Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef, who developed her own approach to healing the whole person called Living in Process, and who wrote 18 books including the New York Times bestseller When Society Becomes an Addict, where she compared western culture to an active alcoholic, passed away at her home in Arkansas on January 19th. She was 85.
Anne continually developed LIP out of the ancient teachings of her ancestors and her own life experience during the past 40 years. She was raised in the traditional Cherokee way by her mother and her great grandmother, and carried the principles taught her into her life and her work. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Union Institute in Ohio and an honorary doctorate in Human Letters from Kenyon College in Kenyon, Ohio. After practicing for many years, she left the field of psychology and psychotherapy in 1984 as she was developing the groundbreaking LIP work.
Living in Process works with recovery from the addictive process of individuals, families and societies and moves beyond to wholeness of body, mind and spirit. In the last 40 years, Anne taught this approach of healing throughout the world, and was known internationally as a visionary with the practical applications to back up the truth. She worked intensively with addictions — both ingestive addictions (alcohol, food, drugs, etc.) and process addictions (work, gambling, sex, relationships, etc.). Many of her books expand on these topics including, Co-dependence: Misunderstood, Mistreated; Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the “Love” Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships;
As a response to requests from people who wanted to learn more about the LIP approach to living, Anne began facilitating a “training” group in 1981. This “training” group is for people who make a deeper commitment to learning to live in process and the group continues to thrive internationally with network members in North America, Europe and the South Pacific with whom Anne works very closely.
In 1981, Schaef impacted millions of people with her groundbreaking book Women’s Reality which was a staple in women’s studies classes at universities around the world. This book, subtitled An Emerging Female System in a White Male Society was part of her lifelong work champion women’s issues. She published a follow up to Women’s Reality in 2016 with a book titled There Will Be a Thousand Years of Peace and Prosperity and They Will Be Ushered in by the Women.
Schaef made a huge impact in the addiction recovery field over the last 40 years with her books, including Codependence: Misunderstood, Mistreated, (one of the first books ever written on codependence), Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science and Living in Process. She wrote extensively on what she saw happening in the culture while developing the Living in Process work.
Among Anne’s other books are Native Wisdom for White Minds; Daily Reminders for Living a New Paradigm and Meditations for Living in Balance. Her books have been translated into many languages including Japanese, Chinese, Croatian, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch and others and have been bestsellers throughout the world. When Society Becomes an Addict was a New York Times bestseller and was nominated for Best Political Book of the Year, and Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much has sold well over two million copies worldwide.
Her books fall into two categories: 1) theoretical commentaries about the society and how it is functioning or not and 2) books for personal growth and healing. Dr. Schaef had several projects in the works at the time of her death. In addition to her books, she wrote a blog annewilsonschaef.wordpress.com, numerous articles and appeared on major television, radio and web programs throughout the world.
Her favorite and oft received compliment from readers is that she “writes what I have always known and was never able to articulate.”
Dr. Schaef was of Irish and Cherokee (Native American) heritage, with a tiny bit of English thrown in to shake things up a bit. She has spent a lot of time in Ireland and was very grateful to the land of her ancestors for the gifts it has given her.
Wilson Schaef Associates’ office and the headquarters for the Living in Process work are in Boulder, Montana at the Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa and Retreat Center in which Anne was one of the primary owners and the President of the Board. Since 1989, she led a team in renovating Boulder Hot Springs and kept the old building and its healing waters available to the public.