Sylvia Zofia Hartowicz, PhD, ATR-BC
I am a Board Certified Art Therapist (ATCB 05-048) with over fifteen years experience providing therapeutic services that integrate creativity, spirituality, and psychology. I have worked with children and families, youth, and adults both in community settings and in private practice. In recent years I have focused on researching the importance of ancestral inquiry to allow for healing and transformation as part of my doctoral studies in the East West Psychology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
In my own journey with healing, I have explored both the stories of my childhood and the stories I inherited from my ancestors as a way to find more understanding and clarity about my personal challenges. With deep inquiry through art-making, spiritual practice, and nature connection, I have been able to shed layers of trauma and pain, bringing more clarity and ease to my life. I believe that without having consciousness about the wounds of the past, they have the potential to negatively impact our experience. In bringing awareness and understanding to the stories that bind us, we can become free of the past to allow for a more fulfilling and authentic life.
My counseling approach is eclectic and creative, informed by the training and experience I have with the expressive arts therapies, as well as my education about integrating spirituality and psychology. I draw from a scholarly and experiential interest in depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, ecopsychology, Buddhist psychology, intergenerational trauma and ancestral healing, spiritual traditions and ritual practices, and the power of creativity for healing. Sessions incorporate mindfulness, guided meditation, inquiry into archetypal influences, the expressive arts therapies, and nature-based practices.
The name Wisdom Heart Healing was inspired by the work of Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist meditation teacher, and by Joanna Macy, an activist and scholar of deep ecology and Buddhism. They both teach about the spiritual journey having many twists and turns, and how inquiring into suffering, both personal and collective, allows us to find the sacred in the brokenness. In cultivating deep awareness and compassion, we can get in touch with truth and wisdom that is available in the depths of our heart. Macy (2001) writes that there is a dynamic dance between compassion and wisdom. With compassion, we are able to look deeply into the pain and find the strength to do what is necessary to heal. Meanwhile wisdom allows for an understanding that we are interconnected with all that is and that we can find inner peace in the process of our inquiry. As Kornfield (2009) writes: "We discover that our identity is more tentative, fluid like a river, each moment born anew. Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows."
Kornfield, J. (2009). The wise heart: A guide to the universal teachings of Buddhist psychology. New York: Bantam Books.
Macy, J. (2001). The wings of the bodhisattva. Retrieved from: