In this podcast, four long-time Windhorse practitioners discuss the 4th (and last) principle of recovery: “No matter how disturbed a mind has become, recovery is possible.” Gabrielle Bershen, Jack Gipple, and I (Marta Aarli) share our insights and experiences of working for over 20 years on Windhorse teams, with host and moderator, Chuck Knapp. The conversation touches on the loss of connection with self, others, and the world—and the unique path each person walks to reclaim and reintegrate those parts of themselves that are innate but covered over by confusion. Each team works to recognize the client’s impulses toward health and support them in synchronizing with themselves through authentic relationships with the team members. This provides an antidote to isolation and loneliness while respecting each client’s choices as they build their confidence and reassemble their life—which can take a very long time. Each person’s recovery will be their own, and it may not look like what others want for them or what society defines as a normal life. Every team is a unique healing environment, a co-creation between a client and their team members. These principles are part of what makes the Windhorse approach so unusual—and the profound, long-term work that is possible in this setting.
We hope what you hear leads to greater understanding and empathy.
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.