Learn about 2021 trainings sponsored by Jonas Philanthropies

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers labored in challenging environments. Now, the complexity of responding to the pandemic has added many new dilemmas: fears about infection for self and loved ones, concerns about access to medical supplies and personal protection, increased workload demands and, most important, witnessing the intense suffering of others, including patients, families, and fellow staff.

How does one hold the entirety of this? For many, a key is to gather with a circle of companions who understand our struggle and share our strong intention to find healing.  

Healing circles:

  • Honor the therapeutic value and healing potential of human connection, comfort, and support.
  • Provide an opportunity to deepen the capacity to heal, alleviate suffering, and find meaning in work and daily life.
  • Align with the values that led many nurses into the profession initially and facilitates reconnection to the profession
  • Benefit nurses in a unique way as a safe haven, offering the core nursing skills of therapeutic presence, and deep listening to nurses themselves.
  • Provide a space for practicing self-awareness, trust, skillful communication along with compassion and support for each other.
  • Offer the art of nursing to nurses to ease their suffering and promote healing.

We do not have armies fighting COVID—we have deeply committed, courageous public health workers unprepared for the scope and intensity of the response and its traumatic impact on their lives. For the last six months, I have sat in weekly healing circles with them, nurses and epidemiologists and leaders. The simple clarity of the circle method has been profoundly helpful in allowing these exhausted people space to return to the present moment, to feel what they feel, and to emerge from isolation into the matrix of shared burden and care for each other. They don’t need an expert; they need each other, and a path to speak honestly and listen with compassion and curiosity.

Sean Fitzpatrick, PhD, LPC, executive director of The Jung Center |

What people say

Healing circles have forever changed the way I teach. The intentions, agreements, and structure provide a framework for creating safe and healing spaces in the classroom.

Sara Horton-Deutsch PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF

Gathering in community reminded us of the power of the circle and helped us regain a sense of self and a renewed passion for our beloved nursing profession.

Joanne Turnier DNP, RN, ACNC-BC, HN-BC, HWNC-BC

Learning the structure and premise of healing circles has helped me, as a nurse practitioner, listen to and encourage the inner wisdom and strength of the patients I serve.

Leslie Heron MN, ARNP, FNP-BC, NC-BC

What happened in the first circle was nothing less than amazing. The invitation to share from the heart created an energy in the circle that touched the hearts of all of us.

Patti Wolfrom BSN, NC-BC, EAMP

Reflections from our community

Please note

Healing circles are groups of peers who support one another through deep listening and compassion. Circle participants abide by agreements, including agreements around confidentiality. The volunteers who host healing circles do not provide medical or psychotherapeutic advice or treatment. Participation in a healing circle does not replace the care provided by a qualified healthcare professional.

Register now

Healing circles help us step out of ordinary time into a safe and accepting environment in which we can explore our healing.

Registration is limited.

No events found.

For more information about trainings

Thanks to Jonas Philanthropies, we can offer training at no cost to five organizations in 2021. Contact us now to make sure yours is one of them.

Training faculty

M. Leslie Carveth

MN, RN

Leslie Carveth is an advanced practice nurse and healthcare consultant. Leslie enjoyed a blend of military and civilian nursing throughout her career. Her military career included three years of active-duty service in the Navy and 23 years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 2003 with the rank of colonel. Leslie’s nursing career involved a number of clinical and administrative positions. Her clinical practice focused on chronic disease management with a specialty in chronic pain management. In addition to maintaining her clinical expertise, Leslie held a variety of managerial positions in both in-patient and out-patient settings, including serving as the chief nursing officer at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center. Leslie has spent the last six years in the non-profit sector. In 2014, she completed the 120-hour Integrative Nurse Coach Association (INCA) training. Since 2011, she has been an active volunteer for the Harmony Hill Cancer Retreat Center, where she continues to volunteer co-facilitating weekly “virtual” healing circles.  Leslie has been on the board of the Healing Circles Healthcare Team since 2018 and currently serves as the interim director. She serves in a number of volunteer roles in her community, including her current work with Healing Circles Global.

Susan M. Cooley

PhD, RN

Susan Cooley is a nurse practitioner and healthcare consultant. As a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School Houston for 35 years, Dr. Cooley mentored medical and nursing students and residents in clinics that cared for immigrant Latino families. While undergoing treatment for colon cancer in 1989, Susan participated in the Cancer Help Program at Commonweal (from which Healing Circles emanates). During a chance drop-in visit to Commonweal in 2015, she saw a flyer about Healing Circles Houston, which led her to the circle work that had been an important part of her recovery. Long interested in practices to improve nurse (and caregiver) resilience, she works to bring healing circles and The Power of Nursing: Embracing the Healer’s Art to the nursing/healthcare community. A personal experience as a patient influenced her 2016 TEDx talk “The Other Side of the Stethoscope.” She is committed to providing relationship-centered care. Susan lives in Houston, Texas, and has four grown children and a growing number of grandchildren.

Catherine J. Dodd

PhD, FAAN

Currently a policy and health benefits consultant, Catherine Dodd directed the San Francisco Health Service System and served as deputy chief of staff to the San Francisco mayor, responsible for human trafficking programs, aging services, homeless services, domestic violence and children’s services, environmental health, and the social determinants of health. Her current focus is on environmental health, happiness, and healing. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and has held offices at the local, state, and national levels of the American Nurses Association. Catherine is currently the chair of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and vice chair of the Commonweal board of directors. Commonweal is an incubator for social, health, and environmental programs and a healing circles multiplier. She’s an active member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, serves on the California Breast Cancer Prevention Plan advisory committee (CMS oncology patient outcomes advisory committee), and works with Jonas Environmental Nurse Scholars.

