Cathy Skipper is English by birth and spent her adult life in rural France, where she farmed, trained and worked as a herbalist and aromatherapist, and taught practical herbalism, botany and aromatherapy at the L’Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Medicinales in Lyon. She also participated for four years in an experimental approach to energetic healing called 'Life cell' under French Kinesiologist Caroline Gupta. Her plant training in France included a two year course with Claude Lefebvre on Plant Communication. She left France last year to live and work in New Mexico with her partner Florian Birkmayer. Cathy’s own work involves building bridges between aromatic medicine and herbalism as well as recognizing the importance of healing the healer and reconnecting with nature. In her teaching she marries theory, practical work and energetics with an underlying intention of helping students develop an intuitive relationship between themselves, the plant/essential oil and the patient, as an impetus for healing. Her work with Florian is centralized around the work of Carl Jung and the psyche, aromatic molecules and the mind.
Florian Birkmayer, MD is a Wounded Healer and the co-developer with Cathy Skipper of AromaGnosis, which synthesizes Jungian Depth Psychology and aromatherapy. A holistic psychiatrist, he has an extensive background in trauma and addiction as well as Equine Assisted Therapy. He views himself as a bridge-builder between different medical worlds and works closely and respectfully with a wide range of healers. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico. He has previously served as the director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic at University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center and as the director of the Substance Use Disorders program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM.