Rik Center is the Executive Director and Founding Member of the Mindfulness Care Center. I am a Somatic Experiencing Stress and Trauma Counselor/Practitioner, Mindfulness Stress Reduction & Meditation Teacher, Buddhist/Interfaith Chaplain and member of the USABP/United States Association For Body Psychotherapy. My private practice focuses on healing high levels of stress, unresolved traumatic anxiety and PTSD that allows for discharge and regulation of the autonomic nervous system along with offering grief and spiritual counseling sessions. I’m a past Resident Graduate of the California Pacific Medical Center CPE/Clinical Pastoral Education Program and Integrative Health & Healing Program. I’ve also trained in various physical and emotional bodywork methods and am a former Director of a Holistic Healing Arts School. I have an extensive business background along with being a practitioner of the Japanese Martial Art “Kyudo” The Way Of Bow since 1991.
Over the past ten years I’ve been a community volunteer spending time at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, teaching Mindfulness at the Mary Elizabeth Inn, the only full time resident home in San Francisco for women who have experienced difficulties in life as well as emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. I’ve supported various Somatic Experiencing trainings and traveled to the New Orleans/Baton Rogue area in support of people who were reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. For the last few years I’ve been volunteering at San Francisco General as a Hospital Chaplain through Sojourn in various units while concentrating in the ICU. I teach a mindfulness movement class in the hospital psych ward and lead a weekly meditation in the hospital chapel.
My spiritual practice is supported and sustained through a two-year Dedicated Practitioner’s Program offered through Spirit Rock Meditation Center, long-term personal retreats, plus dharma studies at Abhayagiri a Buddhist Monastery above Ukiah and classes at IMC/Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City. Additionally I continue to attend advance trainings with Peter Levine the founder of Somatic Experiencing ®.
Muriel Wanderer is co-founder of the Mindfulness Care Center. She has a background in business administration and bookkeeping. I studied health at the Center for Self Healing and researched various alternative methods of healing for many years while being the primary caregiver for my late husband. Personally, I explored a variety of therapeutic methods before coming upon the approach of Somatic Experiencing. Combining this with Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes a huge shift in my outlook of life took on a more positive perspective. In addition I began a Vipassana meditation practice where a fuller shift in my emotional health is now more integrated with a spiritual holistic approach to wholeness. From my own deep healing I was moved to join Rik Center in forming the “Mindfulness Care Center” so more people will have the opportunity to explore a fuller brain/body approach to healing and living a richer, fuller life.
Lori, LMFT, is a mindfulness-based psychotherapist and director of Mindful Marin which offers individual and group therapy and workshops integrating the principles and practices of Zen and Insight meditation. She specializes in helping clients and participants awaken their hearts to their innate goodness and wholeness. Lori sits on the MCC Advisory Committee, teaches various mindfulness classes and the MCC and co-facilitates the Woman’s Mindfulness Group.
Mary Anne Cook trained in family therapy at NYU’s School of Social Work and in Spiritual Direction at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. She has worked with hospice patients and their families for the past six years at Hospice by the Bay, has lead support groups for mothers and for seniors living in assisted living facilities, and has a private practice in Marin County working with clients experiencing a wide variety of life transitions. In addition, Mary Anne has worked in several non-profits in arts administration and has also served on boards in various roles including board president. She lives in Marin County where she has raised her family for the past eighteen years.
John Coyne is a clinical psychologist with an interest in Somatic psychology and Buddhism. I have been living and working in San Francisco for fifteen years. I have a small private practice and also work for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. I met Rik through my interest in Buddhism and share his vision of creating a healing center bringing affordable therapy services to the public.
Perry Lisker, JD, MSW and LCSW/Licensed Clinical Social Worker. For the last ten years, Perry has been affiliated with California Pacific Medical Center, at both the St. Luke’s and California campuses, where he provides crisis intervention, anticipatory grief work and supporting counseling as well as appropriate implementation and coordination of discharge plans for new mothers, emergency room and skilled nursing facility patients and their families. Perry performs psycho-social assessments to determine patients’ prior levels of functioning, expectations and concerns which affect adjustment to illness or disability and after care transitions and functions as liaison between patients, caregivers and community agencies. Perry has also been primarily responsible for palliative care patients transitioning to home with hospice or to a hospice facility. He initiated behavioral rounds with a multidisciplinary medical and therapy team to focus on patients identified as experiencing psychological and emotional challenges, and to assist nursing staff in determining intervention options. Perry also provides on-call social service for three campuses within hospital system and responds to cases involving child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, fetal demise, substance abuse, domestic violence and other urgent psychosocial issues. Prior to joining the staff at CMPC, Perry worked with Cedar Sinai Medical Center, Salick Health Care, City of Hope and other organizations in Los Angeles, California as an oncological social worker as well as providing in-home psycho-social support and resources to persons triply diagnosed with HIV/AIDs, chronic mental illness and drug and/or alcohol abuse.
In addition to his clinical social work experience, Perry has served as a business management consultant for profit and non-profit organizations, providing analysis, recommendations and implementation of financial management, operational structures, marketing strategies and program development. Prior to his career in social work, Perry had successful careers as a real estate mortgage broker and surety specialist. He received his Masters in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach, a law degree from San Fernando Valley College of Law, and a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, from California State University, Los Angeles.
Pam Peirce, LCSW, is a social worker specializing in end of life and elder care. She has been working with terminally-ill clients and their loved ones since 1995, an interest that grew out of living through the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and currently works with Hospice By the Bay. Her experience with end of life work includes volunteering at Laguna Honda through the Zen Hospice Project. She has a meditation practice based in the Theravada tradition as taught at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has participated in retreats with Thich Nhat Han and Pema Chodron. She is currently enrolled in the Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy Program at California Institute for Integral Studies. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and is committed to the inclusion of the LGBT community in her work and practice.
Yvonne Gingsberg began practicing Vipassana meditation in 1970 with V. R. Dhiravamsa. Yvonne organized the Vipassana Fellowship East in 1972 and has taught many weekend and three-month retreats. She has taught undergraduate psychology at Yale University and has worked as a therapist for 35 years in the San Francisco/Marin County area. She has lead the Mission Dharma sitting group on many occasions over the last eleven years and co-taught Search Inside Yourself, seven week courses at Google for six years. . Yvonne is also the producer/director of a documentary distributed by PBS entitled, "Landmines of the Heart" which is a meditation on reconciliation through the story of Cambodia and Maha Ghosananda.