Therapist, Author, Speaker on Relationships
A wise, compassionate and funny woman, Linda Carroll gently, deftly opens doors for her audiences to give them new ways to see and be in the world, showing them more fulfilling and satisfying ways to lead their lives. In what can be tough topics — rocky relationships, loss, conflict, and open wounds — Linda shows her audiences unexpected possibilities, rekindling hopes and dreams with light, love, and levity. There’s a twinkle in her eye and an intensity to her presence that lets you know that she’s the real deal — and you’re really going to learn something — not because she thinks she’s so great, but because she brings out your own greatness.
Her skill in doing that is, of course, based on her training as a therapist, but it may have more to do with her intense interest in people and their stories and her ability to observe and understand her own life.
A child of the 40’s, Linda was adopted as an infant, into an Italian Catholic family in San Francisco. Growing up in the 50‘s, she struggled with her relationship with the church and its manifestation in a Catholic high school, boyfriends and an unscheduled pregnancy. Her story, as recounted in her memoir, My Mother’s Daughter (Doubleday, 2005), chronicles her loves and losses, missteps, and triumphs as she negotiates life’s twists and turns. Surviving and somewhat thriving in the buzz of San Francisco’s counterculture of the early 60’s, she became a wife and mother — a patchwork that included 3 husbands and 5 children.
In the 70’s, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Oregon, and moved to New Zealand, where she raised children, sheep, and many dogs – and met the man who was to become her true life partner. She returned to Oregon in the 80’s, earned a master’s in counseling, and began practicing as a therapist. In the 90’s, having found and married her real love, Tim Barraud, a veterinarian from New Zealand, she began collaborating with him to teach a couples course based on the Imago work of Harville Hendrix, the PAIRS training of Dr. Lori Gordon, and their own insights, study and practices. Tim and Linda have been married now for 21 years, and their couples course has saved or enriched hundreds, if not thousands, of marriages over that time.
With the birth of her first granddaughter, as she recounts with intensity in My Mother’s Daughter, Linda began the search for her birth mother, who, when she finally found her, turned out to be the novelist Paula Fox. It was then, while creating and nourishing a relationship with Paula and her family, that she began to understand her own deep-seated love of poetry as well as her talent as a writer.
Her second book, Remember Who You Are (Conari Press, 2008), takes women on a powerful journey through the seven spiritual stages of a woman’s life and the path to awakening. Sharing her rewarding work in this area, she inspires her listeners to understand their own stories and by re-evaluating them, to enrich their own lives. Linda’s combination of extensive spiritual study and practice within her journey through an imperfect life, gives her standing to engage women everywhere in the conversation for meaning and self-worth.
Linda’s latest book, Love Cycles (New World Library, 2014), presents a groundbreaking model of the five natural stages of romantic relationships — the Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, Decision, and Wholehearted Love — and a guide for navigating through them toward lasting love. Love Cycles helps readers understand where they are in the cycle of their relationship and provides a clear strategy for how to stay happy and committed, even in difficult times.
In the relationship arena, her ability to express normal stages of marriage and to suggest alternative ways for a couple to go through them, empowers members of her audience to alter their own relationships just by hearing her suggestions. Considering that 50% of marriages in America end in divorce, this is a topic with the potential to alter thousands of lives. Linda is a regular presenter on enriching marriage at the exclusive retreat for the stars, Rancho La Puerta, where her presentation on “Love Cycles” is wildly popular.
Today, Linda, while continuing her counseling and leading seminars and retreats, also delivers keynote speeches for conferences and women’s events. In her talks as well as her relationship seminars and retreats, Linda brings a powerful, compelling and gentle presence into the room along with a tested, research-based arsenal of techniques bolstered by her own rich experience, humor, and ruthless compassion. Using them to connect deeply with her audience, she enables people to turn around their own attitudes and thereby shift the patterns that limit their relations with their partners (and others in their lives), patterns that trap some couples in endless loops of conflict and others merely in daily, unresolved stalemates.
Linda has five children, ten grandchildren, and lives in Corvallis, Oregon, with her husband Tim, and three Jack Russell terriers, and continues her lifelong path of spiritual seeking.
Most Popular Topics:
Love Cycles or Wisdom and Folly, Decoding Love’s Potion
Relationships are explored as a series of stages through which we travel — from romantic bliss to rude awakening to disillusionment and sometimes despair until, finally and ideally, we reach a final stage of deep appreciation and creative living, where love has grown deeper, richer and more settled. This program is based on a synthesis of the current literature on marriage, intimacy, biology and poetry through the ages. Get ready to enjoy a witty, informative and fascinating exploration of love’s paths.
Beyond the Backseat . . . Re-claiming Love, Potion and All
Missing the sizzle in your relationship? Linda Carroll will help you re-claim it You’ll learn about sexuality through the stages — from first love to despair and finally to deep adult intimacy based on acceptance of the truth, covering issues of intimacy, passion and lagging libidos, as well as differences in desire. Linda will use anonymous questions and choose topics from her many years of experience as a “Hot Monogamy” therapist to create a lively and informative dialogue.
Love and Marriage, Re-claiming the Horse and Carriage
Marriage can be engaging and fun. Most couples were once in love and experienced the rapture of complete acceptance, the excitement of new romance. That was then, many believe, and this is now. But does it have to be that way? How is it that some couples seem passionately in love after 40 years? What do they know that others have missed out on?
Linda guides her listeners in stopping for just a moment, their habitual endless internal loops of self-talk about conflict or boredom or denial, showing them how to re-frame their dramas, and finally empowering them to start up with new insights. Hint: they will never be the same again.
Lost and Found: Her Mother’s Daughter
Linda takes her audience on a journey — from the heights of euphoria, to the depths of despair — speckled with passion, wisdom and humor as she candidly explores the fragile attachments of connection and disconnection with loved ones. An adoptee, Linda searched for and found her birth mother, who turned out to be the famed children’s author Paula Fox.
In an unlikely parallel, she describes the challenges and wrenching disappointments of raising her own brilliant but troubled daughter, the rocker Courtney Love, and how she was forced to reconcile the loss of her child just as she was reunited with the mother she had been separated from at birth. At once moving, ebullient and unsettling, Lost and Found is a timely reminder of how deeply embedded are the motherly ties that bind … and how equally weighty are those that unwind. And, ultimately, the awesome power of the human spirit to grow through suffering and joys into wholeness.
Discovering the Beginnings in Endings: Busting the Myth of Closure
The idea of closure in our culture is one of orderly endings, couples riding off into the sunset, and heartbreaks turned into joy. As much as this idea of closure is appealing and may apply to practical matters such as business deals, it does not apply to the human heart. When we have to cope with the loss of a breast, the end of a relationship or a job, or the passing of a loved one, we ache for the pain to go away and to be the person we were before the loss occurred. In striving for closure, however, we dismiss the opportunity to see how our losses and grief can transform us into someone bigger, deeper and more fully human.
Using her own life experiences in a candid and startling way, Linda Carroll talks about the loss of two sets of parents before she was 24, the loss of her first son to infant death and her first daughter to drug addiction mixed with celebrity. She reveals the depth of meaning, surprises of love and unexpected gifts that she has found from living through the sorrow and emerging whole.
A Woman’s Journey of Spiritual Awakening
For every woman interested in discovering a deeper connection with her essential self, Linda Carroll shares her discoveries and wisdom gleaned from her own and other women’s lives and uses art, especially poetry, to guide women on an inspiring, seven-stage journey of recollection, reconnection, and recovery.