The pioneers of Voice Dialogue (a major component of Genpo Roshi’s Big Mind Process) discuss aging, relationships, and their very first experimental sessions together.
Sidra Levi Stone was born in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in a working class neighborhood during World War II imbued with the ideals of that era and the expectation that she would make some sort of contribution to the world.
Sidra's experience as a State Scholarship student at Barnard College was extremely influential in her development as an independent woman. At Barnard, even in the nineteen-fifties, women were encouraged to attend graduate school, earn advanced degrees and prepare for a profession. She received her B.A. with honors from Barnard in 1957 and, in September of that year, married and moved to Baltimore, Maryland where she began her Ph.D. studies at the University of Maryland.
Sidra moved to Washington, D.C. in 1960, completed her Ph.D. in 1962, became a community mental health clinical psychologist, and lived the excitement of the Camelot years. Dr. Stone (at that time Dr. Winkelman) returned to New York, worked for the Veterans Administration as a Clinical Psychologist and gave birth to her first daughter, Elizabeth. After the birth of her second daughter, Claudia, she affiliated as a psychotherapist with the Lincoln Center for Psychotherapy so that she could practice part-time as a psychotherapist and enjoy motherhood as well.
In 1967, during the "Summer of Love", Sidra moved to Los Angeles with her family. She continued her private practice and, in 1968, became the psychological consultant to Hamburger Home, a home for teenaged girls. In 1971 she gave birth to her third daughter, Recha, and in 1972 became the Executive Director of Hamburger Home.
With much enthusiasm, Sidra turned the home into a full-service residential treatment center for acting out adolescent girls, introducing holistic treatment techniques to this very difficult yet exciting population. She set up a therapy program combining behavior modification techniques with intensive individual and group psychotherapy that was based upon psychoanalytic principles. She enriched the program by adding an on-grounds high school, an art therapist, a class in creative writing, theater games, yoga, camping experiences in the California wilderness areas, attention to nutritional aspects of lifestyle, and athletic activities.
Hal and Sidra handsSidra and Hal co-authored Embracing Our Selves , Embracing Each Other, Embracing Your Inner Critic, You Don’t Have to Write a Book, Partnering, and The Fireside Chats. All are currently available as eBooks. They also have chapters in three anthologies: Reclaiming the Inner Child, edited by Jeremiah Abrams, Meeting the Shadow edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams, and Gratitude: A Way of Life by Louise L. Hay and Friends. Ebooks, DVDs, audio CDs, downloadable MP3s, and a complete teaching documentary round out the presentation of their joint work.
As a woman reaching maturity in the 1950's, and a mother of daughters, she Sidra has been a participant in - and witness of - the dramatic changes in women's roles and expectations over the past half-century. Her experiences as a woman living through these years and her own thoughts on the journey of consciousness are included in the book, Visionaries Have Wrinkles: Conversations With Wise Women Who Are Reshaping the Future by Karen Sands. In her work with women from many differing cultures, and in her own personal experiences, Sidra became aware that despite the women's movement and the resulting cultural changes in many of the traditional patriarchal limitations, there was a disconnect between the new outer freedom and the ability of women to avail themselves of their new opportunities while - at the same time - maintaining the gifts of their essential femininity. This led to her discovery of the complex role of the Inner Patriarch in women's lives. A fascination the role of this Inner Patriarch in women’s psychology led Sidra to write her book, The Shadow King: The Invisible Force that Holds Women Back.
Sidra has always been an avid traveler (and snorkeler). She and Hal love traveling the world together seeing new sights, meeting new people, and teaching their work. But she also enjoys life at home - on the foggy, magical Mendocino coast - and her far-flung family. Her three daughters have followed three distinctly different and productive paths: Dr. Elizabeth Matazzoni is a clinical psychologist (with a JD) who is involved in regulatory development, Dr. Claudia Sadoff is an economist working with poverty alleviation and international water resource management, and Dr. Recha Bergstrom is a radiologist working at the forefront of the ever-expanding and fascinating field of diagnostic imaging. Their mother thinks that they - and her six grandchildren - are all delicious.