Collage of pictures and art on theme of loss, grief, art therapy, and journey to healing and the spirit.

Finding the Art of Life and the Spirit – video podcast

An interview with the accomplished and talented Evie Lindemann, author, teacher, and art therapist.

View or listen to a fantastic interview with the illustrious Evie Lindemann, LMFT, ATR-BC, author, writer, and accomplished art therapist. Evie is an art therapist and a marriage and family therapist licensed in North Carolina, Connecticut, and California, specializing in training for mental health professionals and community groups. She’s interactive, a Jungian-oriented trainer, and a holistic therapist. She provides support and practical feedback to help individuals effectively address life challenges. Evie presents a life story to inspire all to meet life’s challenges and surmount significant obstacles to find meaning, purpose, love, and happiness, as well as an exceptional career that has benefited many. Edie also discusses her soon-to-be-published book and her recent book about grief and loss, including some of her most recent published work.

To begin the video interview with Evie Lindemann – click on the picture below (for the audio podcast only, click here):


RP: Welcome to the Mind Wise Video podcast, which presents holistic mental health, healthcare, and wellness perspectives and information. I am your host, Ron Parks, MD writer, teacher, and consultant.

About Evie Lindemann, LMFT, ATR-BC

RP: Today’s interview is with our illustrious guest, Evie Lindemann, LMFT, ATR-BC, author, writer, accomplished art therapist, and a pretty good swimmer. Evie is an art therapist and a marriage and family therapist licensed in North Carolina, Connecticut, and California, specializing in training for mental health professionals and community groups. She’s interactive, a Jungian-oriented trainer and therapist. I really like that Jungian stuff. She provides support and practical feedback to help individuals effectively address life challenges. Boy, I could use some of that.

EF: Me too. 

RP:  She integrates complimentary mythologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each training experience with compassion and understanding. She works with groups to facilitate building on strengths and attain personal and professional growth. She has had over 30 years of clinical experience as a graduate. Of the University of California Berkeley, John F. Kennedy University, and Albertus Magnus College. She’s an associate professor of Emeritus of Art Therapy at Albertus Magnus College; she currently offers international training for the Expressive Therapies Summit and the Portland Institute. In addition to being a prominent trainer, Evie has presented at the national conference to the general audience on health, trauma, and creativity. I thought, wow, a wonderful background. And some impressive, impressive work. But of course, I’m mostly impressed by your swimming. Evie is a fellow swimmer. That’s actually where I met her, grinding out our laps in the morning.

EF: That’s right. Doing our butterfly.

RP: For my age, I’m a great butterfly, at least I think so anyway, if you would tell us a little about yourself. We had an excellent intro here and about your journey. You know, to become the person you are, the art therapist and all that. And then maybe we’ll have time to talk about some of your things as an author, some of the things you’ve written, and things to be published. Welcome.

Evie’s Journey and Story

EF: Thank you so much, Ron. I appreciate that I’m here with you today. So just as though in the way of background, I think sometimes about ancestry, I. And I was born and raised in California. I’m a fifth-generation Californian because of my mother’s side of my family going back to a few great-grandfathers. One of mine was a physician who led one of the, yeah, who led one of the earliest wagon trains into California the Donner Party. It was his wisdom that said to his group; we are going to wait to go to the Sierra Nevada until the snow melts in the springtime. That one decision is the reason I’m here today talking to you.

And sometimes, yeah, sometimes I like to think about who came before me, that who influenced me. So, I grew up with four siblings in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in a farming family and attended Catholic schools for 12 years, including four and boarding school. And in the middle of my school experience, I realized I was a seeker. And that the Catholic education I was receiving was as valuable as some of it was; the rest of it felt quite dogmatic and rigid and didn’t really suit me. So, I think I was about 15 when I started saying; I don’t think this is probably it. I hope it’s not. And I think what I have to do is I have to look, keep looking for it. And that has been my path ever since. Also, as I look back at my life, career, art making, and writing, I think a great deal of how I found my path, or my path found me, came out of loss. And so, when I was in college, my father committed suicide. That one episode element event pretty much shattered what I thought was secure in my life.

