Erica was born east of Mt Shasta in Modoc County California. She grew up in Michigan with a two year stint in Kentucky. Her parents instilled in her their reverence for nature, love of literature and commitment to health and the humanities. She holds a bachelors in psychology and expressive arts from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and a masters in counseling and psychotherapy from Antioch University in Seattle.
A Seattle-based licensed mental health counselor in practice since 1986, Erica helps couples and adult individuals with issues of creativity and courage, relationships, transition, spirituality, career, communication, anxiety, stress, depression, bereavement, sexuality and self esteem. She trains healthcare practitioners to add wisdom tales and life story techniques to their existing practice.
She has given keynote talks for The National Storytelling Conference and The Washington State Conference on Storytelling and Prevention, and has been a story-weaver for the National Education Association’s Annual Conference. She was storyteller en route for Antioch University Seattle’s Egypt Study Abroad project. Her workshops and seminars at colleges, health and retreat centers include such venues as JFK University, Esalen Institute, The Poetry Center San Jose, The Seattle Jung Society, St Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma (all in the US); and Gaunts House, Redfield Community Center, Neal’s Yard Agency, Kensington and Chelsea College and the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education (all in the UK). She has designed and implemented storytelling programs in numerous family and community centers.
Erica's storytelling and poetry performances have been featured at The International Symposium of Archetypal Psychology, The Washington State History Museum, Portland Poetry Festival, Bumbershoot Festival of the Arts, ACT Theatre Seattle, Cornish College of the Arts and Antioch University Seattle. Independent bookstores that have sponsored her readings include Cody’s Books and Gaia Bookstore and Community Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle and Village Books in Bellingham WA. She has been awarded King County Arts Grants for storytelling and a writer’s grant from the Brimstone Fund.
Her other passions include family, hiking, organic cooking and sustainable culture, especially gardens. She lives in Seattle with her husband Donald Lawn, a technical writer who recently completed his first work of historical fiction.
© 2009-2015 Erica Helm Meade
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