Jennie Kristel is an incredible trainer and healer. Over the last two years, Jennie has visited my theatre group ‘The Actors Collective’ thrice and helped us become more authentic in our Playback Theatre journey. Her repertoire of skills is vast and encompasses multiple forms and approaches which makes her an extremely useful resource. Over her last three visits, Jennie has conducted diverse workshops on strengthening our practice, using puppetry in our work, introducing the symbolism of dreams, psychodrama, developing conducting skills and overall guidance. More than a great trainer, Jennie facilitates tremendous amount of emotional breakthroughs in the participants. This, I have personally observed. Her dedication, clarity of thought, innovativeness and deep sensitivity to fellow participants; make her a very rare kind of teacher and guide. I have seen my group and me personally grow tremendously under Jennie’s coaching. I am delighted that Jennie is our chief mentor and know that under guidance my group will only grow further.
My work with Michael Watson has been one of the most transformative experiences in my life. In addition to his wisdom that moves in-between realms, his genuine caring and humanity, and the breadth of his understanding, he is a teacher of and from the heart. He has helped me to stand in a new world and worldview, not only because he has helped me to broaden my sight, but because he has helped me to stand, all parts of myself, in alignment and power. And now I dance in gratitude on the path of joy and connection! My life has been truly blessed to know him.
Jen saw me through some of my darkest moments when I felt the world crashing. Jen was willing to walk with me. With gentle and often humorful guidance, She helped me to turn an important page. I have even begun to think of myself as an artist!
When I am looking for guidance or healing in my life, I always turn to Michael. His Native American background and expertise in shamanism, combined with his academic background and clinical skills sets Michael apart from many others. The way that Michael integrates his background and experiences creates a holistic approach to healing — combining modern psychology and psychological approaches with the healing techniques of traditional cultures from around the world. The ceremonies and healing sessions that I have participated in with Michael have been life changing and transformative, and always filled with so much love and compassion. I am blessed that we have crossed paths.
Jennie impacted my undergraduate years enormously, through her teaching and guidance. From the first Expressive Arts workshop I took with her, I knew that art therapy was my calling, and Jennie played a huge role in guiding me towards my chosen career. Her classes were extremely experiential and clinically-based, which prepared me for my graduate school applications and helped me get accepted into the right graduate program for art therapy.
I have had the privilege of knowing Michael Watson for over 30 years, first as a teacher at Burlington College. There his creative courses synthesized ancient mythology, psychology and ecology of spirit. He taught so much, connecting Winnicotts theories of attachment, old stories of shame, grief and forgiveness and a psychology of place. Even more importantly, Michael guided a way of seeing and being with multimodal perspectives. He continues to guide groups and counsel from that breadth of understanding and grounded in his lived experience of Native American ancestral teachings.
Jennie Kristel was one of the first teachers I had when I returned to school as an adult. She supported my ideas and helped me form a direction of study. Her confidence and experience is apparent both in the classroom and in her work. It is safe to say that Jennie gave me the ability to hear my own voice and to stand firm behind it.
Michael Watson is a deeply compassionate listener with a host of shamanic skills that add a quality of blessing to his presence. His quiet, self effacing work with the ancestors is profound, and it is wonderful to be present for the benefits that arise for everyone. I am deeply grateful for the calendric ceremonies that Michael offers every year. They bring a deeper enlivenment to those important moments and a richer velvet to the days.
I appreciated Jennie’s versatility of tools. Her biggest tool is her ability to listen and her empathy. She genuinely was curious of me, and caring. In working on my issues of loss, I was able to explore my ‘stuff’ through energy work, expressive art making and drama. So helpful. I feel like I have tools to work with now.
The thread that runs through all his work is his ability to listen deeply and to hold what has been said overtime in his heart. His wholehearted respect for each individual weaves connections within the group and cultivates a sense of belonging in seen and unseen worlds. In his groups everyone carries a little more wholeness, enriched with more of themselves and each other. Thank you Michael.
Michael Watson conducts meaningful ceremony and powerful healing because his deep connection to spirit flows through his life and his work. Michael is truly one of those rare, wise and humble beings who deserves the title of shaman. As a medicine man, Michael gracefully weaves the larger circle of nature into human consciousness, culture and concerns. He helps people re-dream their reality. I would wholeheartedly recommend Michael to anyone seeking healing, no matter how vulnerable, knowing that their suffering will be met with kindness, respect, and results.