AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SPEAKERS
Autobiography of speakers
Miriam Freeman met Virginia Satir in 1987 when she attended her month long process community in Crested Butte, CO, USA. This was the start of a life long exploration and application of the Satir Model. It was indeed a life changing experience that has provided a road map for her life for the last 34 years. She retired as a social work professor in 2012 after 30 years of university teaching and a total of 43 years as a social worker. In her retirement, in addition to Satir-based coaching, mentoring and training, she is a runner, reading tutor, antiracism advocate, drummer of traditional West African rhythms, member of a chorus, painter, and sometimes saxophone player. She is also a certified laughter yoga leader. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina in the US with her husband and they have two adult sons.
Walter F. Zahnd has been a student of Virginia Satir since 1982. He traveled with her the last year of her professional life. He has been an active teacher and trainer in the Satir, Human Validation Process, often called The Satir Model. He has presented at professional organizations in Canada, the United States, Eastern Europe, and the Philippines. He is a Professor Emeritus and taught Social Work from 1970 till 2007. He has publications in professional Journals, worked with incarcerated inmates, residential treatment with adolescents, plus founded a social work agency. His professional practice took him to working with street addicts in an African American Community, consulting in residential treatment as well as extensive workshops with men, growth groups and co-founder with Olga Holubova the Satir Institutes in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Recently he has developed the Human Kaleidoscope which has been published in the Satir Journal, he has done training on it and other Satir Processes. He has 56 years of professional practice and teaching.
Steven Buckbee is from Escanaba Michigan. He retired from Bay College where he taught in the social science division. He became interested in Satir while employed as a social worker in the 1970’s. In the mid 80’s he had the opportunity to have her as a teacher. In 1988 he was invited to join a group called „Avanta“ which is now known as the Virginia Satir Global Network. He is also a member of the International Human Learning Resources Network and retired from the faculty of the Banmen Satir China Management Center. He is currently serving on the board of The Virginia Satir Global Network. He is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Michigan and a partner In BDD Training Associates. He a moderator for the Satir Global Network Web Site, the VSGN FaceBook account and is developing online courses focused on Satirs process.
Michael Dupont is a partner in BDD Training Associates, an adjunct instructor at Bay College and the mental health/substance abuse counselor at Bay College. He is a retired therapist from Pathways Mental Health Center in Escanaba, Michigan. He has a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from Northern Michigan University. Mike is a Licensed Master’s Social Worker and a Licensed Professional Counselor by the State of Michigan. Michael has over 40 years of clinical experience in the mental health and substance abuse field. Michael has been licensed as a Certified Advanced Addictions Counselor by the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals. He is a past board member of the Satir Global Network. He is a clinical member of the Satir Institute of the Pacific.
Madeleine De Little MTC., RCC., CCC. has been a student for twelve years of Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy. She is currently the research chair of the Satir Institute of the Pacific in Canada and a faculty member of the Banmen Satir China Management Centre. Her studies of the latest developments in neuroscience and transformational change have led her to develop a unique model of sand tray therapy and write a book, Where Words Can’t Reach – Neuroscience and the Satir Model in the Sand Tray (NSST). Madeleine has been an elementary and high school for 28 years and continues to be a therapist in private practice and an international trainer in her model of sand tray work. Madeleine has taught NSST in Slovakia and the Czech Republic since 2008 and the participants are some of the most experienced users of NSST in the world. Madeleine has written a book entitled „Where words Can’t Reach: Neuroscience and the Satir Model in the Sand Tray.“ This book is now published in English and Mandarin and the English version is available in hard copy and as an eBook on Amazon. The research for her Ph.D. focused on the personal and professional impact on student therapists learning and practicing this model of sand tray therapy. Madeleine is a Master Therapeutic Counsellor, a Registered Clinical Supervisor and a Certified Canadian Counsellor. She is the recipient of the „2021 Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Counselling Practioners Award“.
Valerie McGaha, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Oklahoma State University. She is licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Her research interests center around multicultural counseling, psychosocial adolescent development, mental and addictive disorders, at-risk adolescents’ court-mandated interventions, and suicide prevention and education. In her scholarly work, she has examined individual and collective factors related to academic, personal, and social success of various populations.
Cynthia Spray is a community activist, life-long children’s advocate, and entrepreneur living in Taos, New Mexico USA. She met Virginia Satir as a child in Palo Alto, California and they remained friends throughout Virginia’s life. Cynthia has successfully used a Satir-based Model for over forty years, in each of her many roles working with children, families and communities throughout the western United States.
Louis Vetri was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, USA; in a family of 4 of Sicilian descent and in the Roman Catholic Religion. He spent most of his adult life single living in Reading, Pennsylvania. He has been married just over 5 years. His 35 year career began as an individual and group therapist and then a family therapist. Over time he saw and worked with families in their larger context and became involved in social justice activism, education and advocacy work and community organizing and development. Over the last 10 years he has worked as a Pastor in the United Church of Christ currently serving as Interim Pastor near Springfield, Ohio. Lou’s experience with Virginia Satir’s work began in 1990 with a 3 week intensive in Crested Butte, Colorado (USA) followed over the years with numerous and extensive additional Satir trainings. He recently completed level 3 of the Coaching and Mentoring Specialist Training and is in the practicum phase of certification.