New Professional Animal Communication Practitioners
A couple of years ago, I reached a crisis point in my interspecies communication practice. After over a decade in the field, I came close to calling it quits.
This work is my heart, my life. Most days, I barely consider it work…it is my inspiration, my way of being, the deepest calling of my heart and soul, and the essence of my daily life with the animals and other non-human beings who share my home and my world.
Yet. Yet. Exhaustion and burnout had left me longing for respite. I needed a long, long break. And, more importantly, the latest round of stories of people and animals who had been hurt by what was being called “animal communication” but was, in fact, a hodgepodge of human projection, ideas, agendas, and misinformation, had left me with a feeling of deep despair.
I didn’t want to teach anymore. I didn’t want to hear one more story. I didn’t want the responsibility of teaching people to do this work with the possibility that it could be badly misused. I wanted to retire. My heart felt bruised, and my inspiration jaded. I dreamed of taking off in an RV with my dogs, changing my name (again), and disappearing into the desert.
I had reached a crisis point, a crisis of faith, of purpose, and of intention.
The back story: I was born to teach. My parents were both teachers, and from the time I was a small kid, I gathered my [often reluctant] younger brother and the neighborhood kids and practiced teaching “stuff that’s important”: reading books, playing in the woods, and studying rocks and minerals. I began teaching music lessons when I was 14 years old. What I’ve taught has changed a lot over the course of my life, but I’ve always known that I am here to teach…and that I love it.
Almost 12 years ago, I left a “successful”, although less than wholly satisfying, career in the classical music world to follow the deep calling of my heart to deepen the understanding between humans and the other species of our precious world.
After an animal communication and spiritual retreat in Costa Rica, I came home and for the first and only time in my life, left an employment contract before it was finished. The teaching job was at a prestigious and internationally recognized educational institution, and although my time there had been rewarding in a certain kind of way, when I returned from retreat my soul said, “I. Can’t. Do. This. For. One. More. Minute.” I listened to her, turned my job over to my super-capable, young, and enthusiastic assistant, and walked away. Within a year, I had started my animal communication private practice, and teaching followed soon after.
Fast forward. Although I had been teaching beginning and intermediate animal communication classes for years, and had facilitated many mentoring programs for practitioners in the field, I had resisted creating a professional training program. “You can’t certify this work”, a wise mentor had said. And I still believe that is true, in essence. Working in the intuitive and psychic arenas requires a skill set that can only be partially trained…the rest falls into the realm of talent, intention, and the guidance and direction of Spirit.
As I became more and more visible in the animal communication world, I also was the recipient of more and more stories of the misuse of telepathic animal communication. I developed an Ethics Class to try to address some of the issues, and I decided to speak out publicly about the issue with my students and colleagues. [see the post: When Animal Communication is Harmful ]. I began discussing the ethical issues in telepathic animal communication in all of my classes, even the beginning ones, and I did what I could to educate both students and clients about both the sacredness and potential pitfalls of this work.
In my uncertainty about the future course of my teaching, I consulted with my guides and advisors, many of them non-human, and some of them not in physical form. “You have a choice”, they said. I understood that training people to do this work professionally was an option, not an imperative, and that the choice was up to me. I could do it, or continue to work as I had been, or even move into something else, some other way of working and being.
I went into retreat. I prayed, I cried, I asked for help. I walked in the desert among the saguaro cacti, some of the wisest beings I know, and I listened to them. I listened to my heart. And I understood that, although I could walk away, I wouldn’t, and I couldn’t. I knew that when my life came to an end, if I hadn’t done this piece of work, I would not really have completed what I came here to do.
I realized that I wanted to offer a training program that addressed, from the beginning, the skills, resources, and awareness that people would need to do this work on a professional level. I wanted to train people as well as I possibly could to enter this field and do excellent, ethical, skillful work.
And so the Animal Communication Academy Professional Training Program was born. The curriculum includes extensive training in ethics, professional responsibility, advanced telepathic skills, fundamentals of animal behavior and species-specific understanding, case studies, consultation skills, basic business skills, and in-depth mentoring.
I partnered with a fantastic guest faculty including a holistic veterinarian, animal behavior specialists, a meditation instructor, and other professional animal communicators. The program is a work in progress, and continues to evolve.`
And now, I am so honored, delighted, (dare I say, proud?) to introduce to you the first graduates of this program…5 exceptional human beings and interspecies communicators who have gone through this training and are ready to offer their unique expression of this work into the world.
This has not been an easy program, and I know that these folks would be the first to tell you that. Each of them has invested a minimum of 2 years into this training; some of them have been working with me for much longer. They have given great amounts of their time, energy, financial resources, hearts, and love to this work.
Each of these exceptional people has trained in receiving telepathic communication clearly, accurately, reliably. They have also done extensive training in ethics, client relationships, and interspecies family counseling.
Many of them have additional training and experience in other supportive modalities, including flower essences, Reiki, Tellington T-Touch, shamanic healing, sound healing, animal behavior, and animal rescue and rehabilitation. Each of them has also done deep personal work, spiritual practice, and many animal communication case studies.
I love these people. I have confidence in their abilities, their integrity, and their excellent hearts. Each of them has the heart of a servant, wanting their work to benefit the highest good of all beings. Each brings their unique and individual background, training, personality, and expertise to this work.
The training program certification is a statement that the practitioners have not only completed the required intensive training courses, but that they have the basic skills and competence to enter the field as professional animal communicators, in whatever way is the best fit for them.
Although the certification program is a beginning, much like a college degree or professional training in another field, it is also a completion…a completion of a huge piece of deep work that has allowed these people to be in a place to confidently offer their skills and their services to the world.
It is with great pleasure, gratitude, and pride that I introduce the first graduates of the Animal Communication Academy Professional Practitioner Training and Certification Program. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming them to the field!
Cindy Bertsch: Pennsylvania, USA
Cheryl Nason: Ontario, Canada
Lisa Pitts: Georgia, USA
Kelly Sturtevant: Massachusetts, USA
George Wright: Australia
(We’ll soon be publishing a Professional Practitioner Page with more information about these animal communicators and how to contact them.)