Ursula has a broad, multi-disciplinary background. She is a Washington State Certified Counselor using cognitive and non-cognitive approaches, drawing on Humanist, Buddhist, Indigenous and Eco- psychology. Ursula is also a licensed East Asian Medical practitioner and Certified Cranio-sacral Therapist. She grew up Catholic and has decades of formal training in Zen Meditation as well as a background in Native American spiritual traditions.
We are blessed to live in such wonderful creation, which gives life to all. I see my life's work as an effort to align myself skillfully with the web of life in beauty, gratitude and generosity. In particular, I feel called to work with resistance (in myself, in my clients, in community and in the earth) in ways that allows resistance to dissolve so that the energy can reunite with the web of life.
Water is an inspiration for me in this work and many beings in the spirit world support me. Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion, who hears the cries of the people of the world, is my ally. I am deeply grateful and devoted to her as she teaches me to befriend all – within and without.
I am lucky to have so clearly felt the calling for this type of work, and to be able to follow the call, sometimes through an amazing form of bodywork called Cranio-sacral Therapy. My greatest joy is witnessing the moments when a person connects to their source and expresses their own essence, and thus is woven elegantly and purposefully into the web of life.~ Ursula
The common thread in Ursulas life has been her work with people. Early in her career, she worked in the field of book publishing, supporting writers and helping connect them with booksellers and readers. After fifteen years in the world of writers and books, she felt compelled to find work that would allow her to interact more intimately with others.
This desire led her to pursue a degree in counseling. Through years of working as a counselor in private practice and for the city of Zurich, she learned that she could not access her clients fully through talking and conversation; there was a significant aspect of the person that she was not able to address with counseling skills alone. This discovery led her to the field of bodywork. Shortly after receiving certification in Massage, she began her study of Cranio-sacral work with Hugh Milne, Founder and Director of the Milne Institute. She found that this work deeply resonated with her core beliefs and values because of the focus on caring for rather than fixing, development rather than results, experience-based knowledge and wisdom, connection rather than separation, and the whole person rather than their problems. [...more...]
After having taken only the first few cranial classes, Milne, recognizing Ursulas natural talent and aptitude for the work, asked her to assist him in teaching his classes. During this time, Hugh taught her more than she could have ever dreamed. Eventually she became one of the core instructors for the Milne Institute, teaching all the classes in Europe as well as in the US for over 6 years, before leaving to develop her own Cranio-sacral program.
Eventually, her desire for a medical paradigm within which to better understand the human body ~ its structure, function, and disease processes ~ led her to pursue a degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Again, because this healing modality is ancient, holistic, energetic, and effective, she found it deeply resonated with her core beliefs. After being awarded a Master's in Acupuncture, she sought specialty training in Pediatric Acupuncture and Toyo Hari Japanese Acupuncture (a treatment where needles are not inserted into the skin).
Over the years, Ursula has acquired many "tools" that she draws on in her work with patients. She is an Acupuncturist, Cranio-sacral practitioner, and Counselor and enjoys using all of these skills, sometimes in conjunction with one another.
In addition to her education and training, Ursulas fifteen-year Zen meditation practice has had a tremendous influence on how she thinks about health and well-being, and has deeply informed her approach to treatment and teaching. She believes that her work would not even be possible without the grounding and deepening effect of the Zen teachings, the rejuvenating benefits of regular sitting and meditation retreats, and the support from her teachers and peers.
Although born in Switzerland and raised Catholic, Ursula has spent many years living in different parts of the world and interacting with people of varied backgrounds and ways of relating to the world. Through these experiences, Ursula was exposed to many different beliefs, forms of faith and spirituality, lifestyles, and socioeconomic situations. She did volunteer work in Africa and healing work in Asia. She learned different languages and traveled by foot, donkey, horse, train, boat, bus, and airplane to many places. All of these rich experiences have deeply impacted every part of her being and shaped who she is today. Her ability to be open and appreciative of our differences and our similarities serves her greatly as she works with clients and students to see and integrate their more challenging and contradictory sides.
From a very young age, Ursula was encouraged to teach by friends and family but was not drawn to the models of teaching she was exposed to at that time, as they mainly involved the dissemination of information. However, once she became a counselor and started facilitating courses in personal development, she discovered an approach to education where the educator's primary role was to create and hold the space in which others could develop and grow. She has taught courses in the field of personal development for many years.
In 1996, once she became proficient in Cranio-sacral work, she started teaching it in Switzerland and the United States and launched her Cranio-sacral Certification Program in January 2002. Though academic information is a significant component of all of her classes, her greatest joy is supporting students as they master and embody this sophisticated therapy and discover their own creative ways of understanding and applying it.
More recently, Ursula began to experience a profound yearning for ways to more fully expand her own heart. This path lead her to Deena Metzger, poet, Shaman, and medicine woman, with whom she has studied intensively for the past five years. This powerful healing work has helped Ursula anchor a long sought sense of true belonging to American soil and launched her into a deep contemplation of what health and healing really mean. Out of this contemplative work, involving writing, traveling, meditation, dreaming, and working with spirits and ancestors, she has come to understand that the need for healing extends beyond the individual to include the community, the earth and all of its creatures. She has become a vital part of a vibrant healing community in Seattle called Daré, with branches all over the country. (Daré is a Shona a tribe native to Zimbabwe - word that best translates as 'council'. It is a community of people who focus on right relation to everything and work toward healing of the individual, the community, and all creation).