Ruby began her career by becoming certified as a Professionally trained midwife in Derby, England in 1980. She attended births in Texas, Massachusettes and New York. In 1989, following the birth of her third child, she retired for good from practicing midwifery. Ruby became a registered nurse, with a career including work as a Hospice nurse, again working with many individuals and their families from a wide variety of ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. She continues to work as a psychiatric nurse with individuals suffering largely from PTSD as well as other psychiatric issues. She received a Bachelor's degree majoring in Jungian studies and Holistic health, and a Master of Arts degree from Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusettes. Ruby has had a life long passionate interest in the imagination and dreams, and has been consistently recording her own dreams since her late teens. After studying a variety of methods of engaging with dreams, she discovered the work of Robert Bosnak, Jungian analyst and author. She began training with Bosnak in 2004, after reading his book "A Little Course in Dreams" and then having the good fortune to begin attending the Manhatten Seminars in NYC, NY. She completed a three year Embodied Imagery Psychotherapy program and was certified in 2008. She currently has a private practice in Embodied Imagery Psychotherapy.
It gives me great pleasure to confirm that Ruby A. Sturcey has completed the requirements for a Masters of Arts in Independent Study. It has been an honor to serve on Ruby's team and to watch her thinking and her work progress and mature over these past few years.
Her thesis, "Dreams and Imagery During an Exceptional Time in Life: Dying and Acute Bereavement," is the culmination of years of study and analysis of he nature of dreams. The thesis provides an excellent discussion of imagery and the role that it plays in healing and the mind/body connection. It also demonstrates a deep understanding of the depth work of Carl Jung and a sophisticated understanding of the more recent work of Robert Bosnak and his "Embodied Imagery." This work is complex and intuitive and Ruby has shown true mastery of both theory and practice.
In order to write this thesis, Ruby immersed herself in the literature on death an dying as well as the literature on dreams – both formidable tasks. She supplements this extensive reading with a subtle understanding of cross-cultural issues on death and dying as well as a skilled comprehension of mythological connections. Her gifts as a clinician shine throughout the work.
This is a thesis that reveals a deep understanding of the human condition and a compassionate response to death as the final stage of life- deserving of dignity and humanity. It is also a passionate plea for a reconsideration of how we, as a culture and especially as a medical system, treat the entire process of illness and death.
I wish Ruby the best in her journey and the fulfillment of her many dreams.
~ Dr. Susan M. Pollack, MTS, ED.D
As a member of Ruby Anastasia Sturcey's graduate committee, I am pleased to report that she has successfully completed her graduate thesis, “Dreams and Imagery During an Exceptional Time in Life: Dying and Acute Bereavement,” for her Master of Arts in Independent Study from Lesley University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
It has been a great honor to be part of Ms. Sturcey's committee. Not only was her topic of great interest to me, but the way in which she combined her research, personal experience and intellectual savvy made the topic come alive with inspiration.
I was in awe of the vast amount of research Ms. Sturcey gathered together and was impressed with how she wove their wisdom with hers. Her thesis flowed like a meaningful river of knowledge, incorporating the past history, present use, and future possibilities of her research. It was obvious to me that Ruby spent many hours of devotion to her topic, carefully polishing her ideas and insights. For me, this is the hallmark of excellence in graduate work.
Another quality of excellence that Ms. Sturcey's thesis offered was the inspirational factor. I read her thesis over many times and each time I found new gems of interest. Often I found myself referring back to insights and ideas she shared from other researchers.
I am grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity to be part of Ms. Sturcey's great accomplishment. I believe Ms. Sturcey's great sensitivity, intellectual strength, gift for writing and hard work will take her to great heights of success in her future work.
~ Liza Johnson, L.M.F.T.
It is my pleasure to recommend Ruby A. Sturcey for the degree of Master of Arts in Independent Study, with a specialization in the Therapeutic Value of Dreams and Imagery Work in Clinical Settings. She has completed the requirements for the degree with great distinction.
Ruby entered the Independent Study Program with a long and impressive history as a nurse working many settings- from hospital, to home care, to Hospice. She brought to this work a deep interest in dreams and imagery, and, as she cared for patients with life-limiting illnesses, she learned more and more about the meaning that dreams and imagery may hold and reveal in individuals nearing the end of their lives.
She completed her experiential learning with many seminars on Emobdied Imagery, led by the well known expert in this field, Dr Robert Bosnak. Much of her analytical and critical writing in the program was inspired by these workshops. Ruby's papers show an ever-more subtle conceptual understanding of the potential of Embodied Imagery to help ease, and even enrich, the transition from living to dying. It has been rewarding to witness Ruby become more and more sophisticated in a subject area many of us, including myself, know little about. I am speaking here of Embodied Imagery, but of course it is also the case that most of us have had nothing approaching Ruby's experience working with people who are close to death or actively dying. Throughout her program at Lesley, Ruby has thought hard and reflected deeply on her unusual experience, and those of us who have ben privileged to be on her advisory team have learned much from her.
Ruby's final thesis is impressive on many counts, not the least of which its breadth and depth of investigation in more than 250 pages. Ruby is careful at the outset to define imagery, and to contrast four non-interpretive, non-analytical methods of engaging with various forms of dreams and images. She designates these as guided imagery, integrative imagery, active imagination and embodied imagery. The purpose of her thesis is to elucidate the use of these forms, especially embodied imagery for dying individuals, and people in the early stages of bereavement following the death of a loved one.
She demonstrates, drawing on literature reviews and her own experience, how dream and imagery work can potentially open a space for meaningful dialogue between clinician and client at the end of life. The thesis is a brave ad important piece of work, illustrated with case studies from ruby's professional life, as well as her experience of the deaths of her parents in rapid succession. The thesis is all this and more – Ruby also examines death from a cross-cultural perspective, further enriching a splendid exploration. It is my hope that this work will be read by many, as much is to be learned from it. I am confident that Ruby will continue to grace many individuals by creating a space for them to share their dreams at the ends of their lives.
~ Nancy Waring, Ph.D., Core Advisor
When I began to experience significant distress in my kinky poly relationship, I wanted a therapist who already understood my lifestyle choice.
After 25 years in 12 step recovery (working with a wonderful therapist throughout), I knew I needed to get in to my body and my feelings in a deeper way. I was skeptical of Skype sessions & had never experienced therapy with a focus on embodied imagery, but I was drawn to Ruby's gentle, accepting nature, her knowledge of the lifestyle, and the convenience of in-home sessions.
Ruby's therapeutic style has guided me out of my head and into the places where my feelings reside in such a way that allows me to experience emotions in a safe, empowering and therapeutic way that is powerful but doesn't overwhelm. Defense mechanisms that I often struggled to overcome in 'just' talk therapy have lessened and a new avenue of healing has emerged.
You guided me into my dream and gave me the courage and support to unfold parts of myself that I didn't know were there. Thank you so much for that experience. You have a special talent for this work and I know that you will continue to help many, many people.
~ Sonya P.