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Anatomy of a Generalist

Valerie Andrews got her start in journalism at Time Inc. in the early 1970s when Richard Nixon was secretly taping conversations at the White House and Clifford Irving was promoting his ersatz biography of Howard Hughes. By the end of the decade she had worked at Time, Life and People on stories ranging from Agent Orange and Love Canal to the Hite Report on sexual mores in America.

To counteract the hazards of magazine work (tight deadlines, late closings, and too many stimulants) Valerie bought a pair of athletic shoes and headed for the jogging path in Central Park. This resulted in a cover story for New York magazine, her first book, The Psychic Power of Running, and a stint lobbying for Title IX and the inclusion of the women’s marathon in the Olympic Games.

In that same decade, Valerie designed and moderated a televised seminar on EEOC law (featuring the notorious RBG) for the American Arbitration Association, and managed a book club for mental health professionals.

In the 1980s, she joined a populist think tank in the Hudson Valley to edit The Tarrytown Letter: A Forum for New Ideas. This monthly journal explored the latest innovations in science, technology, business, the arts, and education and was cited by The Utne Reader as “one of the most influential alternative publications of the decade.” Tarrytown held Chautauqua-like tent shows on human potential and cultural trends.

While living in an 18th century Dutch farmhouse in Old Hurley, New York Valerie wrote A Passion for this Earth, a series of essays on sense of place.

After moving to San Francisco in 1990, Valerie received a Rockefeller grant to found Sacred Words: A Center for Healing Stories. In her seminars she used film, storytelling and Jungian psychology to help professional women through life transitions.

As an editor, Valerie shaped Thomas Berry’s environmental classic, Dream of the Earth, and assisted best-selling authors Robert Johnson and Jean Shinoda Bolen with their books on Jungian themes.

On public television, she hosted A Conversation with Thomas Moore (author of Care of the Soul) and served as a commentator on A Still Small Voice, an award-winning documentary on science and spirituality. She has contributed to PBS documentaries on the global energy (Powershift) and food systems (Nourish), designed to bring young people into the dialogue.

On the internet, Valerie helped launch a medical news service called and designed the first online program for corporate executives dealing with anxiety and depression. She created an online newsletter for The Alexander Foundation for Women’s Health and served as a feature writer for WebMD and Columbia University Medical Center. She has also explored the role of sound in healing, producing a CD of her own piano improvisations, Mindful Music.

For the past fifteen years she has served a variety of clients as The Media Muse, exploring social and scientific innovation. She has also developed a course on creativity, Late Blooming, and is writing about home as a sanctuary in uncertain times.