Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés is an award winning American poet, bestselling author, Diplomate senior Jungian psychoanalyst, cantadora (keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition) and post-trauma specialist.
She is a lifelong activist in service of the voiceless; as a post-trauma recovery specialist and psychoanalyst of 50 years clinical practice she worked with persons traumatized by war, exiles and torture victims; and as a journalist covering stories of human suffering and hope.
As an older child she was adopted into an immigrant and refugee family of majority Magyar and minority Danau Swabian tribal people. Her families could not read or write, or did so haltingly. But they were wise in the ways of nature, planting, animals, making everything from scratch, from shoes to songs.
Thus, she was raised immersed in the oral tradition of old mythos and stories, songs and chants, dances and ancient healing ways.
Her writing is deeply influenced by her family people who were hands-on farmers, shepherds, hopsmeisters, wheelwrights, weavers, orchardists, tailors, cabinet makers, lace makers, knitters, horsemen and horsewomen from their Old Countries.
Similar to William Carlos Williams and other poets who also worked in the health or other professions in tandem, Estés is a poet who uses her poems throughout her psychoanalytic books, spoken word audios, and performance art as healing and expressive therapy for others.
Her doctorate from the Union Institute & University is in ethno-clinical psychology, the study of social and psychological patterns of cultural and tribal groups, with an emphasis in indigenous history.
Author of many books on the life of the soul, her work is published in 40 languages, most recently Persian, Turkish, Han Chinese, Serbian, Romanian, Farsi, and Taiwanese. Her book Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of The Wild Woman Archetype was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 144 weeks.
She began her work as a post-trauma specialist in the 1960s at hospitals, caring for severely injured children, and 'shell-shocked' war veterans and their families. Estés ministers in the fields of childbearing loss, surviving families of murder victims, as well as critical incident work. She served at natural disaster sites, where she began developing a post-trauma recovery protocol for earthquake survivors in Armenia.
Since then, her Post-Trauma Recovery Protocol has been translated into many languages, and is used across the world to deputize citizen-helpers to carry on post-trauma work on-site at many disasters,-- for the months and years yet to come, after first-responders have moved on. She served Columbine High School and community after the massacre, 1999-2003. She continues to work with 9-11 survivors and survivor families on both east and west coasts.
She has been an advisory board member for National Writers Union, New York; an advisory board member of National Coalition Against Censorship, New York; and is a board member of the Maya Angelou Minority Health Foundation at Wake Forest University Medical School. She is an advisor to El Museo de las Americas, Colorado; a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review; and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Estés, "a former "hard-scrabble" welfare mother" is the recipient of numerous awards for her life's work, including the first Joseph Campbell Keeper of the Lore Award for her work as La cantadora; for her written work, the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis; the Catholic Press Association award for her writing. She received the Las Primeras Award, "The First of Her Kind" from the Mexican American Women's Foundation, Washington D.C.
She is a 2006 inductee into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame which recognizes women "change agents" of international influence. Recently she was awarded an honorary doctorate in Health and Humanities from Regis University in Denver CO. In 2018 acclaimed actress Emma Watson featured Women Who Run With the Wolves for two months in her feminist book club, My Shared Shelf. The initial instagram response was 2 million hits. And Watkins Mind, Body, Spirit Magazine 2018 a prestigious British Magazine, has listed her along with the Dalai Lama and Jack Kornfield, Amma, Deepak Chopra, and others as one of the 100 most spiritually influential Living people in the world.
Estés is Managing Editor for TheModeratevoice.com, a news and political blog where she also writes on issues of culture, soul, and politics. Her columns on issues of social justice, spirituality and culture are archived under her signature title: El Rio Debajo del Rio ("The River Underneath the River") on the National Catholic Reporter website.
She is controversial for proposing that both assimilation and holding to ethnic traditions are the ways to contribute to a creative culture and to a soul-based civility. She successfully helped to petition the Library of Congress, as well as worldwide psychoanalytic institutes, to rename their studies and categorizations formerly called, among other things, "psychology of the primitives", to more respectful and descriptive names, according to ethnic group, religion, culture, etc.
Estés' Guadalupe Foundation funds literacy projects, including in Queens, New York City, in Madagascar - providing printed local folktales, healthcare and hygiene information for people in their own language. These texts are then used for learning to read and write.
Estés testifies before state and federal legislatures on welfare reform, education and school violence, child protection, mental health, environment, licensing of professionals, immigration, traditional medicine, licensure, and other quality of life and soul issues.
Estés is a spoken word and performance artist in poetry, stories, blessings and psychoanalytic commentary. Her many audio works, published by Sounds True, are available as CDs and streaming mp3s and have been broadcast over numerous National Public Radio and community public radio stations throughout Canada and the United States.
LIFETIME AUDIO BOOKS in CD's Series and Mp3 streaming downloads 1989 to Present...
Estés is the Managing Editor and columnist at international political and lifestyle newsblog, The Moderate Voice. Her columns are archived at The National Catholic Reporter online;
"Do Not Lose Heart, We Were Made for These Times: Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times" by Estés
"The Church Beneath The Church" by Estés
"Baptism: The Good Fathers" and "Internship: The Bad Fathers (poetry by Estés)
"Slaughter of Innocence" Dr. Estés writing on the pedophile scandal in the Roman Catholic church: U.S. Catholic magazine.
Blog Entry: Estés writes on racism in her article "Don Imus And Bernard McGuirk re "Nappy-Headed Hos"
Archived Google Video of televised "The Charlie Rose Show" 2002, covering Woman.Life.Song production at Carnegie Hall featuring coloratura soprano Jessye Norman, [music by judith weir] and those who wrote the words for the libretto: author Dr. Estés, author Dr. Toni Morrison, and author Dr. Maya Angelou.