Feathers from the Fire
It started with smoke.
It only took a moment for the Driscoll family’s quiet life to catch fire. Disappearances into churches, murmurs of mental illness, and secrets long buried threaten to destroy their once-happy home.
Feathers from the Fire is the soul-stirring tale of one family’s daring attempt to transcend the trappings of fear, stigma, and generational pain by following the signs, leaning on allies, digging for the truth, and holding onto the hope that there is more than meets the eye.
Dr. Karlyn Pleasants has alchemized the wisdom of her twenty- five years of developing therapeutic community programs for individuals with complex mental illnesses and her love of legend and synchronicity into an unforgettable journey that demonstrates the power of curiosity, truth-telling, and love.
What is possible when we look for the stories behind the story?
Download an excerpt.
I’m a clinical psychologist, international speaker and trainer, and leading clinical advisor with a whole-hearted commitment to shifting paradigms and rewriting cultural narratives about mental health, healing, and the infinite possibilities available when we believe there is always more to the story.
When I was fresh out of graduate school and as green as they come, I stumbled into exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for and needed—a job in a small therapeutic community working with individuals diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders. Its unique philosophy of care was inspired by Native American principles of kinship, shared responsibility, and giving back. Witnessing the healing and restoration that unfolded inside this community of hope, in which each member was considered an integral part of the greater system, was nothing short of miraculous for a group otherwise deemed “chronic” and unlikely to change.
This remarkable, eye- and heart-opening experience upended everything I thought I knew about mental health and began shaping my professional career and personal life-path around a desire to create spaces for every human to have this opportunity. For twenty-five years, I’ve helped create thriving therapeutic environments that have supported thousands of individuals and their families successfully build a life of self-management, health, and independence beyond the bounds of psychiatric diagnoses.
Today, I serve as the Chief Clinical Advisor at the Anew Treatment Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. I aim to carry on the fidelity of this deeply transformative model of individual and systemic change that promotes personal agency and interpersonal healing through belonging to a community that believes in individuals’ ability to thrive and live a purposeful life.
In my private outpatient practice, much of my clinical lens is grounded in attachment theory and I prefer to walk in the world of intergenerational transmission of stories—the tales, experiences, beliefs, and traditions passed along through systems. Leaning on narrative techniques to help others put voice to that which needs to be spoken and heard, I support the revising of family roles and personal scripts to create a new life-storyline. I hold certifications in clinical trauma treatment as well as in Jungian psychotherapy, where active imagination, individuation, and harmonious integration reign supreme.
In 2021, I had the honor of writing the foreword for the collaborative project You Can’t Make This St*ry Up, centered on the power of synchronicity and healing through story. In 2022, I joined forces with fellow storytellers, messengers, and guides to launch Saved By Story, a one-of-a-kind publishing house that compassionately supports individual and collective healing through stories of transformation and hope. In March 2023, my debut novel, Feathers from the Fire, will arrive earthside.
My life’s journey also includes spending time in the comforting clime of San Diego with Kerry, my ever-entrepreneurial husband, and Katie, my Marvel Multiverse, crystal-cleansing, meal-making partner in crime. You might also find me seeking out the nearest source of live music, waxing philosophical with the dogs, trying to teach my koi fish the value of sharing, and reminding my glowering turtle that his fake scowl isn’t fooling anyone.