Valentine McKay-Riddell, Ph.D.
Dept. of Pastoral Counseling & Chaplaincy
Valentine McKay-Riddell was born a “Navy brat” in Orlando, Florida and grew up in Canada and Texas. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Valentine is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where she earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology. She has a private practice in shamanic healing and wellness counseling in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Descended from Scots, Irish, French, and Native American ancestors, Valentine developed a combination of shamanism and art making (Healing Art©) to heal herself from cancer and later founded a nonprofit organization, Orenda Healing International (OHI), devoted to promoting individual and community health and wellbeing. OHI umbrellas many of her research projects, which currently include the influence of the Goddess in Navajo spirituality; filmmaking as a catalyst for intergenerational healing among Native American youth and elders; the possibility of genetic inheritance as the inspiration for shamanic practice; and shamanism as a root philosophy for many of our modern professions, including medicine, religion, and art. She has taught art to young people and adults and Healing Art© to AIDS and cancer patients, challenged youth, developmentally disabled adults, and women in transition for over twenty years. She is a certified Reiki Master in the Usui Lineage. She has lived in Mexico, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, California, Nebraska, Oregon, and New Mexico, and has traveled in England, Ireland, the Virgin Islands, and the British West Indies.
A prolific writer, Valentine has published a number of articles in popular and scholarly journals and is celebrating the release of the first two books of her fantasy series for young adults, The Alyssa Chronicles (The River Goddess & Other Stories and Starfriends, 2012, Cool Well Press). She and her husband, Lewis Riddell, share a passion for nature photography, art, theatre, gourmet cooking, and cats. Valentine has two adult daughters and five grandchildren. She believes that her experiences in raising her own family inspired her interest in working with adolescents and catalyzed the writing of her books for young adults. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org