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All Council Trainers

  • Yvan Rytz

    Yvan grew up on the shores of Geneva’s Lake, in Switzerland, in front of the majestic Mt Blanc, which left a profound imprint into his personality. He holds a degree in Human Geography and Environmental Sciences and a Masters in Holistic Science from Schumacher College (UK). He was the youngest ever member of Read more [...]

  • Leon Berg

    Leon Berg is a founding member of the Ojai Foundation, and is now an Elder, or preferably, Yelder :-). He is a Senior Trainer for Center for Council and a Founding Advisory Board member.  Leon has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and abroad for over 25 years. In Read more [...]

  • Pippa Bondy

    Pippa Bondy is a wilderness quest/rites of passage guide and a carrier/trainer of Council; plus an Alexander Technique teacher with more than thirty years experience. She developed a unique program based on a synthesis of Council and Alexander Technique. Pippa also created Ancient Healing Ways (2000), a foundation that brings ancient healing Read more [...]

  • Rob Dreaming

    Rob Dreaming found Council in 2002 in the KaliKalos project in Greece and has been an active Carrier and Facilitator. He recently became a trainer Trainer under the mentorship and care of Ojai Foundation trainers and elders Gigi Coyle and Marlow Hotchkiss. A soul purpose in this life to work Read more [...]

  • Gesa Heiten

    Gesa Heiten came across Council when exploring and learning about Vision Quest. Immediately she felt a connection with Council, and has been working with it since, in many fields (e.g. profit and non-profit companies, schools, villages, foster homes, and with families). Especially in the field of business, where she works Read more [...]

  • Holger Heiten

    Holger Heiten is the father of two children, has a BA Social Work (Germany) and is an experienced Psychotherapist/Gestalt Therapist. He trained in Council under the Mentorship of Marlow Hotchkiss and with Gigi Coyle, as well as in Couples Council with Amber McIntyre & David ‘Jesse’ Jessup and Council in Read more [...]

  • Sylvia Koch-Wasser

    Sylvia Koch-Weser has been a Council Trainer since 2012. She is also a Biologist, Vision-Quest Guide and Trainer. She wrote “Vision Quest,” and is the mother of three adult children.

  • Katrin Lüth

    Katrin Lüth is as a freelance trainer in the field of non-formal education, facilitator of learning with a focus on personal, group and team development and intercultural learning, a host of small to very large groups, and she is the mother of a little boy. Council has become a central Read more [...]

  • Tina Kansy

    For me Council is an art of mindful listening and  at the same time a way of living,  a communication method and a ceremony. Mentored over years by Gigi Coyle (USA) , and trained as well as visionfast-guide by Gesa and Holger Heiten of the Eschwege-Institut (Germany) in the tradition Read more [...]

  • Han Delissen

    Han Delissen (Netherlands) lived in several communities in Europe (from anarchistic to Bhagavad Gita oriented) over the past 15 years. Han is a communicator, graphic designer and Council trainer. Member of the European Council Network. He has been trained in Emotional Bodywork/BioEnergetics, Yoga, Breathwork and Meditation. ‘The Way of Council’ Read more [...]

  • Itaf Awad

    Itaf Awad (MA, Political Science from Haifa University) has been committed to women’s empowerment, community development, and conflict resolution for over thirty years.  She teaches that within each person there exists an innate wisdom that promotes growth and healing. Through the use of communication and conflict resolution tools, Itaf helps Read more [...]

  • Aura Hammer

    Born in 1957, in New York, Aura moved to Israel with her parents and siblings in 1973. She studied architecture at the Technion in Haifa (Barch) and worked as an architect for many years until she discovered her passion for working for peace. She began by co-founding a local grassroots Read more [...]

  • Sharon Adam

    Sharon Adam is a trainer in the Ministry of Education; she has been teaching children the way of council in schools for fifteen years. For the last eight years Sharon has been teaching principles, teachers and kindergarden teachers a process of 30 hours or 60 hours recommended for grade and Proficiency. These days Read more [...]

  • Shay Hanien

    Shay Hanien earned his BA in Business Administration from the Tel Aviv College of Business Administration, and his MBA with distinction from Ecole Superiere de Gestion in Paris.  He has been involved in council training with his wife Galit since 2002.  Shay has focused his contributions to the community in Read more [...]

  • Galit Hanien

    Galit Hanien is from the city of Haifa, in the north of Israel.  A wife and a mother of three children, Galit has been dealing and communicating with people, facilitating and leading the organizational development of the way of council in Israel and she co-founded, with her husband Shay, the Read more [...]

