Who we are
Obsidian network: Rachel Lovie (co-founder); Helena Lovendal (co-founder)
Associates: Tatiana Shuttleworth; Ben Fuchs
Rachel had a home in pays de rêves (valley of dreams) in France for several years. There she developed a deep connection with and love for the land, leaving a part of her heart behind when she had to move back to the UK.
She still visits regularly, spending as much time as possible among the flora and fauna of the Viaur river valley.
Rachel Lovie PhD
With a background in art and design (BA, MA, MRes), Rachel is a qualified and experienced teacher, facilitator, and course designer. Working in further education, she found the pastoral aspects of her role as tutor and mentor particularly rewarding in helping young adults navigate the difficult terrain between adolescence and adulthood. It was here that she first became interested in the importance of rites-of-passage ceremonies in marking significant transitions in life.
Fascinated by what she saw as the central role of creativity in adult development, Rachel embarked on a six year doctoral study, to study creative, developmental programmes, tracking the processes involved in people undergoing transformative learning experiences (including studies with experimental theatre company Imitating The Dog, Olivier Mythodrama, and The School of Lost Borders).
Her PhD thesis is Paths with Heart: Transformative Journey's in the Imaginal Realm. Her 'rite-of-passage process map' shows the inter and intrapersonal processes involved in creative developmental journeys. It enables course design with greater potential to be transformative. The ROP process map informed the creation of the "3 I's" model with Ben Fuchs Ltd, which has been successfully applied in the design of numerous organisational and leadership development programmes.
Rachel's training as a Nature-based Rites-of-Passage Guide was with the School of Lost Borders. She is a member of The Wilderness Guides Council, the international body guiding professionals working in this field.
Helena is a Systemic Psychosexual Therapist & Supervisor. Born in Denmark, she has been working in private practice in the UK since 1988, offering psychotherapy, coaching, and workshops for individuals and couples. Helena also co-founded The Centre For Gender Psychology. A qualified sexual grounding therapist®, she is a senior trainer and Head of Education SGT. She runs international trainings and supervision for professionals in the field of relationships, sex and gender relations; and post-graduate diploma training in Relationship Therapy & Coaching.
Helena’s approach evolved out of her personal development work and professional training with teachers from around the world, spanning the fields of: Psychoanalysis, Depth Psychology, Family Therapy & Systems Theory, Body- Psychotherapy, Integral approaches, Sexual Grounding Therapy, Post-Jungian thought, Yoga, Tantric teachings, Indigenous teachings and Native American Shamanism. More recently she has been inspired by the new developments within Interpersonal Neurobiology and Neuroscience.
Her first book “Sex, Love and the Dangers of Intimacy – a Guide to Passionate Relationships when The ‘Honeymoon’ is over”, co-authored with Nick Duffell, was published by HarperCollins in 2002, re-published in 2010 by Lone Arrow Press and has been translated into several languages.
Helena’s follow-up book will explore the connection between love and sex, and men and women's masculine and feminine qualities - and what happens emotionally, psychologically and spiritually when men and women fall in love, and how they can embrace these energies to develop their full human potential.
Helena is passionate about re-connecting men and women to their natural power and beauty and their innate potentials for living wholehearted and passionate lives, enjoying loving and deeply fulfilling lives and relationships.
When not in London or working abroad, she lives close to nature in South West France, learning how to grow plants and vegetables and live a sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle, while enjoying family, friends and animals and time alone to write.
Ben Fuchs BA, MA
Originally from New York, Ben has been working in personal and professional development internationally and in the UK for 30 years. He is a Senior Consultant at leading health charity The King's Fund, is associate faculty with Ashridge Business School, NHS Leadership Academy, and the London Centre for Supervision and Team Development, and runs the leadership and organisational development consultancy Ben Fuchs Ltd.
Ben holds an MA in counselling psychology; he has post-graduate training in Supervision, Coaching, Group Dynamics, Conflict Resolution, Appreciative Inquiry, Harvard Negotiation, and has trained with the School of Lost Borders in Mirroring. He has published in Harvard Business Review and European Business Review.
Ben lived and worked in the Findhorn Community, Scotland for several years, where his daughter, the voice coach Kira Emslie, was born and raised. Ben attended to his own personal development whilst there, participating in workshops with numerous international teachers. He became a psychotherapist and group facilitator, which led him to a career in developing leaders, teams, organisations and communities.
Ben has led conflict resolution projects in Mexico, Nicaragua and Northern Ireland. He is currently working with leaders in the Health sector to change mindsets and systemic inequalities in relation to racial and cultural diversity and inclusion.
Ben is interested in how we can change our lives through questioning our assumptions and beliefs, making different choices, developing our strengths and freeing up our untapped potential.
He currently lives in southern England.