to me! They were all somatic practices leading to greater awareness of what we are doing, feeling and thinking.

This was a huge inspiration for the parenting programs I designed then and have taught since 2006.

I moved back to the Hudson Valley in 2014 to find a homestead with my husband, Paul.  By that time, the people that my children had grown up with were starting to have babies. My work turned toward newborns and postpartum support for parents. I found that these new parents were more concerned about parenting than ever before! There was too much conflicting information online and not enough of a tribe around to sort through it.

When Covid19 hit, I had an unexpected opportunity to fine tune my knowledge of infant motor development by taking the Child’Space training. It was developed by another Feldenkrais practitioner and can help to maximize a child’s brain to problem solve and overcome motor, social and emotional limitations. (read more about Child’Space)

Grandchildren Ethan and Eme

Paul and I found our homestead in Livingston, NY and our vision for a forest sanctuary, where families can come learn and enjoy nature, is slowly unfolding. My son, Nick and his wife Kathy live nearby and have two children. My daughter Codie and her husband Nate also live nearby. I am blessed with an amazing community and work that I love!