YARINDIN - Key Personnel
Dr. Richard Grossman - Producer/Healer
Dr. Richard Grossman’s fascination with healing started quite early in his life. The son of a pharmacist, he grew up surrounded by doctors and spent summers and weekends in his father’s pharmacy. In those days, pharmacists still compounded medicines, and Richard was always intrigued by that process.
His spiritual search also started early. His influences were writers like Carlos Castaneda, Ram Das, Yogananda and others; looking for God and meaning; and, of course, asking questions that adults couldn’t or wouldn’t answer. By the age of 15, he had concluded that the only reason to be alive was to help others out of their suffering.
Over the next 10 years, Richard explored various forms of spiritual teachings and healing arts. He studied Asian philosophy, martial arts, massage, macrobiotics, juice fasting, yoga, aikido and herbal medicines. This search had it’s first culmination in 1979 when he began a deep study of Oriental Medicine at the California Acupuncture College in Los Angeles. Three years later, he was one of three students from his school to attend a post-graduate acupuncture training in Beijing, in the Peoples Republic of China, sponsored by the World Health Organization. Upon his return, he began a thriving private practice and continued his studies, earning a Masters in Acupuncture, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine degree, a Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine, a Diplomat in Acupuncture, a Diplomat of Pain Management, and a Diplomat in Acupuncture Orthopedics.
But it was not enough. In the mid 1980’s Dr. Grossman was introduced to the Amazonian medicine Ayahuasca. This started another chapter in his life that led to him spending a great deal of time in the jungle studying with indigenous healers. There he noticed the deep healing that survivors of severe trauma often experienced, which led to his desire to create this documentary.
Mark Schwartz - Producer/Director
Mark’s passion for telling stories about justice, courage, love and the journey of the human soul have driven a 25 year award-winning filmmaking career. He has produced and directed numerous documentaries, including Miss…or Myth?, Calypso Dreams, Dollar A Day, 10 Cents a Dance, and the dramatic feature Voyage of the Heart. His work has screened at the Sundance, Montreal, Berlin, Los Angeles and Chicago Film Festivals, been broadcast over Bravo, PBS and the BBC, and garnered favorable reviews in publications ranging from Variety to the Tokyo Times. Mark’s Los Angeles based production company Alchemy creates commercials and documentaries for clients such as HBO, the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, MEG Toys, and Investor’s Business Daily. In 2007, he founded the Urban Oasis Film Academy to mentor LA’s underserved teenage urban storytellers. The Academy is an ongoing labor of love.
We plan on having several Curanderos (traditional healers) on staff for the filming of Yarindin. They will be from several different traditions and will work together for the healing of the vets.
Steve Lovold - Gulf War Veteran
I returned from combat operations in early 1991, not knowing how much every side of my life would be affected. If I were to compare my emotional experience in war to a physical one, it's like unknowingly putting a finger into boiling hot water, at first you don't feel the pain, and then it becomes unbearable.
About 2 years after getting back to the US I tried my first attempts at psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals, which only made matters worse. I tried treatment through the V.A. where I was diagnosed with severe PTSD; I was also prescribed Paxil. The initial dose only caused bad side effects so the doctor at the V.A. advised me to double my dosage, and I stopped taking the med's. I couldn't tell them that, because that would put me in a position of not being compliant. This is when I opted to go back to self - medicating by using alcohol and narcotics.
Sometimes I put on a facade to keep people at bay; or just tell them what they wanted to hear. As time went on this became more and more difficult. Eventually I ended up in prison. The only thing that seemed to help me was when I would go visit a Zen monk, who taught me how to meditate. Through these teachings and practice, I felt like, for the first time in a very long time, I could breathe again.
In early 1999 I stopped abusing drugs. However my emotional problems persisted. In early 2004 I had a nervous breakdown due to my incongruent thoughts of what happened in my life before and after my experiences in combat. I now refer to this as my time of transition I feel now after all these years that the most beneficial thing that I have done to better my condition of PTSD is without doubt the plant medicine ceremonies that I have been blessed to participate in.
Dr. Dominique Bressi - Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Dominique Bressi, Clinical Psychologist, has worked in the field of mental health as a trauma specialist for the past 14 years. She blends her work with a deep practice of spiritual transformation rooted in indigenous wisdom. She is a leader in honoring and understanding the complicated symptoms of distress in those who have suffered traumatic experience. She has worked as therapist and Clinical Director for some of the nation's leading treatment centers, including the founding of her own center for adults with severe trauma complicated with other problems such as drug addiction and schizophrenia.
Dr. Bressi specializes in helping those with the most severe forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and has worked most extensively with survivors of chronic physical and/or emotional captivity; those surviving the situations in which they were under the control of the perpetrator and unable to flee or escape, as well as survivors of chronic victimization: those who were prisoners of war, rape, combat veterans, sexually molested as children and the physically and emotionally abused.
The aftermath of prolonged and repeated trauma, marked by profound terror and helplessness, is nothing less than devastating and debilitating to the core of one’s self, leaving no part unharmed or unchanged, shattering the self into unbearable fragments.
Dr. Bressi, through knowing intimately the benevolent work of Ayahuasca when used together with compassionate and skilled Ayahuasca shamans, healers and trauma specialists, can facilitate and accelerate this healing in ways that reach far beyond any human based service alone.