When I finished my education at Berkeley, I undertook a pretty two-year odyssey that took me from the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal, with my thumb out. Across the world, to a kibbutz in Israel for half a year where they had bomb shelters because we lived right on the border with Jordan. So, I had some brushes with close calls there and needed to go to the bomb shelter because the buildings were shaking and the news that sometimes the kibbutznik would die. Because they stepped on a landmine and they had a very calm attitude and supportive attitude toward any kibbutznik whose family member was killed, of course. And that was a very different understanding of death than the one I’d kind of dragged with me in my heart all that time, searching for something that meant something to me.

As part of this journey, I became interested in a silent teacher from India named Meher Baba, and this came to me. After my father’s suicide, I sought counseling help at the UC Berkeley Counseling Center. My therapist there was very interested in this silent teacher named Meher Baba, and he had a giant picture of this man on his wall. And the man had captivating eyes, but I felt so irritated that whatever he had going, I didn’t have going. And I was hoping that I might find it somewhere. So. On my sojourn across Asia, I spent six months in Afghanistan because my travel partner got deathly ill, and we couldn’t travel. Still, it was there that I made some amazing connections with wonderful, wonderful people both from Afghanistan and from the States.

Who took me in as family, including an Afghan family, a Jewish family whose young son Aubrey, I was teaching in a language, private language school, and when this young boy wouldn’t turn the light off in the classroom on a Friday evening, it was sort of. Not something that Afghan children would do would be to defy an adult. He said, no, I can’t turn the light off. And I said, why can’t you turn the light off? And he said because it’s Shabbat. And with that, I think my mouth flew open, and I said, oh my gosh, I have come from living in Israel for six months. He said, then you must come home and meet my father. And so. I went home with Abrahim and met his father, Schmuel.

And with that, we were adopted by this amazing Jewish family in Kabul. So, as my travel partner recovered, I continued working as a language teacher and got a job as an illustrator of children’s stories for the Department of Education of Afghanistan, partnered with Columbia University in New York City. They hired me to go into people’s homes to meet women I never would’ve met on the street because they were veiled to see what life was like inside these Afghan homes. So, with that was a terrific cultural and intercultural education for me, an appreciation for our differences, and their warmheartedness in welcoming me and including me as a part of their family and friendship structure. And so, a profound lesson for me during part of that journey was the idea of hospitality and what a difference it makes in our world when people are hospitable to each other.

So, I kind of tucked that into my heart and kept traveling. I went to India and Nepal, and all this time, I was trying to find out where this Meher Baba was, a smiling man I only saw on a wall in Berkeley, California. Where was he? So, a few aerograms later, I actually found out where he was, and it turned out that he had died the year before. So, his tomb, a sacred pilgrimage place, was in India, in the western part of the country. So, a few hallucinogenic trips later. My search for God. Was there any meaning in life? We finally, after a sojourn in Goa, where I met a woman from California who was a Meher Baba follower and had a book, and she gave me the book one afternoon. I read it from cover to cover and told my travel partner that we had to leave Goa tomorrow even though it was paradise. So, we took a steamer back to Mumbai and traveled onward. And while we were on that steamer, I had this thought that we should just dump all of our drugs overboard. I don’t know why, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. The trips weren’t getting any more fun, and I didn’t seem to be learning anything else. So, we dumped everything overboard. Except for two tabs of acid, just in case this Meher Baba guy turned out to be a false teacher. So, we just kept those tucked in our backpacks and went on and traveled on trains and buses. And we eventually landed in the place where Meher Baba had lived and where he was buried.

And when there, we visited his close disciples who lived there called Monali. Meeting those people and sitting in Meher Baba’s tomb was the absolute pivot point of my life. There were remarkable things that happened to me, both inwardly and outwardly, and I think I felt for the first time. This is a deep kind of love that I’ve never seen manifested anywhere else.

