Anne Heck - Healing Dolls, Asheville art

LH004: Anne Heck – Healing from Trauma through Doll-making, Sharing the Experience to Help Others Heal

anne-heck-healing-dolls
Healing Dolls Created by Anne Reeder Heck

Anne Heck has been on a healing journey, and she has found the art form of doll-making to be the key piece that has allowed her to reclaim her wholeness after a traumatic experience that occurred when she was 26 years old.

I put a parental warning at the beginning of the audio. I suggested that parents (and other adults) come here and read these show notes before deciding whether it would be appropriate to listen to this episode in the presence of children in their care.  I also labeled this episode “Explicit” in iTunes. Therefore, it is important that I tell you here and now what the issue is.

Anne was violently beaten and raped when she was 26 years old, while out enjoying a bicycle ride.  During this interview, there is no graphic discussion of what happened to her, but the event is mentioned, just as plainly as I stated it in the preceding sentence.

If you are a parent, I wanted you to come here, read what the episode is about, and decide whether you are ready for your children to hear those words (e.g. rape) and also whether you are ready to address the questions I imagine could come from children hearing those words for the first time.  I wanted you to have this opportunity to make an informed choice.

In my mind, Anne Heck is an incredible woman and a wonderful resource to others in our Asheville area community (and our global community, as she has done a lot of public sharing through the media and through her website).  Anne has done the tough work of diving deep and allowing herself to feel and process her trauma through the use of her art form of doll-making.

What is even more remarkable is how Anne now stands in a position of being of support to other woman healing from sexual assault.   She also leads women’s circles for women in general, for women with their daughters, and provides Healing and Wellness Sessions through her training by Healing Touch International.

I think if you listen to this episode, you will understand, as I do, how Anne Heck’s healing presence is no doubt a gift to anyone who crosses her path and chooses to spend time with her.

Anne Heck Photo
Anne Heck

To connect with Anne, see more of her work and learn more about her art and her life:

  • Visit her website at http://www.anneheck.com
  • Check out her upcoming events
  • Check out Anne’s media page where you can listen to various other recordings of Anne sharing her experience with the public/press including her Tedx Asheville talk and her interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America
  • Read the Victim Impact Statement Anne presented to the court at the trial of the man who had raped her 14 years prior
  • Anne’s blog posts about the dolls  Please note that in providing this link, I have selected the Category “Healing Dolls” from the categories in the left side bar of Anne’s blog.  If you would like to read the full blog or choose a different category, here is the link to Anne Heck’s blog.
  • Learn more about Anne’s coaching and healing touch work at her Services page on her site.

Highlights of this Interview

  • Anne describes how the doll-making process helped her heal from her traumatic experience and how the dolls still help her today, including in her work with other people
  • How 14 years after her assault, Anne declared 2003 to be her “year of strength,” and what happened two days later that changed her life…
  • How Anne has chosen to make a very personal experience public for the sake of the greater good
  • How Anne chose to write an Victim Impact Statement for court in a manner that expressed the impact but did not make her feel like a victim (and Anne points out how in writing the statement in this manner, she had the advantage of being able to process the crime for many years before she had to make the statement in court, an advantage many people do not have when they have to face their assailant in court)
  • Anne’s discussion of the book she is writing to help women survivor’s of sexual violence learn to use writing their victim impact statement as a tool for healing
  • Anne’s recommendation of how to be of support to a loved one coping with the aftermath of a traumatic experience

Other Links and Resources  Mentioned During this Episode

  • Barb Kobe, the woman Anne refers to as her mentor in the process of learning to create the healing dolls
  • Our Voice, the rape crisis center for Buncombe County

Upcoming Events

  • Please visit Anne’s event page to find the details of the Women’s Groups and Mother-Daughter groups that Anne is offering over the next couple months that she mentioned during this interview
  • Anne will be Our Voice’s featured artist at this year’s Survivor’s Art Show, November 10, 2016 from 5 to 9 pm. at the YMI Cultural Center in Asheville.  Anne will present a 15 minute talk at the show, and many of her dolls will be on display.

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13 thoughts on “LH004: Anne Heck – Healing from Trauma through Doll-making, Sharing the Experience to Help Others Heal

    • Hi Carol, thanks for taking the time to listen to my interview. I’m hopeful you will share it with others who may feel support from what I share. Warmest regards, Anne 🙂

  1. Thanks for listening to Anne’s interview, Carol! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you check out her site sometime…so much to offer there…

  2. Anne and Meredith, thank you so much. Haven’t we known about the healing power of art for a long, long time? It can be subtle and profound.Being a practitioner of energy balancing and somatic healing from trauma, I could relate to so much of what you said, Anne.

    You chose “any door but that door,” and I wept when I heard you speak about embracing your emotions with joy.

    Anne, thank you for sharing your talisman, She Who Drums, and her message.

    Thank you for so much – for sharing your story, your truth, and for all the work you’ve done for others and continue to do. And now a book! May that process also be joyful for you.

    I read your impact statement, and I am reminded of: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/college/news/a59403/stanford-swimmer-rape-victim-letter. These are so powerful.

    I look forward to seeing you again soon, Anne. Hopefully at the Healing Doll Art Exhibition on Thursday, November 10, at 5pm, or maybe at the Echoview Fiber Mill Holiday Bazaar.

    • Thanks, Nancy, for listening to my interview and for your thoughtful words of support. I know your name from the Leo Monohan interview, so it was nice to connect in this way. It would be wonderful to meet you in person on November 10. I do hope to see you there. Warmest regards, Anne

  3. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Nancy! It sounds like you were as moved as I was by Anne’s words and dolls and that you are as appreciative as I am that Anne has chosen to share her healing journey and accompanying wisdom with others on the path… Thank you for speaking your reaction publicly!

  4. Very interesting! I look forward to checking out Anne’s blog. It is so wonderful, Anne, that you were able to use art to help you heal. I remember being young and carrying a small doll in the pocket of my school uniform. I’ll have to do some journaling to figure that one out! I would love to explore doll making. Maybe someday I’ll meet you!

    And Meredith! I’ve so enjoy following your transformations over the past 36 years of our friendship!

    • Hi Patti! I am so glad you listened to Anne’s interview, found value in it for yourself, and took the time to let Anne know…I so appreciate you, my friend 🙂 I would love for you to come visit and meet Anne 🙂

  5. Dear Patti, thanks for taking the time to listen to this podcast. Your story reminds of the tale of Vasilisa; have you heard of it? I’m sure you can find it online.

    Would love to meet you sometime. Please do connect if you happen to be in the area. Any friend of Meredith’s is a friend of mine; I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her through this special work she’s doing.

    All the best ~ Anne

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