Your Facilitator

Steve Bearman, PhD is the founder of the Interchange Counseling Institute, and a counselor, social justice educator, and workshop leader residing in San Francisco. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he also received an MS in Social Psychology. He has published articles on internalized sexism, male sexual conditioning, mentoring, and the philosophy of psychology. He receieved his BA in Individual Transformation and Social Change from Hampshire College.

Steve has been teaching in the Bay Area and throughout the country for the last 20 years. In addition to teaching counseling skills classes, he has led workshops in the areas of community building, relationships, ending jealousy, overcoming anxiety, gender role conditioning, healing body shame, death and grieving, spiritual practice, and group facilitation. He was a teacher for the Re-evaluation Counseling Community and was counseling faculty at the Omega Insititute for Holistic Studies, where he trained support group leaders and peer counselors, led men's groups, and taught classes in ending suffering and holistic sexuality, and at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where he taught counseling skills to health coaches.

In his secret life as a researcher, Steve created and runs Psychsurveys, a free website that thousands of social science researchers use to conduct survey research on the web. He is part of a research team at the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), in conjunction with UC Santa Cruz, working to find out how to best support students from underrepresented minorities to succeed in the sciences. His dissertation research involved seeding contagious behaviors into high schools to reduce racial segregation. He has also studied the ways in which internalized sexism pervades everyday dialogue between women and the use (or lack thereof) of anti-oppression practices amongst therapists.

Steve counsels a number of people in San Francisco, helping his clients to heal old hurts, to overcome emotional obstacles, to recover meaning and passion, to create healthy relationships and support structures, and to realize their unique and extraordinary capacities.

I came to every class and left in total awe, feeling transformed. Best course I have ever experienced. Lamara Heartwell


Home Group Facilitators
Margo Brockman is the Head of Admissions and Co-Owner of Interchange Counseling Institute. Along with running the business, marketing, and operations for the company, Margo is a two-time graduate of Interchange and brings over a decade of intense personal growth work and spiritual practice into her counseling relationships and leadership style. In a prior life, Margo ran Marketing and Strategy for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. She left the high-tech world to follow her heart and joined Interchange to enable more people to have access to the kind of transformation, healing and community that she found through the program. Margo has a deep understanding of what's needed to facilitate the kind of shifts that help people (and businesses!) to change and grow in the ways that best serve them and the world. Interchange's Year-Long Training now reaches over 150 people per year.

Ashley Aron Craig is the Media Director and Community Coordinator for Interchange Counseling Institute. As a multi-media documentarian and academic researcher, she has interviewed over two thousand people, counseling them all the while, as well as training students in documentary and interview techniques. She currently incorporates filmmaking into her work with Interchange by creating all of the media on the Interchange website, and filming weekly video blogs with Steve. She brings a strong social justice, anthropological perspective into her counseling relationships, as well as a deep mindfulness practice, and trust that there really are no problems that cannot be healed, transformed, and viewed from a more holistic, empowered point of view. Ashley is a two-time Interchange graduate and has been on the leadership team since 2011.

Carolyn Moore, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private counseling practice in San Francisco. She is the director of a welfare-to-work program at a non-profit in San Mateo, where she strives to perfect the dance between accountability and support. She has taught women's self-defense classes, led community education workshops on domestic violence, mentored at-risk teen girls, led substance abuse recovery groups, and provided thousands of hours of counseling to diverse people. Carolyn is a 2009 Interchange graduate.

Lori Goldman, MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who works with children, teenagers, parents, and adults in a private practice in Berkeley. In the past, Lori has worked in community mental health, working with underserved and under-supported children and families in clinic, home, and school-based settings. She is inspired to help children and adolescents find creative and resourceful ways to support their own development, and to help parents encourage their children's own unique gifts and talents. Lori is passionate about supporting people in the reemergence of their inner longings, wisdom, and voice. She is deeply relational and down-to earth, and brings her love of yoga, dance, mindfulness and authentic communicating and relating into all of her work. Lori is a 2003 Interchange graduate.

