Teachers and inspirators Hal & Sidra Stone

Hal Stone did his undergraduate studies at UCLA, receiving his Ph.D. in psychology in 1953, and he has been a practicing therapist, teacher and writer since that time. He served as a psychologist in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1957, attaining the rank of Captain. Following his army service, Hal began private practice and entered the training program of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles which he completed in 1961. He practiced as an analyst through the 1960’s and early 1970’s. He used this early Jungian training and his fascination with mythology, dreams and fairy tales to guide him along an ever-deepening path of inner exploration. During the sixties, he also became certified as a member of the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology (ABEPP), served as a training and teaching consultant to the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and was one the coordinators of the humanities program of the new California School of Professional Psychology.


The late 1960’s marked a time of searching and exploration into new modes of transformational work and Hal helped to coordinate a series of programs through the University of California at Berkeley Extension program that brought many of these new developments to a larger audience. His interest in these new modalities eventually led to his separation from the Jung Institute in 1970 and his resignation as an analyst in 1975.


Dr. Stone established the pioneering Center for the Healing Arts, perhaps the first Holistic Health Training Center in the United States, in 1973. It was the dawn of a new age in psychology and alternative medicine. His ground-breaking programs were an inspiration for much of the psycho-spiritual work with illness that followed and he served as Executive Director of the Center until his resignation in 1979. He then re-entered private practice, and began a more active collaboration with his wife, Dr. Sidra Stone. Three years later, they began travelling, teaching and training people in their work in the U.S. and abroad and they have continued in this work to the present time.


In the early 1970’s, Hal and Sidra had developed Voice Dialogue as a method for working with sub-personalities. They married in 1977. Through both their personal relationship and their professional collaboration, their work evolved over the next quarter of a century into a complex methodology for working with selves and a complete theoretical system which they called the Psychology of Selves.


Hal’s first book, Embracing Heaven and Earth, is the story of his personal journey. His other books, Embracing Our Selves, Embracing Each Other, Embracing Your Inner Critic, You Don’t Have to Write a Book, and Partnering were co-authored with Sidra. In addition to these books, their work is presented in a series of 24 audiocassette tapes that deal with a variety of topics. A documentary of 12 videotapes and 8 audiocassette tapes summarizes their work with Voice Dialogue, relationship, and the Psychology of Selves.


Now, much of their teaching is done at Thera, their home in Mendocino County on the north coast of California. Here they conduct workshops, do some private consultations, and write. They have five children between them. Hal’s son, Dr. Joshua David Stone, is a well known author and teacher in the ascension movement and his daughter, Judith Tamar Stone, is one of the foremost Voice Dialogue teachers. Hal and Sidra also have two cats, two step cats, a herd of deer, and a variety of relatively friendly wildlife. Sadly enough, the animals, so far, have shown little interest in either their theories or their methodology.


Sidra L. Stone, Ph.D.
Sidra Levi Stone was born in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in a working class neighborhood during World War II imbued with the ideals of that era and the expectation that she would make some sort of contribution to the world.


Sidra’s experience as a State Scholarship student at Barnard College was extremely influential in her development as an independent woman. At Barnard, even in the nineteen-fifties, women were encouraged to attend graduate school, earn advanced degrees and prepare for a profession. She received her B.A. with honors from Barnard in 1957 and, in September of that year, married and moved to Baltimore, Maryland where she began her Ph.D. studies at the University of Maryland.


Sidra moved to Washington, D.C. in 1960, completed her Ph.D. in 1962, became a community mental health clinical psychologist, and lived the excitement of the Camelot years. Dr. Stone (at that time Dr. Winkelman) returned to New York, worked for the Veterans Administration as a Clinical Psychologist and gave birth to her first daughter, Elizabeth. After the birth of her second daughter, Claudia, she affiliated as a psychotherapist with the Lincoln Center for Psychotherapy so that she could practice part-time as a psychotherapist and enjoy motherhood as well.


In 1967, during the “Summer of Love”, Sidra moved to Los Angeles with her family. She continued her private practice and, in 1968, became the psychological consultant to Hamburger Home, a home for teenaged girls. In 1971 she gave birth to her third daughter, Recha, and in 1972 became the Executive Director of Hamburger Home.


With much enthusiasm, Sidra turned the home into a full-service residential treatment center for acting out adolescent girls, introducing holistic treatment techniques to this very difficult yet exciting population. She set up a therapy program combining behavior modification techniques with intensive individual and group psychotherapy that was based upon psychoanalytic principles. She enriched the program by adding an on-grounds high school, an art therapist, a class in creative writing, theater games, yoga, camping experiences in the California wilderness areas, attention to nutritional aspects of lifestyle, and athletic activities.


Sidra left Hamburger Home in 1979 to resume full time private practice and begin a more active collaboration with Hal. This collaboration has been extremely creative, both personally and professionally. Hal and Sidra’s work has evolved from their relationship and their professional experiences as therapists. Their relationship, in turn, has evolved as a result of their work! It has been an exciting journey and a romantic 28-year marriage.


Sidra and Hal co-authored Embracing Our Selves, Embracing Each Other, Embracing Your Inner Critic, You Don’t Have to Write a Book and Partnering.. They also have chapters in three anthologies: Reclaiming the Inner Child, edited by Jeremiah Abrams, Meeting the Shadow edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams, and Gratitude: A Way of Life by Louise L. Hay and Friends. Audiocassettes, videos, and a complete teaching documentary round out the presentation of their joint work.


A fascination with women’s issues and the role of the Inner Patriarch in women’s psychology led Sidra to write her book, The Shadow King: The Invisible Force that Holds Women Back.


Sidra has always been an avid traveler (and snorkeler). She and Hal love traveling the world together seeing new sights, meeting new people, and teaching their work. But she also enjoys her home (complete with wildlife) on the foggy, magical Mendocino coast and her family. Her three daughters have followed three distinctly different paths: Dr. Elizabeth Winkelman-Matazzoni is a clinical psychologist, Dr. Claudia Sadoff is an international economist, and Dr. Recha Winkelman is a radiologist. Their mother thinks that they – and her four grandchildren – are all delicious.