Counseling/Astrology/Dreamwork. Where the two seas meet


HeartWise Counseling

Welcome!  Thank you for visiting my site and being interested to learn about my practice.  I specialize in supporting others through transitions, helping them step through a gateway from an old life or way or habit of being, to a new one, and finding solid ground while doing so. Transitions are portals of time through which we reconfigure ourselves in ways we have not yet expressed, but which have been waiting patiently for us to tap into while we were busy doing ‘normal life’. Often they can be very disorienting, anxiety-provoking, and confusing. Typically, they are times when we need support.

There are many ‘classic’ times of transition: the passage into young adulthood whether post-schooling or at the Saturn return at around age 28, separation or divorce, relocation, empty nest, and loss through death or estrangement. Some of these transitions are shockingly thrust upon us.  Others we eye from a distance, perhaps resisting taking the plunge. I have walked through many such disorienting transitions myself, and have gained much insight on how to help others do same. One of the keys, I find, is learning to live from and listen to our heart. Another is deepening our relationship with self.

I have both personal and counseling experience working with a range of transition issues, including marriage, parenting, divorce, death, suicide, mental illness, physical illness, relocation, professional development and career change, the pursuit of creative practices, midlife issues, and last but certainly not least, growing a spiritual life.

In my practice I use a variety of tools and skills gleaned through my work as a counselor and as a continual seeker of connection, healing, and authenticity. My foundation rests on a 25-year meditation path which has connected me to my own sense of belonging on the planet. For accessing insight into and releasing from old blocks or traumas, I use body-mind process work methods. I also engage tools of inquiry and narrative therapy for reframing self-talk and over-active ‘story-making’. Other allies are my intuitive & practical wisdom, a compassionate heart, and my client’s willingness to participate authentically in the counseling process.

Another tool I love to use, but only with those who are interested, is astrology. Astrology is a great adjunct to counseling as a type of quickener, clarifying tendencies and potentials as a topo map describes the geography of an unknown land.  When I point to how an astrological archetype is influencing a client in a certain area of her life, she understands it more quickly than if I were to explain it in other terms. And visa versa, the power of astrology is magnified by the counseling container:  a ‘straight’ astrology reading deepens so that it is more than just the client passively listening, and becomes a process by which client and counselor together engage through intuition, feeling, body, and mind. 

Inner Maps Astrology

Astrology is an invaluable lens that helps us to better know and understand ourselves, loved ones, friends and associates, and the cycles of our lives and the world around us. Perhaps because I’ve always sought deeper understanding of  both the people and experiences in my life, I’ve found the insights astrology offers to be like that of a wise friend and mentor. I don’t use it for limiting predictions, but rather clarity and guidance. I find it reliably offers direction and points to our gifts and potentials, the sources of challenges, explanations for setbacks, insights into the motivations and behaviors of others and our dynamics with them, and windows of opportunity for change and transformation. I don’t believe we are fated to any set destiny, but that our birth chart serves as a map, like an x-ray, that points to aspects of our psyche and our conditioning that we can choose to work with in an optimal way, and/or to transform, if that’s our intention.

Dreamwork provides a doorway to our unconscious urges, presentiments, and passions.  Our dreams are our own unique and creative inner language through which we tell ourselves things we might know only dimly, if at all. Like astrology, dreams tap into the realm of the archetypes, and are rich with messages that can help inform our outer lives if we can give them the space and respect to let them speak. Working with dreams is another great adjunct to counseling as it helps mine the depths of our inner life. I have been leading and co-leading dream groups for many years and find dreams to be a uniquely insightful window into the soul.

“What we want is never simple.
We move among the things we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names—now they want us.
But what we want appears in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past, holding out our arms and in the morning,
our arms ache. We don’t remember the dream, but the dream remembers us. 
It is there all day as an animal is there under the table, as the stars are there even in full sun.”

~ What We Want, Linda Pastan

Background

I have been counseling  and facilitating groups since 2006 in a variety of contexts: in private, educational, non-profit, and social service sectors. I received regular and advanced training certificates from the Interchange Counseling Institute in San Francisco, and completed a year-long training in group facilitation from The Circle Way/Peer Spirit program. Since 2014 I have been facilitating and writing curricula for therapeutic groups for both men and women. Some of these groups involve meditation and dreamwork, some involve writing, some serve marginalized populations such as those who are incarcerated or homeless, and some serve those of us who may fall into none of these categories, but who face what Buddhist psychologist Mark Epstein calls ‘the trauma of every day life’!

I have been a decades-long student of dreamwork, astrology and psychology, particularly the depth psychology of C.G. Jung and followers. I have been studying dreams since I was a pre-teen, and astrology since I was 18, when I was given my first book on AstroPsychology. It was a match made in heaven, so to speak! I have studied many varieties of astrological theory and incorporate them all into my readings. I have participated in dream groups for 25 years, and led them for 5 years. Not one to dwell exclusively in the mind, I have paralleled my studies over the years with extensive multi-year creative process work trainings in the realms of painting from the unconscious (The Painting Experience) and movement (Authentic Movement).

My intuition is also well-developed through having been a student of Sufi meditation and dreamwork since the early 1990s. And, being a trained medicinal herbalist, I bring my knowledge of alternative health to bear on astrological inquiries into health situations. My parallel career as a writer/editor helps me ground and articulate my  insights so that they can be easily absorbed and understood by clients from all walks of life.

Diana’s profound and wise counsel has helped me navigate my life goals. Through her insights, I was able to reclaim my passion of writing and learn self-compassion along the way. She is gifted in the aspects of spirituality, coaching, and astrology. I would recommend her to anyone that has an open mind and is willing to benefit from the kind, universal energy that flows through her. ~KM

Diana is very bright and well-versed in astrology. In addition, she is highly perceptive and intuitive, with a strong spiritual base. She brings warmth, humor, and supportive care and compassion to her sessions.   ~Rio Olesky, Astrologer, Author, Astrology & Consciousness and Manual for the Modern Mystic 

Diana has been a remarkably wise and caring guide, helping me to recover from a psychotic break I suffered years ago. Her combination of nurturance and insight has helped bring to an end a long cycle of repeated psychiatric inpatient admissions. I cannot speak highly enough of the depth of insight and constant compassion she brings to her work. ~MW

Thank you for the fine astrology reading! I have learned more from you than I ever have from other astrologers. ~EB

Thank you again for your insightful and very professional reading. I enjoyed  your approach and would like to keep these dimensions of  insight in the foreground. ~AW

I felt so expansive after your reading! ~DY