Anna Swisher is a community activist, ecopsychologist, conscious dance teacher, permaculturist, youth mentor and Work That Reconnects facilitator. She holds an M.A. in East-West Psychology, and is trained in Ecotherapy and Wilderness Questing, Permaculture, the Work That Reconnects, Indigenous traditions, cultural mentoring, Living Systems theory, Yoga Therapy, JourneyDance™, and Mindfulness Education. She has 10 years of experience facilitating nature-based counseling and mentoring, community activism workshops, girls' and women's circles, wilderness/vision quests and rites of passage, yoga, conscious dance, meditation, and earth-based ritual. She also specializes in working with teenagers and young adults.
Anna has spent recent years deeply studying and facilitating the work of Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects, and sharing it in various communities throughout Europe and the U.S. She has also been deepening her study and practice of permaculture, finding creative ways to implement permaculture design to support local community resilience. She also facilitates dance and movement-based community programs, co-leading community dances and teaching classes and workshops around the west of Ireland.
In California, Anna worked with various organizations that offer nature connection and mentoring, rites of passage, nature/outdoor education, wilderness adventure, and nature-based social-emotional learning. Working with high schools, colleges, sports teams and non-profits, she has focused on working with teenagers and young adults to support authenticity and expression, self-awareness and reflection, emotional literacy, nature connection, passion and compassion, stress-relief, team-building and authentic leadership, and social and ecological responsibility.
During her M.A. program at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies,) Anna focused on Ecopsychology, Tantric and other non-dual traditions, Indigenous wisdom and Earth-based spirituality, and embodied process and practices for psychospiritual growth. After completing her graduate degree, she focused on teaching yoga and dance, guiding people to connect with their bodies to facilitate inner and outer transformation. She initiated, organized, and led numerous women's groups and vision councils, focused on personal growth and community building. She spent time studying indigenous/shamanic practice, plant medicine, and herbalism. She is now synthesizing these practices with permaculture, ecopsychology, council practice, and The Work That Reconnects (Joanna Macy,) to facilitate transformative group processes that inspire regenerative community building and ecologically-minded community design.
Currently, Anna is focusing on local community-based activism and community permaculture projects, sharing the Work That Reconnects, and exploring dance as a vehicle for social and ecological justice. She is always working to strengthen her capacity as a naturalist, wilderness guide, group facilitator, activist, ritualist, writer and speaker.
She lives on a small permaculture eco-farm in western Ireland, where she focuses on tending the land, building community, and helping develop programs to support regenerative culture and the Great Turning. She loves singing, horses, playing in the dirt, laughing loudly, and hanging out with young people.
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