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Toni Gilbert
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With many years of experience in mental health nursing, I offer clients an array of healing arts techniques.

  • Guided Imagery
  • Visualization
  • Expressive Arts
  • Meditation
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Mind-body Consciousness
  • Interpretive Dreamwork
  • Archetypal Tarot Counseling™


Mary Amdall Thompson, RN, MS, CNS began advising Ms. Gilbert in 1996 while employed by the Oregon State Board of Nursing as Program Executive for Professional Services. Ms. Amdall Thompson consulted with licensed nurses in clinical practice, administration, education, advanced practice, and with those who practiced nursing outside traditional settings.

Ms. Amdall Thompson retired in 2003 to start a private consulting business from which she continues to advise Ms. Gilbert. You may e-mail Ms. Amdall Thompson at

Transpersonal Modalities

You can find more detailed information about the above listed transpersonal healing arts in the Transpersonal Modalities section of this website.

These healing arts enhance wellness and prevent illness. Taken together, they complement traditional medicine treatment of disease and injury by adding a holistic psychological and spiritual component.

Since the mind can affect the systems of the body (such as immune system), the use of psychology to facilitate a change in the systems is reasonable. The following is a list of some conditions that respond to integrative or mind body medicine.

  • Preparation for and recovery from surgery
  • Life threatening illness (e.g. cancer)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Recovery from injury
  • Phobias
  • Stress and pain management
  • Mild depression
  • Life issues
Using the Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body approach in medicine has been proven successful in helping individuals with stress-related symptoms of chronic illness better manage their conditions. It makes use of the body’s natural healing potential and enables clients to positively change their lifestyle and gain an awareness that behaviors and attitudes, especially as they trigger stress, can affect health and well-being.

My clients commonly report:

  • Greater self-acceptance
  • Decrease in anxiety
  • Freedom from compulsive worrying, self-criticism and negative thoughts
  • Increase in concentration and awareness
  • Improved sleep
  • Decrease in stress-related physical symptoms
  • Enhanced performance and efficiency
As clients regularly practice the relaxation response and other mind-body techniques, their symptoms and quality of life improve. They generally begin to describe themselves as more peaceful, energetic, self-accepting, and happier. Less preoccupied with the past and the future, they learn to enjoy the present moment more fully.

The Healing Arts

ByToni Gilbert

The healing arts, like all art forms, involve a creative process. The artist-healer is sensitively aware, improvising as the situation unfolds. Artist-healers have developed the uncanny capacity to pursue an inner knowing---an intuition---which guides them to do what will be most beneficial. They focus their skills, training and techniques with intent to facilitate healing. Artist-healers do what they do…and trust the process to unfold as it needs to and in its own time.

I believe the client "knows" (i.e. has information at an unconscious, or soul, level) about the healing that needs to happen. The challenge, for the artist-healer, is to draw this information to the surface, to the conscious awareness of the client, where it can be utilized. The healer knows the art of being present---it's like waiting for a birth. This waiting, and the acting upon one's intuition in the moment, is essential. It is impossible to decide ahead of time what will be needed. The process must be unstructured, allowing for the wholeness of the individual to be gradually, and creatively, born into health.

Sensitive healing artists are open to who they really are, and have learned to trust the creative process to guide them in their own and others' healing. Because the true healer resides within each of us, one person can never really heal another. A healer only helps to guide the one who needs healing to their own unique path of health. The foundation for this healing relationship is a special bond of compassion and trust which occurs when two (or more) people join to bring forth the latent healing potentials that are held in common. In truth, they have come together to teach each other. In true healing relationships, each person teaches the other and growth occurs for all.

Illness and injury are not entirely understood and are, therefore, not fully appreciated. The need for healing brings us a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves. We often begin by learning what we need to stop doing. The healing process then guides us to discover other dimensions of our lives, such as spirituality. From this perspective, illness and injury have great value. They may tell us to rest, not to work so much. They may give notice that our time on this earth is precious, and fleeting. We might just discover what is most important to us, enabling us to spend our time doing that which makes us most happy and healthy. In the process, we often make a more loving connection to those around us, and to the earth itself.

Most of us could use help with our mental, physical and spiritual health. We need not be ill or injured to benefit from healing arts techniques. These tools (e.g. guided imagery, astrology, Tarot, meditation, dream interpretation, etc.) are useful to anyone interested in achieving personal satisfaction through honest and authentic self-discovery. In some circles, this is known as prevention.

Health is the harmony of mind, body, and spirit. It is my belief that maintaining health is all about learning to tune into ourselves and being open to our potential. Disease occurs when we spend too much time focusing our attention upon what is wrong with us. Everything we do, think, feel and believe has an impact upon our health. When we are in alignment with whom and what we are, we are also in harmony with the universe; we feel better, feel more joy, and are healthier.

The healing artist can help initiate the healing process. The first step is to be open to the searching and the inner knowing. As we tap into our inner resources, Universe/Spirit/God/The Divine will assist in this very important healing journey. We can find evidence of this sacred help everywhere as we learn to trust our inner knowing, our inner wisdom.

In the healing process, we can relax past the intellect, into a deeper place within ourselves. Inevitably, we become more open to loving ourselves and others. Love, compassion, forgiveness, and self-responsibility are key elements, necessary for the full understanding and attainment of mental, physical and spiritual health. It is a time for the emergence of the authentic self in each of us.

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