Anyone who’s considered the territory of recovery from extreme mental states knows this to be a vast and subtle topic. And if this is a concern of yours, it’s also critical to reasonably understand—otherwise you may not recognize some of the key patterns as they’re occurring.
This podcast is the third in a four-part series. Senior Windhorse clinicians Gabrielle Bershen, Marta Aarli, and I (Jack Gipple)—along with our colleague and host, Chuck Knapp—take a deeper dive into the Windhorse assertion that “Recovery is the path of discovering and synchronizing with one’s own health and sanity.” The four of us have worked together over two decades on scores of Windhorse teams. This podcast reflects the depth of our shared experience as we discuss a number of interconnected topics: starting where you are, the individual genuine path of recovery, creating conditions of recovery but without a guarantee of recovery, finding confidence, cycles of recovery and regression, the long arc of recovery, and finally, the choice between the solitude of illness and the challenge (and courage it takes) to tolerate living in the world of consensus reality. These and more subtle aspects of recovery from extreme states of mind are the substance of this conversation among Windhorse clinicians and old friends.
We hope you find it engaging and enlightening.
Gabrielle Bershen, MA, LPC started working at WIndhorse in 1999. For many years previous Gabrielle was intensively practicing and studying TIbetan Buddhism under the guidance of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Gabrielle has been a Basic Attender, a Team Leader, an Intensive Psychotherapist and a Team Supervisor. Gabrielle is trained as a family therapist and loves to work with the families of WIndhorse clients. Gabrielle is committed to the contemplative basis for WIndhorse work which fosters compassion & clarity in our work.
Marta Aarli, MA, LPC has been a part of the Windhorse Community since 1999, and has held the roles of basic attender, team leader, housemate, psychotherapist, and team supervisor. She has also served in many supervisory and leadership roles within the organization. She has been connected to the international community through her participation in the Windhorse World Council for the past 3 and ½ years. Marta was the team leader for Ed Podvoll’s end of life team in 2003, and has a deep appreciation for both the origins and the evolution of the Windhorse approach.
Jack Gipple, MA, LPC, CAC III is the Clinical Services Manager of Windhorse Community Services (WCS), in Boulder Colorado. He earned his MA in Transpersonal Psychology in 1991. He has worked extensively with families, couples, and individuals dealing with issues related to behavioral and substance addictions, as well as a wide range of mental health challenges. He taught in the Naropa Contemplative Psychology Department for a decade and has been affiliated with the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless since 1992. Jack co-authored an article with Chuck Knapp “Windhorse Treatment: Group Dynamics Within Therapeutic Environments,” in Group: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society. He has studied and taught T’ai Chi Ch’uan since 1985. He is a top-bar bee keeper, pinhole photographer, yogi, gardener, home orchardist, father, and husband.