Audrey Gilbert MA, CHP, is a hypnosis practitioner, herbalist and writer. She graduated from Yale University, where she was trained to think and write and developed a passion for the interplay of word and image, especially as agents for healing the mind.
Prior to her current studies in the healing arts, she served as a teacher in the public school system, where she taught the power of poetry to shape the human experience through archetype and symbol to mixed ability classes with many disadvantaged and underprivileged students. She left public education to study herbal medicine and spent many seasons with her hands in the soil, listening to plants.
In 2013, she helped establish a cooperative organic farming venture in Hudson, NY where she lived, worked and tended her honeybees until 2016. With the support of the staff and community in Hudson, she created a teaching garden at Montgomery Smith Intermediate School and taught after school workshops that introduced students to the joys of plants both wild and cultivated.
Audrey now lives deep in the woods of the Catskill Mountains where she continues to deepen her skills as a healer and medicine carrier while raising her two children and growing her practice as a hypnotherapist.
Six years ago I walked away from a budding career in education to delve deep into my own inner journey. Having spent the previous seven years striving or academic distinction and financial independence as a young single mother and Yale student, I was on an ivy-league treadmill fueled by perfectionism and self-criticism. I had my goals lined up for the next 15-20 years: I would be a teacher, then a professor, writer, esteemed academic...the list went on. But it is the same traits that drive one to excellence (perfectionism, ambition, intolerance of flaw, critical judgement) that can cause one to unravel. I was deep into my first year teaching when I began to feel the shadow taking over. I was thriving as popular teacher but I had more inner demons than I could handle. It was a struggle to get out of bed each morning and when I thought of the future I felt nothing but dread and anxiety. I was crippled by self-doubt. No matter how much praise I received, no matter how many accomplishments and successes I accumulated, I felt hopeless and afraid. I knew something had to change, so gave up the safety of success and let go. I was a single mother. I was unemployed, homeless, directionless, free. I bought an old RV, sold off the contents of my apartment and set off on a cross-country trip with nothing but the intent to rediscover my joy to guide me.
It's been five years since then. So many meaningful places, people, and experiences have occurred since that jumping off point. As a literature major, I know too well that the open road is just a metaphor for the journey of life, and that the real trip is finding your inner path and staying on it. True, I saw many beautiful places and had some wild adventures while travelling, but it was when trip ended that the more daring and wild adventures began. And those have all been inward: confronting fears and shadow selves, reintegrating with disowned parts, self-acceptance and compassion. They say the right teachers come into your life when you are ready for them. Well, I have had more teachers than I can count, and many of them have been painfully harsh, but they also say the healer's path is a rough one. And some of them have been gentle and sweet: the taste of soil, the deer that visit in the morning mist, the plants – these medicine keepers that have taught me how to be still and listen and to nourish.
I left my life in academia to reconnect with myself, to relearn the skills of self-care so that I could once again take care of others, of the world. I chose the healer’s path not because it was easy, but because it was the only choice that my heart would allow. Because I wanted, more than anything, to once again become one who knows how to listen, how to love. To list all the twists and turns and ah ha! moments on this path so far would take the space of a novel to write, and maybe someday I will, but for now my story is still in progress.
I am happy to say that I've come to a peaceful place in the journey. After many chapters both harrowing and sublime and getting lost in my shadow self, I have found home again. My feet have been planted in the Hudson Valley where I continue to root into the healing arts. It is here, deep in woods of the ancient Catskill Mountains that I practice my current work as an herbalist and hypnotherapist and where I am raising my two children, who are my best teachers. When I have time, I write, play with my tarot cards and tend to my honey bees. Stay tuned for the next chapters.
Thank you for walking with me. Blessings to you on your journey. May all your teachers be gentle and sweet and may your path be clear.
Certifications, Education and Training
Certified Hypnosis Practitioner - National Guild of Hypnotists - Graduated 2016
Past Life Regression Therapy with Brian Weiss - June 2016
BA English - Yale University 2009,
MA Education - Quinnipiac University 2012
Certified Reiki practitioner - March 2014
Innana's Descent - Shadow work and psychic protection training - Maurgutie Riggolioso and Seven Sister's School - 2015
Inner Warrior Summit 2013
- Advanced Herbalist Certification - Herbal Academy of New England
- 13 Moon Herbalist Training - Eldermoon School of Herbal Medicine, Woodstock NY