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Amy Rakusin and Phil Fratesi, Baltimore MD USA (English)

Dear FPT-AWP Friends,

We feel that we are privileged to join the Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific.

Our greatest blessings are our children and each other. Our three children are living and working on their own. We are so proud of them. We enjoy seeing their growth and ventures in career and social responsibility. We take delight in our frequent family gatherings and visits.

From left to right: Phil Fratesi, daughter Calla Jamison, son Jackson Fratesi, Amy Rakusin, son Wes Jamison and Wes' life long best friend Josh Talley.

We live north of Baltimore which allows us to escape into the wonderful woods that envelop our home and to make trips into the city for work, our Quaker meeting and events. We take great pleasure in our two 90 pound puppies, our gardens and close friends.

Professionally, I (Amy) am a licensed psychotherapist and movement therapist working in private practice and with nonprofit agencies. Much of my psychotherapy career has focused on serving uninsured and marginalized victims of violence. Currently, in addition to my private work, I work with survivors of torture providing therapy as well as psychological evaluation and oral testimony in asylum court. After participating in the African Great Lakes Initiative FPT Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) training program in Rwanda, I have facilitated several community-based trauma healing workshops both for service providers and with resettled refugees. I also lead ongoing group therapy for resettled refugees in Baltimore through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In whatever capacity I am privileged to work as a therapist and workshop facilitator, I attempt to use my skills in body mind therapies with the hope that I might support others in accessing their innate abilities to heal, regain empowerment and live in spiritual safety and harmony.

And, I (Phil) have worked with organizational leaders and boards helping them create and develop the structures and systems that are most supportive and effective for them. My guiding philosophy in my work has been that the organization that cares about and supports the personal and professional development of its people will be most successful in its mission. Personally, the past few years, and currently, have been a time of deep reflection as I create a personal story and focus that will define my work and personal life in these my coming elder years.

As our faith and involvement with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has deepened we have become increasingly more active in peace work. We both work together offering workshops in Compassionate Listening to small and large groups. We believe that through listening and speaking from the heart we may feel the pain and truth of those we often call “other” thus creating connection out conflict. Deep listening is an active and ongoing practice of ours – to listen into the humanity and Spirit of each we encounter – this is sometimes difficult but always cherished.

Peace and many blessings,

Amy and Phil

 

April 2014