  • Eran and Nuria Halevi

    In 1999, Eran and Nuria established the Uriel Center as a place dedicated to personal growth. In 2001, they hosted and participated in the first Council training process in Israel led by Leon Berg and Ronit Peleg (Rinat).   Later, they continued their training with Gigi Coyle, Jack Zimmerman and Marlow Read more [...]

  • Adam Rumack

    Adam Rumack is the Executive Director of The Ojai Foundation Land Sanctuary. He first came to The Ojai Foundation on a high school Rite of Passage trip and began practicing Council in 1996 as a student in Los Angeles. He went on to earn a BA in Modern Literary Studies Read more [...]

  • Alan Mobley

    Alan Mobley is Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Criminal Justice at San Diego State University. He teaches courses in law and society, community-based service learning, and restorative justice. His research explores the security dimensions of global interdependence and social sustainability, particularly as they affect the size and scope of Read more [...]

  • Alexis Slutzky

    Alexis works with groups and individuals as a mentor​, facilitator and guide. She has been practicing Council since her introduction to the Ojai Foundation in 1999, where she currently serves on the Advisory Board. Alexis has shared the practice of Council in a variety of ​settings, including women’ s circles, permaculture trainings, veteran retreats, public Read more [...]

  • Andrea Brown

    Andrea Brown, M.A., began her circle practice with elder Dolores LaChappelle in the San Juan Mountains in the early 1980s. Since then, Andrea has worked in the private sector, academia, and nonprofits on culture and the environment and was a National Science Foundation and James Irvine Foundation fellow. She has Read more [...]

  • Bonnie Tamblyn

    Over the past 22 years, Bonnie has been a Council Carrier, and has developed and practiced Council at Crossroads, SMASH, Palms Middle School, Archer School for Girls, The Katherine Michiels School, and GirlFest Hawaii. Whether with Council, music, or art, Bonnie loves bringing people together to celebrate life and tell Read more [...]

  • Bonnie Mennell

    Bonnie Mennell’s work in and for the world is informed by her many years of language teaching, teacher training, teacher supervision and program management in diverse educational contexts around the world, her studies of and uses of Psychosynthesis in education, Vipassana meditation, Dialogue practice, Council practice, her work as a Read more [...]

  • Camille Ameen

    Camille began facilitating Council in 1991. She’s had the privilege of working with K-12, graduate students, students with special needs, students at risk of dropping out, the deaf and hard of hearing, young women in transitional housing, teachers, council interns, and staff in non-profit organizations. In 1996, she co-founded Inside Read more [...]

  • Chris Elder

    Chris Elder is passionate about authentic communication as a path to deeper relationships, greater social understanding and a more peaceful world. She has been facilitating Council circles in various settings since 1995. Following 25 years as an award-winning educator in public and private schools, often incorporating Council practice, Chris is active in our Read more [...]

  • David Listenberger

    David Listenberger came to Council through his work in music. Hired as a singing teacher at Crossroads School in 1999, David quickly found a home practicing and witnessing the power of Council with students, parents, teachers, alum – all members of a school community. David has a B.A. in English Read more [...]

  • Deborah Raoult

    Deborah Raoult is a longtime yoga teacher and movement educator. Her work emphasizes the dynamics of breath and motion as a discovery process and gateways to freedom. The weekly Councils she leads with women in Santa Monica weave inquiry with mindful breath and bodywork. After raising three children, founding a Read more [...]

  • Doug Adrianson

    A leader of numerous Ojai Foundation council training programs over the past decade, Doug Adrianson has facilitated weekly Council circles with students at five schools in Southern California, has guided rites-of-passage programs for hundreds of teenagers and adults, and served 11 years on the Ojai Foundation Board of Directors.  A Read more [...]

  • Gigi Coyle

    Virginia “Gigi” Coyle has served as a community activist wherever she is, a Council trainer wherever called, and a rites-of-passage guide and trainer with many individuals and organizations. She is learning to be a mentor and an elder, and serving on such Councils, for the School of Lost Borders, the Read more [...]

  • Irasha Talfero

    Irasha has been connected to The Ojai Foundation since its beginning in 1975. She has made her home in Ojai and has been a naturalist ever since, working with projects such as M.E.S.A., Naturalists at Large, Camp Whittier, Forest Hills, Taft Garden, and Wolf. She has worked as a substitute teacher Read more [...]

  • Jack Zimmerman

    Jack Zimmerman holds a BA, MA and PhD from Yale University, Harvard University and the University of Southern California, respectively. He is the co-author of Flesh and Spirit: The Mystery of Intimate Relationship with his life partner, Jaquelyn McCandless, and co-author of The Way of Council with Gigi Coyle. Jack Read more [...]

