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My name is Nana Tomova, and I am the founder of the Story Apothecary
Stories can guide us on our journey.
They are filled with wisdom passed through countless generations. Stories are not just entertainment, it is soul work. In some cultures the shaman who could walk between the worlds, and the storyteller were one and the same.
With over a decade of experience in mental health, I have walked alongside people in their darkest moments. A real privilege. The land which held me as I breathed my first breath has a long tradition of wise women who told stories and healed with herbs and magic. There are such women in every part of my family tree. It is this bridge of new knowledge and old healing that I walk. This is what I bring in my work as a Medicine Woman, a Story Apothecary.
If you would like to work with me, as an individual in need of Story Medicine, if you would like to bring story to your community or to your organisation, contact me for a free chat, to see if we are a fit to work together.
Below is a list of my training and qualifications
Nana Tomova MPharm PgDip MRes PgCert
Traditional Oral Storyteller
I trained with Roi Gal-Or in 2018, and in 2019 in biographical storytelling, and continue my training with Shonaleigh Cumbers, a Jewish tradition bearer from the Drut’syla women's tradition. I am part of her Walking the Wildwoods Course, a 3 year course by invitation.
I gained my Lowland Leader Qualification in 2018, and did my Mountain Leader Training in 2019 with Bryn Williams Mountaineering. I am a member of the British Mountaineering Association.
Wilderness Mentoring with Natasha Lythgoe from the Art of Rewilding for a decade. This has included creative mentoring, the Artist Way course, photography teaching, re-wilding programmes, nature retreats, a Vision Quest as part of "Peace, Power, Lover and Wildness Programme", and 1:1 ongoing mentoring.
Ethnobotany Level 4 course with John Rhyder at the Wood Craft School in 2022. Through this qualification I am able to run foraging walks and workshops.
Mental Health Pharmacist
I qualified as a Pharmacist in 2010 after a 5 year masters degree. I worked for the NHS for 10 years, as a mental health specialist clinician. I advised consultant psychiatrist on the safest medicines to use, I sometimes I took people off medication. Most importantly, I held spaces for clients with enduring mental health illnesses, as they explored their rich but often difficult journey with medicines.
In 2020 I qualified as an Independent Prescriber in the field of Mental Health after a year intensive programme. I now run my own part-time ADHD clinic within a family owned business, where I diagnose and prescribe within ADHD. I am privileged to listen to people's personal stories all day long.
Masters in Research
I gained my 2 year Masters in Research (MRes) in 2019 where I worked with people with an experience of psychosis to document their stories of treatment. I presented this at an international conference in 2021, and I have worked to disseminate the findings as a storytelling performance, for which I crowdfunded in 2020.
Motivational Interviewing training for 4 years with Steven Rollnick. I have delivered motivational interviewing training for the University of Brighton and for the NHS.
Non-Violent Communications with Daren De Witt in 2018, London. I then co-facilated the Brighton NVC Practice group for a year.
Sister Stories Circle Facilitation Training. Online training with Gemma Brady of Sister Stories on circle facilitation.
Introduction to Shamanism with Twobirds, 2023
Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism, 2014-2016 at the Brighton Buddhist Centre, where I studied meditation and had my own regular practice.
Meaningful Conversations about Medicines. I developed a course for healthcare practitioners based on Motivational Interviewing, Non-Violent Communications and Stories for healthcare professionals on how to have compassionate, meaningful and empowering conversations about mental health treatment with patients.
Lecturer at the University in Brighton 2017-2022. I taught nursing students pharmacology, mental health medicines, motivational interviewing, incorporating stories in my teaching.
I'd like to thank and acknowledge my creativity and wilderness guide, Natasha Lythgoe without whom, I will still be asleep. Without her, I would not be who I am today.
Shonaleigh, who teaches me about story, respect, tradition and the power of story.
Roi Gal-Or who opened my eyes and gave me the gift of seeing myself as a storyteller.
My beloved Ollie, whose tenderness, wisdom, creativity and love nourishes me every day.
Creativity and Nature, who I forgot existed for a while and I was lost. They feed my soul.
Stories and Community. Without which life is much greyer.
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