The Crucible Institute and Marriage & Family Health Center

Who We Are Today: The Steering Committee

Ruth Morehouse

The Beginning


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Sarah Morehouse & Tara Christopeit

Looking Forward


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Tara Christopeit is a licensed psychotherapist (HPG), who has been working as a translator for Drs. David Schnarch’s and Ruth Morehouse’s workshops and publications since 2011. Before becoming a full-time clinician in 2019, Tara was trained in Crucible Therapy by Dr. David Schnarch and Dr. Ruth Morehouse, who were her ongoing clinical advisors. She has conducted women’s workshops in the USA with Dr. Ruth Morehouse and Sarah Morehouse and is currently getting her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

Patti Morris

Behind The Scenes

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Our Crucible Supervisors:

Grace Whitman & Barbara Fairfield

Dr. Schnarch's longest students


Grace Whitman is a clinical social worker in private practice. She graduated from the University of MD’s School of Social Work with a specialty in Human Sexuality. She completed three years of post-graduate training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. Prior to full-time private practice, Grace worked at the St. Francis Center in the 80’s during the height of the AIDs epidemic. She lives on a farm in rural Maryland with her spouse and an abundance of animals. Grace has two grown children and two grand-daughters.

Barbara Fairfield is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Maryland. She is a consultant in the Genetics Department of The Johns Hopkins University Hospital where she facilitates a supervision group for the genetic counselors in various clinics there. In her private practice, besides seeing couples and individuals, she also conducts three therapy groups, two all-female and one all-male group. She is married to Don Fairfield, a retired NASA scientist who is also trained with Barbara to lead marriage enrichment groups as Specialists with the Better Marriages non-profit organization.

Franziska Bischof & Natalie Westera

Our European Team Leaders


Franziska Bischof is a Swiss Medical Board certified psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Zurich, Switzerland. She has been training in the Crucible approach with Drs. David Schnarch and Ruth Morehouse since 2007. Since 2008 she has been in private practice treating couples and individuals. She and her husband have been together for 30 years; they live in the countryside outside of Zurich with their 18-year old cat.

Natalie Westera is an Occupational Therapist that has specialized in Mental Health. She has 18 years of clinical experience working with couples and families. Natalie has  worked as a couples therapist in the family department at Modum Bad, a psychiatric hospital in Norway. She has been receiving clinical training in the crucible approach by Drs. David Schnarch and Drs. Ruth Morehouse since 2012. Personally, Natalie has been married for 21 years and has two daughters.


Dave Jenkins & Carla Bradshaw

Old School and New School


Dave Jenkins earned his Doctor of Ministry in Family Therapy and Master of Divinity in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University in Montgomery, AL. Dave works for a federal law enforcement agency as an Employee Assistance Counselor and served 20 years active duty as mental health medic. Dave directs the Fredericksburg Relationship Center in Virginia. 

Karoline Bischof is a medical doctor and sex therapist in Switzerland. She is cofounder of the Zurich Institute for Clinical Sexology and Sexual Therapy ZISS and has been teaching sex therapists for over 10 years in the Sexocorporel approach. She began her training in the Crucible approach in 2008 and is strongly dedicated both to integrating it further, as well as to supporting its continuation and teaching in Europe.

Ceryl Jannsen & Karol Bischof

Our Sounding Board

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