Dr. Judith Landau, child, family and community psychiatrist, formerly Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, and Director of the Division of Family Programs at the University of Rochester Medical Center, is currently President of Linking Human Systems, LLC, and LINC Foundation, Inc., in Boulder, Colorado. She serves as Senior Advisor to New York University’s Catastrophe Center, International Trauma Studies Program, and Community Resource Center, New York, New York. Over the past thirty years, she has developed and tested methods that identify the natural healing elements of families and communities. These methods recognize and mobilize natural change agents, link therapists, or community links to build upon the inherent resilience of the human spirit to improve their current situations. Her methods include a model for enhancing individual, family and community resilience. She has designed and taught courses in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, trauma, cultural transition, AIDS/HIV infection and other chronic or life-threatening illnesses. She has developed and directed family-oriented child, adolescent and adult programs and services, consulting to a number of others in various countries. She has served as Principal Investigator on local, state and federal research and service grants in treatment and prevention at individual, community and family levels. This work is described in numerous papers, chapters, and Landau-Stanton & Clements (1993). AIDS, Health and Mental Health: A Primary Source Book. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Dr. Landau has worked with diverse ethnic, cultural and spiritual groups, bridging the bio-psycho-socio-cultural-spiritual ecosystem and developing the Transitional Family Therapy approach, including, "Link" Therapy, the ARISE Intervention, and the LINC model of community resilience (mobilizing natural change agents in the service of physical, psychological and spiritual health across families and communities). She has worked with refugees and trauma survivors in and from many countries, during and after natural and man-made disasters, consulting to governments on refugee resettlement, the development of services, and the integration of displaced/uprooted people within their new communities. She has consulted to the design of health and mental health delivery systems, some country wide, which build entirely on the natural healing elements and extended family strengths of communities.
She served on the Advisory Committee to the New York State Commissioner of Mental Health on the Mental Health of Refugees, consulted to the Commissioner of Health for New York City on building healthy communities in the wake of September 11th, 2001, and currently serves as a consultant to the Department of Health in Kosova, and the Lieutenant Governor’s office in Hawaii. As a Fulbright Scholar, she consulted to the Government of Argentina on accessing community-wide resilience in the treatment and prevention of violence, substance abuse and AIDS. She also served as consultant to the Hungarian Departments of Health, Social Services, and Education on developing a national prevention and intervention service based on the LINC Community Resilience Model.
For over 30 years Dr. Landau has worked with substance abusers and their families, directing programs that interface with 12-step programs, recovery, community and mental health service. She has served on the NYS OASAS Planning Committee of the Addiction Technology and Transfer Center, was chair of the Subcommittee on Supervision and Clinical Sites, and designed and taught courses on addiction and the family. She consulted to the NYS OASAS Commissioner’s Committee for the NYS Professional Addiction Education Center. A Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Dr. Landau served as former Chair of the Commission on Supervision, and on several task forces. She was a founding member of the Advisory Committee of the American Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. A former member of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP) Committee on the Family, she was the first National President of the South African Association of Marital and Family Therapy. Dr. Landau’s awards include being a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association, a Diplomate and Fellow of the American Board of Medical Psychotherapists, a Charter Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations, a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychotherapists in Marriage and Family Therapy and Child Therapy, and honorary life member of Asociacion Sistemica de Buenos Aires, Argentina and the South African Association of Marital and Family Therapy.
Dr. Landau has lectured on five continents, presented at over 200 international conferences, and taught students from over ninety countries. She has served on many Editorial Boards including Family Process, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Journal of Family Psychotherapy, and Sistemas Familiares and reviewed for AIDS Education and Prevention, and Families, Systems and Health. She has been widely interviewed and quoted in national magazines and newspapers including Redbook, Time, Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Psychotherapy Networker, and has made numerous television appearances around the world. Her biography appears in several of the Who’s Who lists.
Shamanic Brief Biosketch
At a more personal level, Judith grew up in South Africa through times of political turmoil, and was fortunate to count many of the country’s political heroes as her non-blood “extended family.” Her father, who participated actively in the political struggles until his untimely death, was one of the founders of the field of preventive and social medicine. His life’s mission was the reduction of the infant mortality rate and poverty in outlying and impoverished communities. As a result, Judith lived within several of the African tribes, in Hindu and Moslem Indian communities, and with many of the leaders and change agents of her time. The death of her father resulted in her being raised by a “tribe” of family and non-family members, allowing her to learn first hand that families are the bearers of resilience, and that community and connectedness to family, loved ones, and culture of origin are keys to healing and the prevention of self-destructive behaviors and sicknesses of the soul and body.
As a child of 3, Judith experienced the first of several near death experiences, which allowed her to retain her contact with “the other side,” an influence that would guide her spiritual and professional development through the traditional pathways that, with their advice, she selected to follow. The life-threatening illness (Diphtheria) was followed by a year of paralysis, during which Judith was able to revisit her psychic experience and retain and build her contact with her spirit guides, all of whom have remained her key advisers through her life’s paths. She has also maintained the capacity to travel, not always with conscious intent, into past life experiences. These extraordinary journeys have illuminated her own choices and enriched her clinical work with her patients and their families.
At the age of 5, sitting at the feet of an “isangoma” in KwaZulu where her father was working, Judith watched, in the fire around which they sat, vivid images of the events being discussed by the “complainant,” and unwittingly called out, “She’s not telling the truth!” This initiated a series of amazing and life-changing sessions with her first mentor and shamanic trainer, which subsequently led to many adventures in her journeys around the world to help and guide people to access and enhance their inner resilience and spiritual strength in order to heal the ills of humanity and the societies in which they live.
During her early childhood, other important influences were the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, along with ancient Hebrew, Greek and Roman traditions. She continues to integrate these, along with the cultural and spiritual traditions she has learned along the way, in both her work and daily life. The decision to follow the traditional medical and psychiatric path was not an easy one. But, her guides convinced her that in order to bring important messages of humanitarianism, spirituality, and the interconnectedness of our souls, she should first earn an academic and respected platform. They assured her that they would advise her “when the time came to share it all.” That time came several years back, leading her to take an early retirement from her academic position in order to share what she has learned with people around the world.
Judith is constantly learning from all her experiences, the most recent of which include spending many hours with elders in Alaska (Barrow and Fairbanks), healers in Africa, and grandmothers in Kosovo during and since the war. Learning about the aftermath of war while sitting at the feet of the Kosovo grandmothers, she supported their story telling to other women and their children of how anger cannot bring peace, and how each of them is responsible for spreading the word that our souls need to be “clean, clear water,” assuring that there can never be another war, and that love is the only weapon against destruction.
In her professional life, she works as a holistic child, family and community psychiatrist, spiritual healer, systems psychotherapist, ARISE Interventionist, family life educator, hypnotherapist, and past life regression therapist. Through the LINC Foundation, she is currently raising money for an integrated Healing Center to incorporate traditional, western and alternative medical and spiritual methods in the healing of trauma and its consequences.
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