Teaching Style


When you come to study with me, try to put aside your left-brained expectations about what and how you will learn. My job is to encourage, nurture and facilitate you in becoming all that you can be. I create a safe environment where you can test and work with your intuition, and use all of your innate and acquired talents.

All the workshops are experiential. I believe that you learn by doing. So whether you are on a teleconference call or in person, expect to do three things in most workshops:

1 - Observe me as I demonstrate the technique on one of the students (possibly you).

2 - Go off in pairs and practice doing it on each other.

3 - Return and discuss what you experienced.

This works very well for most people, but if you have an extreme need for privacy, these workshops might not be a good fit for you.

Students who are already in the healing professions and those who are relatively new to this work are in the same classes. The common denominator is that everyone is required to read my books prior to taking the classes. This means that we will not be wasting precious time talking about terminology and history and lots of left-brain information that you can obtain even better by reading.

Holistic Healing can best be taught holistically. I do not teach just your mind. I do not teach just by talking.The topics of the workshops are somewhat interchangeable, because, for example, if one participant has an emotional crisis during the Healing Voice workshop, I will not ask that person to put off expressing their emotions until the Emotional Release Workshop. Instead, I may encourage that person to use their voice as a tool for expressing their emotions.

Occasionally participants are frustrated by this apparent lack of organization, but eventually most people appreciate that it is part of the greater gestalt, and sooner or later, all topics do get covered. I can appreciate this initial frustration. When I was 24 (in 1968), I went to Arizona with my infant son, Kalon, hoping to study with the Hopi Indians. I wanted to learn about herbs and gardening and childrearing. In my mind, I imagined befriending some Indian who would sit me down and teach me these things.

I was very fortunate that David ("Grandfather David," as he was later called) and Nora Monongye invited me into their home in Hotevila where we ate together and I joined them in washing dishes and fetching water and tending the garden. Meanwhile, people came in and out of their house and children were passed from aunt to uncle to cousin, and plants were handled, and healing was done, all in the nature of things--not as something apart from the lives they lived. It was an honor to participate in the web of their lives, and in doing so I learned a little less of the specifics than I anticipated, but far more about a total way of life. I know that I am a better person, a better mother, teacher, and gardener than I was before.

So this is what I bring to those who study with me. Each workshop is unique, according to the personalities and talents of those who attend. I am extremely fortunate in the people that I draw to my workshops. Since I limit the Intensives to 12-14 participants, we grow close quickly, and the synergy of each group is always unique. In fact, you may learn more from other students than you do from me.

The only downside is that when the workshops come to an end, we don't want to leave. So much safety, authenticity and genuine affection develops among us that there is a reluctance to go back into a world that does not necessarily hold these qualities. The challenge, then, is to take what has been learned into our daily lives and to create these qualities in the world we live in.

This is how three of my graduate students described my teaching style:

Kate DeVore, Voice and Speech Therapist, Harvard affiliate: "Joy's teaching style is revolutionary. Rather than a linear "teacher-student" relationship, her paradigm is circular. She shares her whole self and makes it clear that the distinction between teacher and student is largely artificial. She allows herself to be a student as well as a teacher, and creates a circular flow of energy that allows for maximal growth for all involved. She models the ideal teacher so subtly; it is a tribute to her open, honest, egoless, gentle, loving style of guidance. Joy is truly a Master Teacher."

Luce Myers to Joy:
            "When I'm in your presence, I do not trivialize myself."

Karen McDaniel, Research Librarian: "When Joy first asked if I'd like to write about her teaching style, I burst out laughing! I thought, 'I can't write about Joy's teaching style-- she HAS no teaching style!--Joy just IS...and people come (somehow always the right people)...and life happens (but somehow in bolder, more pointed strokes and more brilliant colors than in our usual existence)...and we go home changed into brighter and truer versions of our real selves...and not so much alone as we felt when we started the process!'

"Actually, Joy knows tons of stuff, and I've probably learned more from her than I have from anyone on this planet. But it is not Joy's style to recite copious facts to her students, as happened so frequently in my 16-plus years of formal education. Though Joy's books form a basic intellectual background, the teaching method she uses is loving, intuitive, and experiential.

" Joy does not say, 'You must use this particular stone or tone to remedy this condition.' She is much more likely to send us off with some inspiring ideas, to practice on each other, to access our own inner wisdom, until we see for ourselves what fits the situation. One of Joy's gifts is her uncanny knack for opening her mouth (this may be in a lecture, but could just as well be while walking to the beach), and a word, or a phrase, or a sentence, or a story pops out, seemingly innocuous and inconsequential, yet it lodges in your soul, like a precious nugget of gold, which may later explode into a life-changing cataclysm. Or it may quietly nudge and nag, inviting you to see or do something that will help you to see a person in your life differently, to release a long-held limiting belief, to bring to the surface an old wound that needs healing, or even to tap more deeply into your own wellspring of joy and love.

"Joy refers in her autobiography to being privileged to apprentice with teachers who were 'very real' and who 'walked their talk.' Joy has in fact become one of those teachers."

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