Annie Spencer, MA Oxon, PGCE, Dip IDHP, co-creates our programme. With a background in humanistic psychology and earth-based spiritual traditions, Annie has 25 years experience in groupwork and psychotherapy and is skilled at moving between spiritual teachings and the disciplines of psychology. She works here and in the US and writes regularly. (see her website: www.Hartwell.eu.com )
Annie has always been an innovator. In the 1980’s and ‘90’s she ran a series of two year trainings in humanistic psychology through Bath University and has a chapter on Self and Peer Assessment in Implausible Professions: Arguments for Pluralism and Autonomy in Psychotherapy and Counselling (1997). In the 1980’s she co-founded Openings, a centre for psychotherapy and groupwork that today is an integral part of the Bath psychotherapy landscape. In the 1990’s she was a founder member of the Independent Practitioners Network (IPN). From the 1980’s to the present day, Annie has had a private psychotherapy practice and supervises both individual and groupwork practitioners.
Annie has worked with indigenous teachings from the Americas for many years. She was apprenticed in a North American tradition and is currently studying Mayan teachings from Guatemala. Annie has undertaken ceremony at Macchu Picchu, sat sweatlodge in North America with elders from the Mi’kmaq and Ho Chunk Nations and has worked with Lorraine Mafi Williams, the Native Australian elder.
In 1997 Annie was invited to visit Romania to work with adolescents about to leave their orphanage. There she learnt how transforming time spent in nature can be for disturbed and angry young men. Since then she has been developing her work with young people and has been co operating on a programme of initiation for young people in the States for the past five years.
Annie is deeply committed to working with young people in a way that reconnects them with the land and instils in them a sense of belonging; that kindles their imaginations and sense of hope; and inspires them to look beyond the life they know in a creative way.