Dr. Monza Naff

Dr. Monza Naff is author of Must We Say We Did Not Love: On the Need for Divorce Rituals in Our Time, as well as the award-winning book of poetry, Healing the Womanheart: On Claiming the Legacy of Our Lives, Exposing the Illusions, and Healing the Heart. A Partner, with Sharon Strand Ellison in Voices of Integrity, Monza also has more than 25 years experience as a college professor who won awards for exceptional teaching. She was on the faculty of the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, teaching literature and writing. In addition Monza has facilitated creative writing classes, workshops and retreats.

Throughout the United States, in settings ranging from conferences to corporations, universities to spiritual communities, Monza has led groups of all sizes in unleashing their creativity, facilitating healing and personal growth as well as building community. Whether teaching college students, facilitating workshops or giving speeches, Monza inspires people to live by their values as a key to making sucessful life transitions and to achieving goals that offer purpose and fulfillment.

Monza is an exceptional facilitator of group process. Always honoring diverse opinions, she has an extraordinary ability to bring people together in community while making each person feel valued. A gifted speaker, she offers keynotes, workshops and consultations on the power of ritual in creating transitions that honor the past while moving with strength and openness into new phases of life for individuals, families, and communities. Monza also consults with therapists and other professionals who wish to offer these skills to their clients,as well as people in community organizations and spiritual communities.

Her book, Must We Say We Did Not Love, offers social sanction and healing to millions of divorcing and divorced individuals and families. As the opening keynote speaker for the statewide California conference for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, which includes family law professionals such as attorneys, psychologists, and judges, Monza received a standing ovation in recognition of the vital importance of her work and the power of her words.

In Monza's forthcoming book, To Brave the Pain of Spring: Non-Traditional Rituals for Times of Transition, and in her workshops and consulting on this topic, she demonstrates how every life transition brings a combination of loss and opportunity. Even positive transitions, such as a promotion, marriage, a new home, or birth of a baby bring some loss and add new pressures. Creating personalized rituals that focus on the tapestry of change in common transitions can give strength and avoid pitfalls that might later sabotage the person's happiness and/or success in achieving desired goals.

Another of Monza’s forthcoming books, Not to Fear Eternity, focuses specifically on non-traditional rituals to honor the transition of death. She has found that certain transitions, such as divorce and death, have such a huge impact that a wide range of options and examples are needed to meet the very diverse needs and beliefs people have with regard to major loss. Monza's books and CD also focus on how we achieve our greatest potential by doing the personal work needed in order to live our lives and go through our transitions in ways that honors our humanity.

Another of Monza's forthcoming books is Consciencious Objections: What Must We Must Say "No" to In Order to Say "Yes" to Values that Endure, Ideals that Sustain Life? Monza's art, spirituality and politics unite in this book, showing us how to be more conscious and passionate in our commitment to living lives that contribute to justice and peace. Monza makes poetry and ritual accessible and meaningful to a wide range of people, respecting diversity in their spiritual traditions. In all of her work, Monza reveals a gift for helping people find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

See Below for (1) Sample Speech, Workshop and Conference Topics, (2) A Partial Client List, (3) Participant Comments, and (4) Monza's Books

Sample Speeche, Workshop and Conference Topics:

Rituals for Transition, such as Divorce, Death, or Common Life Transitions; Managing Transitions for Organizations and Community Groups; Community Dialogue: Where Everyone Is Heard; Writing Mission Statements; Creative Writing and the Inner Life; Spirituality in the Writings of African- American Women; The Glory of Compost; Woman, Spirit, Nature; Come Home to Your Core; Sounding Your Inner Voice

Partial Client List:

Monza has provided keynotes, workshops, and retreats for organizaations, including: The Allied Arts Council; A Celebration of Women Artists, Conference, Wake Forest University; American Association of Women in Community Colleges; Head Start; Hospice of Lane County, Eugene, OR; Center for the Humanities, University of Oregon; Minnesota Council of Teachers of English; National Women's Studies Association "Radical Spirituality, Prophetic Politics;" St. John's University, MN; Women's Leadership Conference, Cal Poly Pomona; Women and Spirituality Conference, Mankato State University; Leadership Training Seminar, Menucha Conference Center, OR; Ecumenical Women's Leaderfhip Conferences: Oregon, Washington, Idaho; Potpourri Lecture Series, The College of St. Benedict, MN; Zonta International; Women United; Unitarian Universalist Association; Campus Interfaith Ministry, University of Oregon; Gallagher and Associates; Collaborative Family Law, Statewide California Conference and the Iinternational Association of Collaborative Professionals, International Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Participant Comment—Exerpts from Evaluations Regarding Monza's group facilitation skills:

"Monza is a great facilitator . . . getting the best participation I've ever seen . . . everyone talked . . . the discussions were amazing . . . I have never seen anyone draw stimulating discussion out of a group at anywhere near the level of skill. Bravo! . . . Monza has an incomparable combination of talents . . . I was impressed with the fact that no one was ever alienated in our discussions . . . Monza has a way of help us see diversity as exciting instead of threatening . . . Dr. Monza Naff isn't afraid to be herself . . . She demonstrates what it looks like to be real . . . I was impressed with Monza's handling of several difficult interpersonal conflicts which surfaced . . . We came up with insights that made us all say "Wow! Yes, I see that! Whew!" and then see even more connections . . . I learned more than I ever hoped. More than that, I learned how to live my life . . . she gives us a spark to light our will to create . . . Monza Naff is an incredibly brilliant and inspiring woman . . . Her eloquence and brilliance are awe-inspiring, but she cares more about being a catalyst for learning than about being a star."

Monza's Books:

Must We Say We Did Not Love: On the Need for Divorce Rituals in Our Time

I perceive the practice of closure rituals to be the last crucial step in the psychological healing process. I’m delighted that Dr. Naff is writing a book about such rituals. Due to her wide range and depth of knowledge in the fields of counseling, retreat and ritual facilitation, ministry, public speaking, university teaching, and creative writing, Dr. Naff is truly a gifted and brilliant expert.  Mental health professionals, clergy, and lay people will all profit greatly from this resource. —Dr. Gisela Bergman, Licensed Psychologist, Eugene, OR

In the collaborative practice community, we hold out the possibility that a couple can experience a dissolution process that is deeper, more profound and more meaningful than a mere settlement of their financial and parental rights.  Dr. Naff invites us to offer our clients even more sensitive, customized rituals to mark a life transition that can be more life-changing than those we traditionally have rituals forbirths, marriages, and deaths. 

Dr. Naff’s talent lies in creating a safe context that respects all the current feelings of each affected person.  Whether the whole family participates, or each party creates their own separate ritual, each has the opportunity to honor the past, affirm the positive things that will continue, and set powerful intentions for the future.  I believe that introducing our clients to the wisdom and mystery that ritual can offer will not only benefit them and their families, but will contribute to the healing and well-being of our greater community.

Nancy J. Foster, J.D., Exec. Director of the Northern California Mediation Center, attorney, mediator, trainer and collaborative divorce attorney. 

Healing the Womanheart: Claiming the legacy of our Lives, Exposing the Illusions, and Healing the Heart.

The kindest poetry a heart could imagine — this is indeed a book of healing.
—Ursula K. Le Guin, Author

A work of courage, challenge and joy . . . In these poems Monza takes up the inconsolable suffering of the world and transforms them into song. —Mara Faulkner, OSB, Ph.D., Associate professor of English, College of St. Benedict

Exultation; A Poem Cycle for the Seasons of Our Lives

~ These poems of Exultation are the modern ode at its best and provide a deep well of reassurance for all who hope for healing. —Marjorie D. Lewis, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Texas Christian University

This collection of Monza Naff's poems inspire hope and humility that reverberate in our senses like bell tones. —Ann Jauregui, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Marin Creek (Multidisciplinary Healing) Center, and Faculty, School of Clinical Psychology, John F. Kennedy University

Monza's forthcoming books, include: Conscientious Objections; To Brave the Pain of Spring, (on non-traditional rituals for closure and transition for individuals, families, and community groups); and Nocture: Healing Lessons Learned in Illness.

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