Jefferson Review Business Thursday, October 21, 2004
Gilbert Recognized as Holistic Healer
By Suzanne Cheshire
Toni Gilbert has been on both sides of the healing profession, initially serving the medical profession as a registered nurse (RN), and now delving into the holistic side of health through such mediums as Therapeutic Touch and Tarot counseling.
Gilbert is also making headlines: She recently appeared on Portland’s AM Northwest, which broadcast on September 14. The Jefferson resident is also the editor of the “Alternative Journal of Nursing” and author of her first book, “Messages from the Archetypes: Using Tarot for Healing and Spiritual Growth.”
In addition to her work as an RN, Gilbert has a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Psychology and holds a Master’s of Art degree in Transpersonal Studies. She is also certified in the Uses of Imagery in Medicine, Wellness Counseling and Mind Body Consciousness, Nurses Certificate Program in Interactive Imagery, Guided Imagery and Holistic Nursing.
In her private practice, Gilbert utilizes the healing arts of guided imagery, Therapeutic Touch, Meditation, Archetypal Tarot Counselingsm, Interpretive Dream work and Mind Body Consciousness. Although Tarot card practice is steeped in occult stigma, Gilbert remains positive about her role as a counselor. “Tarot counseling, a transpersonal modality, is new to the health care profession and I am the first to offer professional Archetypal Tarot Counselingsm certification in nursing,” said Gilbert. “As a culmination of my study and natural gifts, I have released my first book, “Messages from the Archetypes.”
“The book is based upon an artistic system of Tarot cards that have been used for centuries for divination,” she continued. “After many years of using them in my holistic nursing practice, I can say that I have found Tarot to be a highly effective form of therapy. I see clients in crisis due to illness, injury or difficult life issues. I discovered that the cards’ archetypal imagery can be used to accurately reflect my client’s present state of mind.”
Gilbert said that as a holistic nurse and transpersonal counselor, she explores deeper levels of consciousness of the mind, body and the spirit, which affects the health of the body. “This knowledge helps me guide clients toward their higher psychological and spiritual potential, helping them to access their inner wisdom in the healing of emotional and spiritual wounds,” she said. “Towards this end, I rely upon the archetypal imagery of Tarot. In combination with the transpersonal counseling process, the cards have become one of my most efficient tools.” “Tarot cards can be used like the Rorschach Projective technique, in which inkblots are used to stimulate the creative imagination to make associations,” she continued, adding, “Tarot is more an art than a science. Nevertheless, tarotists have conducted research studies for years.”
One such researcher is Arthur Rosengarten, Ph.D. who states that the Tarot method itself is of secondary importance, while the insights it stimulates and clarifies are the primary value. “It is the counselor,” Gilbert explains, “who seams together the nuances that gather meaningfully during the session. Tarot’s primary value is in meanings for the individual, and for that it must be considered as an instrument of potential psychotherapeutic value.”
In addition to her book, Gilbert offers an on-line journal. The Alternative Journal of Nursing is an on-line holistic nursing journal that publishes articles from other holistic nurses and other holistic professionals on the cutting edge of their professions. And who are influencing their communities and the world.
“I began the journal because I could not get a mainstream journal to publish an article that I wrote about Tarot counseling as a healing art, clarified Gilbert. She is the founding editor of the journal and works with a second editor, David Spero, who is also an RN and author of “Art of Getting Well.” Gilbert’s work is evaluated by a retired member of the Oregon Board of Nursing, Mary Amdall Thompson.
“I am one of many health professionals who act as a bridge between mainstream medicine and alternative and complimentary therapies. The journal gives others and myself a forum from which to discuss our esoteric discoveries and how we implement them in a health care practice.” An ad for the Alternative Journal of Nursing appears in the newsletters of several nationally recognized cutting-edge organizations including the American Holistic Nurses Association, Imagery International and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.