  • Jane Raphael

    Jane is a thirty-year veteran teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and holds a National Board Certification.  She began using Council in the early 2000s to help build an inclusive classroom community and deepen children’s connection to the curriculum. Jane is committed to educating the whole child, and Read more [...]

  • Jared Seide

    Jared Seide is the Director of Center for Council and has designed, piloted and coordinated Council-based programs in prisons, assisted living facilities, youth groups and a variety of non-profit and faith-based organizations and social service agencies, including “The Co-Mentoring Project” for emancipated foster youth, the “Social Justice Council Project” in Read more [...]

  • Jeanne Gunter

    Jeannie Daly-Gunter, M.A., P.C.C. has been a facilitator of personal and professional growth programs, a coach and a ceremonialist for twenty-five years. She has worked nationally and internationally as a workshop facilitator, rites-of-passage guide, organizational consultant, and trainer. She is a certified Shadow Work® facilitator, a certified Council Trainer and Read more [...]

  • Jill Valle

    Jill Valle, MA, MFT began her Council work in 2001 following her first training at The Ojai Foundation. Jill is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Boston College and a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Read more [...]

  • Jodi Rosner Bell

    Jodi Rosner Bell first experienced Council when her daughters were attending Open Charter, a public elementary school in Los Angeles. Jodi was moved by the the way in which Council practice enabled her to understand and appreciate both others and herself in a new way. Inspired, she began learning to Read more [...]

  • Joe Provisor

    The Founding Director of the Council in Schools (CIS) Program, Joe has been a public school teacher for over 30 years and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. From 2006 to December 2013 he served as a program specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he brought Read more [...]

  • John McCluskey

    John is a teacher, council carrier, activist, trainer, and principal of Centennial Middle School in Boulder, as well as a co-founder of the Colorado Center for Council Practice and a founding member of PassageWorks Institute.   He has been working to change the way we think about education and schools Read more [...]

  • Judy Piazza

    Judy Piazza was a part of The Ojai Foundation family for almost ten years, where she was program director, program facilitator, ceremonialist, musician, Council facilitator, and Council trainer.  Her exploration into the mysteries and spirit of Council has deepened exponentially over time. She has experience with weaving Council into Rites Read more [...]

  • Julia Wasson

    Julia Wasson is a National Board Certified third-grade teacher and mentor teacher in Los Angeles. A veteran Council trainer, she trains school faculties and organizations, and collaborates on a variety of Council-based lesson plans and activities. She has written about Council for Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Read more [...]

  • Kate Lipkis

    Kate Lipkis is a former advertising copywriter, homebirth midwife’s assistant, and environmental activist. She has been sitting in circles since 1999, helping establish Council in five public schools in the LA Unified School District. She enjoys introducing the practice to new audiences – at the annual Bioneers Conference in Marin, Read more [...]

  • Kelly Kagan Law

    Kelly Kagan Law, Ph.D., leads the Council program at Snap Inc. Prior to joining Snap, she spent two decades innovating human development programs and implementing them in public and private educational institutions. She formerly served as Vice President and COO of the Coalition for Engaged Education, a nonprofit that provides Read more [...]

  • Leslie Roberts

    Leslie Roberts has grown from roots in wild nature and the healing arts, harvesting fruits from practices as diverse as Bioenergetics, Gestalt Therapy, Hospice, plus wilderness retreats for Fortune 500 companies and spiritual communities. She studied with Steven Foster and Meredith Little at the School of Lost Borders, and trained Read more [...]

  • Lillian Soderman

    Lillian discovered Council in April of 2011 at the memorial service of a friend, which was being lead by John McCluskey, a veteran Council trainer. The two immediately connected and decided to reconnect at a Council one training in the summer. After this training, she was hooked. She left her Read more [...]

  • Lise Ransdell

    Lise Ransdell, M.A. is a certified Council trainer with Center for Council and Council in Schools. She began in Council circles 18 years ago at Palms Middle School. A group facilitator, trainer, presenter and coach, Lise comes from a professional foundation of over 20 years experience in intercultural dialogue and Read more [...]

  • Lori Richards

    Lori is a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist with an emphasis in depth psychology – an orientation that honors the numinous process of listening to the urgings of the soul. Lori is trained in Hakomi therapy, art and sand tray therapy, movement modalities, as well as talk therapy. She is Read more [...]

  • Lori Austein

    Lori Austein is a Council trainer and facilitator, hypnotherapist and a contract program coordinator for the Cowichan Intercultural Society. Past experiences as a lawyer and teacher have informed her appreciation for high functioning groups of people. Lori has facilitated programs for youth, educators, psychiatric patients and non-profits. She lives on Read more [...]