And with that. I got hooked on Meher Baba, who has been my teacher ever since and informed my journey through graduate school and becoming a therapist and then an art therapist. So that’s a little bit of the story.

Evie’s New Book – Rising From the Ashes

RP: Evie, how, how did all that turn into the book? You’ve written, I know. It’s going to be published sometime soon. What is the title of it?

EF: It is called Rising From the Ashes. It’s my memoir, and it’s basically in the last few minutes what I’ve talked to you about is in that memoir. It’s, it’s my spiritual pilgrimage story to finding something foundational and permanent even with all the changes that life requires of us.

RP: Well, it’ll be something to look forward to. You’ll let us know when that’s out.

EV: I will, I will. Thank you for asking. And I think, looking back at my life and also kind of looking at young people and even older people, now what I’m aware of is every person on the planet is seeking some kind of meaning. Sometimes we look in silly, dangerous places like I did. You know, sometimes we look for it through orthodox religious practices. It can be, sometimes we find it swimming in a pool and doing butterfly. But the point is that we all search for identity and meaning. And I think being visible in the world, one of the gifts to me during my lifetime, was actually my father’s death because the trauma of his suicide forced me in a way to look for meaning, to try to understand. Was there any? And if there was, where was it? Well, it turned out that, for all those thousands of miles I put on with my feet, boats, trains, buses, and airplanes, it turned out that yes. Well, I was just going to say a lot about my work, and I’m sort of centered around working with people with the themes of trauma, loss, grief, and so on.

RP: And I understand that you published a book. Do you want to say a little bit about that?

Evie’s contributes and authors a chapter in new book Seasons of Grief

EF: Let me just hold the book up real quick. Aha. There it is. It’s called Seasons of Grief. It just went public, by the way. It’s 21 book chapters. I wrote chapter six. The book is written by a wide variety of what we call expressive arts therapists. These are, it turns out, these are all women in this book. Just that’s how it happened: trained in all aspects of expressive art. My specialty is art therapy, but I also use movement, breathwork, and expressive writing. Some of the authors of book chapters are drama therapists and music therapists, and beautiful blends can happen when people are invited to find aspects of themselves that may have seemed lost to them. There’s something about the arts and giving people room to express themselves creatively, even if they see themselves as people who say, I, you know, can’t draw a straight line. And I say, that’s good because straight lines are so dull. Let’s see what we can do with some curves here. 

RP: This book sounds like it would be great for everybody, not just students, therapists, and professionals.

EF: So, yeah, it’s for anybody really. That’s a really good point. I, because anybody can pick it up and open to any chapter and find things that one can do at home, with a little bit of focus, or that certainly one could do Working with a creative arts therapist.

RP: wow. Evie, you know, I can actually see some artwork and drawings in the background.

EF: Most of it’s my work, but those little scrolly ones are my wonderful grandchildren who love to make art. So, they’ve been making art since they were about two, and they’re now 10, eight, and five, and they’re wonderfully creative. So, we spend a lot of time together making stuff.

RP: Well, very good. And you had some tips and pearls for us. Now, you’re not going to pick on my swimming, are you? Go ahead.

EF: Well, if you want me to, I


RP: I can’t, can’t take criticism! 

Evie’s art and art therapy

EF: I am very affirming that we can all heal from things. Some of us have had more difficulty in life. Some of us have had less, but I think every human is seeking interconnection and outer connection, and there’s a great deal of loneliness in the world, I think particularly in the Western world, because we function so independently, we have trouble asking for help. The pandemic came, and we got cut off from each other. We realized how desperate we were for our connections. So. From my experience, I know that when I pick up my pen or I pick up my art materials and put them on paper, something magical can happen because those elements of expression spring from within. And it’s not just a question of creating a piece of art. I’ve done a lot of art, mostly printmaking, in my life, and it’s pretty much all over my house. But it comes from being willing to look at what you’ve done and letting the art speak back to you.