Lindsay Espejel

BSN, RN

Lindsay Espejel is a registered nurse with 10 years of experience in a variety of nursing specialties. Her own personal journey of healing and desire for community drew her to Healing Circles Houston. The transformative healing power of connection that she experienced in circle ignited a commitment to bring healing circles to nurses as a community of care for the caregiver. Lindsay has served as a host for healing circles held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for the past three years. She is an Embody Love facilitator, which empowers young women with tools for self-love and self-care. Lindsay is passionate about supporting whole systems healing and she is currently pursuing her doctorate of nursing practice in integrative health and healing.

Leslie Heron

RN, MH, APRN, FNP-BC, NC-BC

Leslie Heron has more than 30 years of nursing, family practice, and nurse coaching experience in settings including primary care, hospitals, public health, home health, oncology survivorship, and hospice. She works with individuals, community, and professional groups in clinics, classrooms, retreat settings, and at national and international educational conferences. Leslie is a published expert on issues of cancer survivorship and educates extensively on survivorship-related topics.

Leslie co-owns The Green Labyrinth, a retreat center nestled in the foothills of Mount Baker in northwest Washington State. Green Labyrinth’s mission is to provide sacred sanctuary for family and professional caregivers processing grief, loss, and burnout. Co-founder of Nursing Leadership for Healing Circles (NLHC), she is committed to sharing the techniques of healing circles with healthcare professionals as a role model and an educator.

Erica Hooper-Arana

DNP, RN

Erica Hooper-Arana has a personal mission in life to use her gifts to help others advance their health and transformative processes to reach their greatest potential and healthiest selves. She is a registered nurse, referring to herself as a holistic practitioner, with 18 years of nursing experience working in various specialties within the nursing profession. Erica began working for the Kaiser Permanente as a regional program manager for the Scholars Academy in February of 2020. She has been teaching nursing at the University of San Francisco (USF) since 2005 and currently co-facilitates a health and wellness course to help prepare future health professionals to remain resilient while providing quality care to others. Erica has a passion for alternative healing practices as well as promoting the health and wellness of vulnerable populations. She is a certified HeartMath trainer, life and spiritual coach, Caritas Coach, health coach, meditation/yoga teacher, and massage/reiki practitioner. She enjoys writing and is a published author. In 2020 she was introduced to Healing Circles Global and was trained to facilitate circles. Prior to Healing Circles Global, she has facilitated numerous healing circles with women and youth. Her greatest joy is her three children who consistently teach her that the most marvelous gift you can give anyone is your presence. Her life motto is to follow the heart and allow what is to simply be.

Sara Horton-Deutsch

PhD, RN, PMHCNS, FAAN, ANEF

Sara Horton-Deutsch has worked in academic and practice settings for 35 years as an advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurse, teacher/practitioner, consultant, program director, Caring Science endowed chair, and currently serves as director of the University of San Francisco/Kaiser Permanente Partnership, where she mentors the next generation of nurse leaders. Through her journey, she has engaged in many holistic practices and learned the importance of attending to mind-body-spirit for healing. She has co-authored a number of books on reflective practice, caring science, and Caritas coaching. In the holistic realm, she is a Caritas coach, HeartMath trainer, Reiki and holistic practitioner, and now, healing circles facilitator. In 2020, she was invited to join the healthcare professions leadership council at Healing Circles Global, where she has the opportunity to learn further and support the expansion of healing circles locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Being part of this community enables Sara to live out her unique purpose to build spaces (homes, hospitals, communities) that are creative, healthy, and bounded.

Jackie Levin

MS, RN, BC-NC, AHN-BC

Jackie Levin is the executive director of Leading Edge Nursing, a published author, public speaker, and patient advocate with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare. Through Leading Edge Nursing, Jackie’s work is transforming healthcare organizations and cultures of stress to workplaces that generate health and wellbeing from the inside out. Jackie is a trained mindfulness instructor, a nationally board-certified Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse and Wellness/Leadership coach, and a guide in Transformative Inquiry Nature-Based Retreats and healing circles. Jackie’s unique approach fosters love and caring for ourselves so we can do the work of caring for others and the planet we share.

Charlie Pieterick

RN, MS, ANP-BC

Charlie Pieterick has been a nurse practitioner for 35 years in a variety of clinical settings in the US and Africa. These include primary and urgent care, subacute care and rehabilitation, oncology, and palliative care. As a young nurse in the 1970s, he studied Therapeutic Touch with Delores Krieger and Dora Kunz. Throughout his career, Charlie has incorporated touch, body-mind awareness, and meditation in his nursing practice. He was invited into the Healing Circles community by a fellow nurse practitioner in 2018 just as he was retiring. Charlie has been participating in circles as a host, guardian, and trainer ever since. He now co-leads the level-two training and mentorship program with Healing Circles Global.

Ann Webster

RN, HWNC-BC

Ann Webster entered the world of nursing later in life, responding to a calling to be a change agent for people struggling with illness and chronic diseases influenced by lifestyle choices. She discovered integrative nurse coaching in 2012 and her life continues to transform as a result. She was drawn to the field of addiction and substance abuse early in her nursing career. She is currently the director clinical team engagement at Aware Recovery Care, where she uses her coaching skills daily to support her staff and teams. Ann was led to the Healing Circle Global community through her work with nurse coaching, where she learned the basic structure of sharing circles. She currently holds regular healing circles in her daily work with staff, as well as in her personal life. Her holistic nurse training serves her well as she practices healing modalities that offer relief to people struggling with cravings and associated anxiety. Ann is a Reiki practitioner and is certified in Auricular Acupuncture (ADS), having been trained in the NADA protocol. She resides on the shoreline in Connecticut, where she enjoys the wonders of Long Island Sound. For years, she has spent her summer vacations on the island of Islesboro, off the coast of Maine, where nature’s magic is bountiful.