  • Marlow Hotchkiss

    Marlow is a poet, Council trainer, ecologist, and wilderness guide, with over 45 years of circle work and rites of passage with young people and adults, in classrooms and in nature. He has taught high-school and university-level courses and served as a Co-Director of the Ojai Foundation from 1999-2007. Together Read more [...]

  • Michelle Pilar Mansfield

    Michelle is part of the teaching staff at New Roads Upper School in Santa Monica, California. With more than 25 years of council experience she weaves council into a variety of lesson plans, whether they be in Spanish or in response to an event happening in the world or the Read more [...]

  • Monica Chinlund

    Monica has been a Council Facilitator, Trainer and Program Specialist for The Ojai Foundation since 1995, facilitating council in public and private school classrooms, including Palms Middle School from 1995-2005.  She co-founded Council in Schools (CIS) in 2006 with Joe Provisor and served as Program Advisor for the CIS office Read more [...]

  • Natalie White

    Natalie White sat in her first Council circle with educators in 1990 and knew immediately that this practice would change the way she taught, communicated, and listened in both her professional and personal life. Now a Certified Council Trainer, Natalie is an active member of Center for Council and Council Read more [...]

  • Paul LeVasseur

    As an educator for over thirty-five years, and a community activist for fifteen, Paul LeVasseur continually explores ways to incorporate dialogic practices, including Way of Council, in a broad range of personal and professional contexts that enhance deep understanding across differences and foster vibrant and sustainable communities and relationships. He Read more [...]

  • Ray Tucker

    Ray Tucker is a certified Council Trainer for Center for Council and Council In Schools (CIS). In 1995, after an extended career in law enforcement, he successfully completed comprehensive training to become a practitioner of Council. Since that time, he has convened Council circles in a variety of diverse communities Read more [...]

  • Ronit Rinat Peleg

    Ronit was born in Palestine. She is a 6 generation Sabra. Ronit lived in the States, raised a family, and was involved in many peace projects throughout her life. She returned to live in Israel and brought the practice of council to her homeland, where its greatly needed. Ronit established Read more [...]

  • Sharon Shay Sloan

    Shay is an educator, wilderness rites of passage guide, council trainer and consultant. She was founding director of the Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas program for The WILD Foundation, and has had the honor of working with, alongside and/or for Indigenous Peoples from hundreds of nations. She is co-editor Read more [...]

  • Sheila Siegel

    Sheila Siegel has a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and is a Council Trainer who has done Council training internationally. She spent 20 years as School Psychologist at Harvard Westlake, where she did Council and trained Peer counselors. She has worked with teen groups and interned doing conflict resolution. Every month, she Read more [...]

  • Siri Gunnarson

    Siri is a global citizen and member of Beyond Boundaries, an intergenerational ‘response’ team, working for community development. A council carrier and trainer, Siri has worked in Portugal, Kenya and Rwanda and is now part of team developing a Global Council network. A youth guide in wilderness and cross-cultural journeys, Read more [...]

  • Tom Nolan

    Tom Nolan is an educator, musician, and actor. He has been teaching Council at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California for the past 25 years. He has been the Dean of Students there for 15 years. Tom has taught adults how to facilitate Council for ten years at the Ojai Read more [...]

  • Arrowyn Ambrose

    Arrowyn Ambrose is a Council trainer, facilitator, writer, and mother. She has been practicing council since 2008, weaving it into the curriculum of the non-profit, The Young Storytellers, that she ran for a decade before leaving to pursue her own work, Story Tribe. Story Tribe is a dynamic creative writing and Read more [...]

  • Anita Samaha

    Ani began facilitating outdoor educational experiences in 1999 with the Santa Barbara Middle School, helping to run their mountain biking and backpacking adventures. In 2004 she moved to New Zealand and continued to follow her passion of working with youth using one of the best teachers there is: mother nature. Read more [...]

  • Nurit Avrahami Lowe

    Nurit is a Council Trainer and a member of the Leadership of Amutat Mahagal Hakshava, in Israel.As an holistic therapist, a facilitator for wellbeing and an artist, her guiding message is “to inspire healthy living on all levels for self and others.” The Way of Council became the major way Read more [...]

  • Yasmin Talmon

    Yasmin is a certified Council trainer and facilitator, a multidisciplinary therapist and a facilitator in Capacitar Method/Living in Wellness and Trauma Healing that teaches simple practices for healing. She is a housemother and facilitator in the Creativity for Peace NGO, and a facilitator of the Circlework method of women’s circles. Read more [...]

  • Amber McIntyre

    Amber was born in South Africa. In 1993 she met her partner Jesse in the USA and since then she has spent almost equal time on each continent. Whilst serving on the staff of The Ojai Foundation in various capacities between 1993 and 2005 Amber became a trainer in the Read more [...]