NWTTI Founding Mother
Neila Campbell, visionary and co-founder of this Institute, was a Death Educator and Grief Counselor as well as a teacher and mentor of Therapeutic Touch®. From the early 70's she worked with people who had chronic or terminal illnesses, or who were coping with grief issues.
In the early 80's one of her clients was a woman with cancer. One evening the husband called Neila to ask her to come over. His wife was not able to sleep and he was exhausted. Neila told us that she had the woman turn on her side so that she could give her a back rub, in hopes of helping her to relax. As she moved her hands up over the woman's back, she felt something just about 2 inches from her physical body. Neila said it felt "thick" and she just moved it away with her hands, and the woman fell asleep. Little did Neila know then, but that was her first experience working with the human energy field.
Later she was talking with a nurse friend and the nurse said "that sounds like this modality called Therapeutic Touch. They teach it up at a camp on Orcas Island". 1983 was Neila's first year at Camp Indralaya; she began as a helper in the kitchen, as did many people who wanted to learn T.T. but who were not nurses. Every year she would go to camp and every year she would take the experience to a deeper level. She practiced and she analyzed; she experimented and she shared the experience with others.
Her dedication to the modality inspired many in her local community and the surrounding area to learn Therapeutic Touch. Since 1990, when formal teaching began, first with Kathy Matas, and later with Cordy Anderson and Bev Forster, Neila taught hundreds of people. She continued to spend summers at Camp Indralaya, working closely with Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz; she became a board member, led the Patient Group, and in her last two years, was the Program Coordinator for the week long invitational workshops. Of course, she still was on the Kitchen Crew too!
In September of 2001 Neila was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Her journey over the next 5 months moved too quickly for most of us who depended on her for guidance, counsel and mentoring. She continued to teach us by example; she dived head first into the patterns that needed to be worked on.
Two weeks before she died she said to her husband, "Omar, I don't think I am going to get well." she paused, then said "I am well". She died early in the morning on February 27th. 2002 following the fullest of full moons. Words cannot express the loss felt by her community, 650 of whom attended her memorial service. She left a living legacy of practitioners and she will continue to touch thousands through her connection with each one of us. She will be with us always...