Educate. Encourage. Empower.
Private Practice, Consultant & Facilitator:
• Ashland Death Café – Co-founder/
Facilitator, A community-based exploration how death can inform and inspire the way we live
• Living/Dying Alliance of Southern Oregon – Co-founder/Facilitator,
A community-centered alliance of professionals, service providers, educators and advocates who seek to raise awareness of death and dying as a way to enrich the human experience of life and living.
• IDEO Challenge – “Re-imagining the End of Life Experience” - Participant & Collaborator
• Center for Spiritual Care & Pastoral Formation (CSCPF); Past Liaison to Program Council & Communications Team Lead - CSCPF is an international community of Chaplains, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) supervisors, psycho-therapists, spiritual care providers
• DeathOK Conference, Portland OR –
Topic: “Heart of the Matter – Mindfulness Tools to Thrive and Survive Caregiver Stress”
• So OR Friends of Hospice – Facilities Committee consultant for Residential Hospice House
• WinterSpring – Co-facilitator, Loss & Mindfulness Bereavement Support Group - Ashland OR
• Rogue Valley Manor (Continuing Care Retirement Community) – Medford OR
About SELENE SELTZER
Let me tell you about myself and why I do this work.
“Towards the end of my father’s life almost 25 years ago, I remember having the thought, “Hospice is wonderful. Yet so much suffering could be relieved if this type of care began years earlier ~ closer to the time of diagnosis ~ and not just at the brink of death.”
You might have thought this would have occurred to me sooner, as I was a longtime practitioner of meditation and the internal energy arts of Qigong and Tai Chi as a means for my own healing. Yet Life unfolds in its own time and this thought was the spark needed to advance my journey to be a professional, clinically trained provider of Integrative Care and Support Services.
I had watched my parents struggle with caring for my grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 15 years.
I began a journey with cancer when I was in my 20’s, a result of my mother taking a drug to prevent miscarriage, and evolved for me into multiple events of cancer and long-term chronic illness.
I had also been involved in an auto accident also in my 20’s that left me in chronic pain for decades that challenged, affected, and limited my desired life.
I struggled early on to not have my diagnosis or my challenges define me.
Later, I served and cared for my parents and other family members for 14 years in their illness and dying processes.
Philosophy of Care
My personal healing journey affected, and was informed, by my education and clinical training. My current offering of Integrative Support and Care is a synthesis of all I have experienced and learned. Through my personal experience and clinical training, I understand that people are more than their bodies, more than their diagnosis and wish to live as well as possible for as long as possible.
As an Integrative Care provider offering multiple complementary modalities and a Clinical Healthcare Chaplain specializing in a palliative approach, I advocate for and provide “whole person” care to ease pain and suffering in the body, heart-mind and spirit. Drawing from a broad range of mindfulness-based, compassion-focused and relationship-centered therapies and practices, this integrative and holistic work provides opportunities for both transformation and healing.
My focus is on preserving, enhancing and achieving the best possible quality of life. By beginning as close to the time of diagnosis as possible helps people participate in their healing and make decisions based on what matters most to them and what makes their life worth living. This can lead to a higher quality of life beyond the effects of conventional biomedical interventions.
I embrace the opportunity to be with each person, family member and caregiver in our shared and common humanity in this most sacred and vulnerable of times.
Education & Training: The Expressive & Contemplative Arts
Bringing “the healing power of art” into “the art of healing”
I love the challenge of science and find freedom in the arts. Told I could never make a living as an artist and desiring to make a difference in the world, I turned toward academics: a BA in criminology (+sociology and psychology); post-graduate studies in Zoology in preparation for a step-up PhD program in Sociobiology/Biological Ecology. While studying the social and psycho-dynamic effects of stress, I also learned to meditate, took art history, design, drawing & painting classes exploring ways to express the ineffable through art making.
In the middle of my graduate program, I was diagnosed and treated for cancer. Then my plans for overseas fieldwork to complete my PhD was derailed by an accident leaving me with physical challenges and chronic pain. I struggled early on not to have my diagnosis, nor my circumstances define me. Meditation, qigong and art making became my way back.
