Priya Huffman holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Psychology, a masters in Psychology, both from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. She has worked as a house cleaner, a construction site supervisor, a massage therapist, has led personal growth workshops internationally, and has spent 35 years as a Jungian psychotherapist. Priya is a potter and poet who lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she leads women’s dream groups and Cortes Island, British Columbia, where she tends a fruit orchard.
Born in South Africa to a scholarly father and a highly creative mother, who as dispossessed German Jewish immigrants in a new land, adopted survival and security as their highest aspiration and pursuit. Towards that end, education had the highest value. My early school experience was weighted by being a bon-a-fide but undiagnosed dyslexic, spelling was (and still is ) a guessing game in which I was invariably on the wrong side of right. The three R’s were not my friends. One day, in one of those rare art classes given in suburban Cape Town, South Africa in the early 50’s, I painted a picture. It was an ‘aha’ moment, the first truly connecting moment in a class room environment. Speaking expressively was not a fluid option for me, since my family held to that old staunch European ‘children should be seen but not heard’ maxim, instead I picked up color rather than words to paint my world whole, to find the first note of an authentic voice. Several years later at 13 on a vacation, without peers, out of boredom, I picked up and read a whole book and loved it. Thereafter books became my closest companions. My teens years were those of reading- into every imaginary landscape and culture. Through literature, I grew wings to travel the globe, learning how authors both described and put their worlds together. Through painting, I had discovered a means of expression and discovery. A personal learning track through the arts was launched and the vise of rigid linear learning was loosened.nnI studied psychology at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, since it was the only subject not dependent on math, natural sciences or writing skills. I graduated with a joint honors degree in Philosophy and Psychology which turned out to be a spacious canvas, later filled by alternative therapeutic trainings, that were on the cutting edge of the burgeoning growth movement in the wild and wonderful 70’s. With a rich palette of experimental modalities garnered by the best pioneers in the field, I began a career as a group leader in a therapeutic/meditation center in Poona, India. This work spilled out across many countries and continents, eventually landing me on American shores.n nA stable home in Boulder, Colorado, provided the ground for a deepened personal therapeutic journey and additional training. My private psychotherapy practice focused on Jungian dream work, which draws on the rich imaginal mind and resonated with my natural sensibilities. It was also a magnificent practice in listening to the power of the spoken word and the silent one. This alongside my reading practice, sowed the seeds for the dive, many years later, into writing. Uneasy without a tangible artistic expression, I turned to ceramics, first introduced to me in India. I found working with clay is a natural and opposite art form to ‘therapy’, sensual, tactile, full bodied kinesthetic where at day’s end, there is actually a ‘something’ to show for your efforts. With great appreciation for its counterweight to my chosen profession, pottery balanced my equation. Some 23 years ago, in response to my heart’s great crack open into love, a timid and secret foray into poetry began. This has rooted and blossomed in the decades since. Poetry, the perfect blend of the conceptual and actual. My parents, now long gone, would be surprised, maybe even pleased, to be so equally represented in me, as I remain ever surprised to see myself lived out so differently through my son and grandchildren.