Who we are
Obsidian network: Rachel Lovie (co-founder); Helena Lovendal (co-founder)
Rachel had her 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 has been a teacher, facilitator, and course designer. She has coached and mentored young adults, helping them to navigate the difficult terrain between adolescence and adulthood. This first sparked her interest in the importance of rites-of-passage ceremonies in marking significant transitions in life.
Her PhD thesis Paths with Heart: Transformative Journey's in the Imaginal Realm tracks the inter and intrapersonal processes involved in creative developmental journeys. It enables program design with greater potential to be transformative. The ROP process map informed the creation of the "3 I's" model with Ben Fuchs, 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.
Rachel is a professional in the psychedelic practitioner training and retreat space, having co-led the successful pilot program for the Synthesis Institute. She has a special interest in combining nature-centred preparation and integration with psilocybin ceremony, where it is legal to do so.
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.