While an operations manager/lead designer for a SF Bay Area Tile/General Contractor, I researched the history/designs/production methods of Art Tile Studios in the US during the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Soon after, I founded Designs In Tile™, an internationally-known atelier specializing in custom, hand-painted, historic-styled tiles and murals for residential/commercial/special projects/art-in-public places. Designs In Tile’s goal: “To create a unique synthesis of art, ornament & architecture in every installation” embodied its tagline, “The Art of Transformation”, a metaphor for my work and my journey. I acted as artist/designer/consultant, wrote technical materials/installation specifications, as well as provided on-site project supervision for my commissioned work. I also served as contributor/design resource/writer for architectural, restoration trades, and major national design magazines.
As Designs In Tile™ evolved, I also became certified in multiple modalities of Mind-Body Medicine/Integrative Care.Years later, I trained and served as a Clinical Healthcare Chaplain (Palliative Care) in ICU/CCU/Medical Oncology. My focus of care was providing spiritual/existential support and advocacy and enhancing Quality of Life. I have embedded my training and experience in the Expressive & Contemplative Arts into Integrative Care in my private practice - bringing “the healing power of art” into “the art of healing”.
Mind-Body Medicine/Complementary Practices Training:
For decades, I have practiced meditation, have been a student of the internal energy arts of tai chi and qigong, and body/mind/heart healing.
My path integrates the body-based (somatic) practices of sitting meditation, energy bodywork, spiritual-psychotherapies, breath work, and the moving meditation practices of Tai Chi and Qigong.
• Residential Professional Training and Practicum programs: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Mind-Body Medicine with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli at the University of Massachusetts’ Medical Center and have taught Mindfulness training programs in a variety of settings for a variety of audiences;
• Meditating with the Body: Experiential Training of Somatic (Body) Practices & Seminary Training (Reggie Ray PhD);
• Nondual Teacher and Therapist Training (Peter Fenner PhD)
• Certified practitioner of Biodynamic Cranial Touch emphasizing 'Exploration of the Body as Consciousness'
• Certified to teach Realization Process – (Spiritual Psycho-therapy, Embodiment and Meditation (Judith Blackstone PhD).
• Decades of study with Western and Asian teachers of Wisdom traditions in meditation, qigong and tai chi.
• Visiting Teacher (Qigong) with Founding Teachers at:
• Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Marin County, CA
• Mountain Stream Meditation Center and other retreat centers
• Served on the Faculty of Shasta Yoga Institute’s Vajrapani Yoga Teacher Training, an Iyangar Yoga Teacher Training program.
• Founder/ Business Owner/ Artist-Designer of Designs In Tile™ . An internationally known Art Tile Studio that created custom historic tiles, installations and restorations from concept through completion, and took its inspiration from ancient wisdom traditions that used art for spiritual transformation and physical healing.
Spiritual Care + Integrative Care Training:
• Dually Board-certified as Clinical Healthcare Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor
• Metta Institute’s 2 year End of Life Practitioner Program
• Cal State University-San Marcos’ Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate
• Cal State University-San Marcos' Center for Palliative Care Specialty Certification: Healing Through Art: Training the Trainer
• Integrative Cancer Care Navigation Professional Training – Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (Washington DC)/Kripalu
• Intro to Clinical Oncology - Palliative Care, Parts 1-3 - MD Anderson Cancer Center
• Oncology Patient Navigation Training – George Washington University’s GW Cancer Institute
• Patient Navigator Trainings – University of CO: Denver Cancer Center
• Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Leader Training – Stanford University
I have served as a Clinical Healthcare Chaplain in hospice, skilled nursing, continuing care retirement community and acute care-trauma hospital (ICU/CCU/Medical Oncology) settings.
I have now chosen to work in private practice in collaboration with other forward-thinking, person-centered healthcare providers.
• 4 postgraduate units (1600 hrs) Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in clinical settings of ICU/Critical Care/EOL-Palliative Care/Hospice
• MDiv equivalency recognized by APC, CPSP and CSCPF
• Interdisciplinary Research/Studies towards a PhD in Socio-Biology/Biological Ecology, UC Davis, "Effects of Stress on Psychodynamics, Social Interactions and Cultural Cohesion"
• Zoology, Post-graduate studies - UC Berkeley
• Criminology (minor:Psychology + Sociology), BA - UC Berkeley