Dr. Jennifer Elam was a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. She studied, researched, practiced, and taught psychology from 1969 until her retirement in 2014. Dr. Elam specialized in working with different settings (emotional, psychological, and spiritual) from preschool through adulthood. During her last 13 years of employment, Jennifer worked as a school psychologist in early intervention with preschoolers; she considers 3-year-olds the best teachers. In her writing, she attempts to integrate her profession, her lifetime of social justice work, and her spirituality. Her first book, “Dancing with God through the Storm: Mysticism and Mental Illness,” was written after listening to and documenting approximately 100 different accounts of varying experiences with God. While compiling these stories, Dr. Elam learned the importance of the need for accompaniment in all we encounter on a spiritual level. Thus, she began to lead art retreats, drummed with women, lived in the community, and on the 2nd Friday of each month, she became involved in a program for sharing creativity. Following the calling to become a resident student at Pendle Hill, the Quaker study center, Jennifer lived in Pennsylvania for 25 years, leading a rich, extraordinary life of Spirit and Ministry. From 2012-2018, she cared for her parents, who died six days apart. Jennifer is originally from Kentucky; in 2020, while visiting her old roots, and working on estate settlements, the pandemic swept through the United States. Not feeling safe to travel, she knew she could no longer go back and forth from Pennsylvania to Kentucky. Presently, she is working to save her family farm, a beautiful farm in the family since 1794, and a wonderful place to pray. The creative and spiritual are her sources of hope for a larger world. She paints as a form of prayer; many Spirit-led paintings are influenced by the stories she had heard. She is a dancer and found that movement is fundamental in her work. Her creativity as co-creation with God remains essential in all that she does. Currently, Dr. Elam is teaching classes, writing books, painting, dancing, and learning to be a farm owner. She is in transition and wondering where her path will take her. As a contributor to iPub, she invites her readers to join in on the journey and share their stories.
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