Greg Callahan draws from over two decades of leadership experience and intensive inquiry into the nature of the self, embodiment, and relationships. In the current iteration of a 23-year IT career, Greg drives global infrastructure technology and business change management as a cross-functional program leader for Philips Healthcare. His study of mind, nature, and spirituality spans a degree in cognitive neuroscience, 9 months in meditation retreat, and full course curriculum and leadership at Headwaters Outdoor School. His practices in health, fitness, and nutrition include 5 years of intensive martial arts training in Qigong, Tai Chi, and Ninjitsu (Shodan black belt). He is a great lover of music and spent 6 years as a semi-professional musician following 15 years of formal percussion and vocal training. Greg brings highly developed capacities in the areas of empathy and embodiment to his work as a counselor. He is a two-time Interchange graduate (2008, 2010) and has been on the leadership team since 2012.

Jolana Bishay brings passion, warmth and sincerity to her work as a facilitator and full-time mom. As a Senior Leader with Challenge Day, she leads workshops empowering young people to connect across lines of difference, create a culture of inclusion and respect in their schools, and express more of their true, full selves. She has been a facilitating groups for the last 14 years, including running team-building and outdoor education programs with Wilderness Outdoor Leadership Foundation, and facilitating programs for Bay Area peace-building non-profits such as Mosaic Project, Soul Shoppe and Theatre of all Possibilities. Jolana holds a BA in psychology and has spent the last six years diving deep into the subtleties of living an awakened and embodied life at the Ridwhan School with A.H. Almaas. Everything she always wanted but never learned about counseling in college, she learned at Interchange in 2004.

Home Group Assistants
Bob Okin, MD is a psychiatrist who until recently was Chief of Psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital. Earlier in his career, he was Commissioner of Mental Health of Vermont and Massachusetts. Bob is Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry at UCSF School of Medicine. He sees patients in private practice, is involved in human rights work in third world countries, is finishing up a manuscript on homeless mentally ill people in San Francisco, and tends his vineyard. He is a 2013 Interchange grad. Interchange broadened his therapeutic palate and inspired him to reexamine certain cherished assumptions he's held throughout his professional life.

Randy Fortes has been traveling the nation since 2006 leading a life changing experiential workshop called Challenge Day. With 100 teenagers a day, he empowers students to take a stand and use their voices in a positive way. Love always prevails! Randy is a motivational speaker, drawing on his background teaching, leading in high schools, writing poems, singing, rapping, and breakdancing. He has performed raw hip hop, reggae, and soul with his band, "Sol Rebelz" at hundreds of venues through out the Bay Area and abroad. Randy is also a father, and a 2013 Interchange grad.

Marina Smerling is an attorney turned counselor, relationship coach, and lover of Nonviolent Communication. She is the co-founder of WiseHeart Lawyering, offering stress-reduction counseling and compassionate communication training to attorneys. Marina believes we face an epidemic of shame, and also works with individuals and couples to heal shame and to bring their whole, uncensored selves home. She is deeply committed to healing racism and creating a radically more inclusive world, and has participated on the Nonviolent Communication and Diversity training team since 2009. She is a 2013 Interchange grad.

Dionisio Ceballos is an Emmy Award Winning filmmaker and animator, as well as an accomplished artist. He is the owner of Studios Dio and the co-founder of Committed Couples with his wife Erin Delaney. He is a self-taught artist with a BA in communications from Universidad Iberoamericana. He has trained in Nonviolent Communication, Voice Dialogue, and the Collaborative Operating System. Dioniso is a facilitator for the Pachamama Alliance's "Awaken the Dreamer, Change the Dream" Symposium. He has been practicing mediation and yoga since the early 90's. He is a committed husband, father, a green smoothie junky, and a 2013 Interchange grad.

Carla Bagdonas is an educator and counselor with a BA in Psychology from Pomona College. She has worked in public education for social justice and youth development as a non-profit administrator, classroom teacher, outdoor trip leader, curriculum developer, family liaison, recruiter, and human resources strategist. Carla is a 2013 Interchange grad currently building an independent practice.

Skye Weir-Mathews is an engineer, counselor, ally, and spiritualist with a BA in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. His true passion lies in ending suffering through empowering undeserved populations. Some of his recent notable side projects include starting a small program giving away laptops to formerly homeless teens in Alameda, and spreading Interchange-y goodness through informal counseling meetups. Skye is a 2012 and 2013 Interchange grad who feels truly blessed to participate in and serve this community.

Karen McVey is a three-time Interchange graduate: 2010, 2012, and 2013. As an Elder and Wise Woman with a private life coach/counseling practice in Fremont, CA, she guides clients through healing and growth to self-acceptance and self-love. Karen also leads workshops in creative self-expression and spiritual exploration.