So when we make things, Carl Jung always said, it’s kind of a sacred enterprise, and he always liked his clients to take their artwork home. And he said, look at it. Look at it. Listen to it. Let it speak to you. Dance it. Make music out of it, create a song, and do something with what has sprung out of your inner being. So, I would say that when we practice some of these practices, a world can open up: a world of mystery, healing, and creativity. I’ve had so many people say to me in art therapy sessions; in fact, I conducted an art therapy session last week with a group of Ash who are both art-oriented and have various kinds of mental illnesses they’re struggling with. There’s kind of a gasp that happens for people who are like, oh my gosh, I. I can’t believe this is what showed up on my paper today like it’s telling a whole story about my journey. So, surprises happen to people who really consider mystery and magic.

RP: Evie, catching you in an interview has been fantastic, with so many really good things. Any parting major tip you have would improve our lives.

EF: Wow. If you’re seeking meaning, keep looking because it’s not only out there; it’s also within you, and do not be discouraged. When you experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, or desperation, there’s always help, and some of it comes from out here from people like Ron, and some comes from tapping into our depth sources within each of us. We all have it.

Dream and Insight Journaling, and maybe Ron should add a little art to his journaling?

RP: I’ve asked Evie about this before, but I’m especially a big proponent of journaling done first thing in the morning. My reflection, insight, and dream journaling would, no doubt, benefit from adding some sketches or artwork. So, Evie, maybe I need to start doing that.

EF: Oh, that’s a wonderful idea. So that reminds me, if you’re a person who remembers your dreams, what Ron is suggesting is a fantastic practice. Dreams tend to slip away if too much time passes between when you awaken and when you go about, maybe on a busy day. So, it’s good to capture it early, and sometimes maybe it’s just an image like there was a red umbrella floating in the water, and a boat came by. Somebody was in it, but I wasn’t sure who it was. And then somebody on the shore was waving to the person in the boat. Those are great images to capture, and sometimes you can just take a pen and do a little bit of sketching if you like to sketch or just some abstract designs that somehow help you understand the flow of the dream. So, those things that appear in dreams are fantastic little keys to parts of who we are worth mining by expressing them in writing and visual art, and you can get that red umbrella to talk back to you. That’s the beauty of making art. Sometimes. Our artwork and writing want us to know so badly about ourselves and those selves that show up as the boat, the person, the umbrella, the person waving on the shore. They’re all parts of who we are.

RP: Evie, that’s fantastic. But you know, I always have to get the last word in, but I was just going to mention,

EF: Okay. 

RP: Dream journaling isn’t really all about a dream. Remember a line or an image, and you can reflect on that. Still, it’s also a period coming out of what we call REM sleep, where you’re gradually transitioning into wakefulness. So, during that period, your mind is free. It’s not so bound up in trying to do things that, you know, organize things like your left brain, but it’s really open. And you can capture those thoughts. And even if you don’t remember a dream, you can reflect on those first awakening thoughts. That’s where some really creative ideas come up. Anyway, I’ll stop. My wife always says I’m always very quiet, but when I start talking, I talk too much.

EF: I think you’ve been quite disciplined!

RP: I was very good. I didn’t have any of my caffeinated matcha green tea, so anyway. Good. All right. You take care. And thanks so much,

I appreciate your interest; your ideas and comments are welcome. Please share with others. Subscribe to my Substack Newsletter and podcast at All content is created and published for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional or medical services or guidance.

Always seek your healthcare provider’s care regarding medical or mental health conditions. This communication is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. Thank you.

The caption for featured picture is: Loss, entrapment, and journey to discovery and the spirit – by RRP design with Canva & stock photos.

The original article was published in my Mind Wise newsletter:


art therapy, Grief and Loss, Happiness, holistic therapies, Integrative Psychiatry, Journaling, Meher Baba, suicide, trauma

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