Soul Cards and Reflection by Student Nirodha Stearns (MA PSY '13)


I created fifteen “Soul Cards” [pictured at left] for the Expressive Arts exhibition at our MA in Psychology & Counseling Residency in April 2013.

What started out as something like just a compliance to fulfilling coursework for a course on Addiction turned into an adventure in discovery, interaction and personal healing. My father died in the middle of this past semester, just when I was about to start the project of pasting pictures to 6 x 8 cards.

At first I had imagined this project as only maybe 5 cards, with pictures of tattoos that ex-cons had made while serving prison time. In itself it was an interesting idea involving a pretty intimate interaction with a rather intimidating population.

I did these pictures and filled in a couple of cards with these pictorial life stories made with an illicitly made tattoo machine (bic pen, needle, CD player motor and a battery!). Then my life took a sharp left turn. Things went quite disorganized and I experienced grief, and the card making turned into an unexpected source for processing it.

I found pictures of my father, from his childhood to his death, and I put them together, giving it space on paper and even more: much needed space in my heart.

After that the flow just kind of took off. I got excited about what else I could put out like that. Cards started flying: my past, experiences, people I loved, a card on Man, one on Women; One just for addiction, another for boundaries…like that.

Presenting these cards to others during the exhibition just deepened it all. Each step had that taste of a new level of exposure and of course felt risky in a healthy way. And with it came a deeper level of healing.

I’m learning, at ever deeper levels, that taking these ‘risks’ of exposure does that.

  by Nirodha Stearns (MA PSY ’13) of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to

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