The Lioness Tale Circle

Opportunities for psychospiritual growth for therapists, community members, and potential volunteers.


CEUs available for LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs




About The TrainingAbout the Project

“It’s been a long time that you have wandered, lost in the wilderness.”

Freedom for all

This training is for therapists, potential volunteers and others. Together we can ignite a flame of transformation that burns at the center of our personal lives and our collective soul.

The purpose of The Lioness Tale Prison Project is to help inmates and others to awaken the liberating spirit that frees from the inside out of both literal prisons and the myriad prisons of our fears. 

Therapist's office

training for therapists

With expressive arts, awareness practice, and Enneagram trainng, we will become more capable of communicating from our strongest and most vulnerable places inside, and learn tools to support our clients or community members to also access a deeper place of self-knowing and self-expression.

CEUs available for LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs.

inner transformation

The Lioness Tale Prison Project brings transformational tools for spiritual freedom and emotional literacy to women serving long term to life prison sentences at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.

Participants then facilitate the sharing of these resources throughout their prison community.

The Training

Circle One – Finding Your Roar

6 Sessions on Zoom

  • Expressive Arts
  • Weds 6 – 8pm February 24 – April 7, 2021
  • Now closed

Circle Two – Taking the Panther Seat

6 Sessions on Zoom

  • Gestalt-Based Awareness Practice
  • April 28 – June 9, 2021
  • Details below

Circle Three – Unlocking the Gate

6 Sessions on Zoom

  • The Enneagram as the Key
  • June 30 – August 11, 2021
  • Click for details

Circle Two – Taking the Panther Seat – learning a Gestalt Based Awareness Practice

April 28 – June 9, 6-8pm

The intention of this group is to cultivate a deep self-awareness through Gestalt-based practices adapted from traditions formed at the Esalen Institute of Big Sur and more recently Tribal Ground of Aptos, CA.

Gestalt theory clarifies the difference between awareness and introspection in Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (p 323); “Awareness is like the glow of coal that comes from its own combustion; what is given by introspection is like the light reflected from an object when a flashlight is turned on it. In awareness a process is taking place in the coal (the total organism); in introspection, the process occurs in the director of the flashlight (a split-off and highly opinionated part of the organism which we shall call the deliberate ego).”

While we value introspection and awareness, we will be learning how to create a relational environment that supports “awareness” of our inner light, in whatever form that takes. This will require us to go on our own individual paths towards developing inner support and inspiration to hold that light for ourselves and each other.

The workshop will also serve as a volunteer training program for the Lioness Tale Prison Project for those who are considering joining our team. It may also serve as a vehicle for anyone wanting to dive into a greater awareness of their essence and give voice to their irrevocable freedom.

Lion Cub

Finding Your Roar

Expressive Arts in Healing

Lion Cub

Finding Your Roar

Expressive Arts in Healing

Circle Three – Unlocking the Gate – The Enneagram as the Key

June 30 – August 11, 6-8pm

“There’s a part of every living thing that wants to become itself, the tadpole into the frog, the chrysalis into the butterfly, a damaged human being into a whole one. That is spirituality.” ELLEN BASS (Enneagram Resources Series. The Wisdom of the Enneagram . Kindle Edition.)

The theory of the Enneagram is not merely a bridge between the two worlds but a thorough and applicable integration of spirituality and psychology. All too often in the western approach to mental health and wellness, we find a chasm between psychology and spirituality.

The Enneagram symbol is found in ancient texts of both eastern and western spiritual traditions. And more recently, has proven to provide a precise map of the underpinnings of our greatest strengths and deepest neuroses. I (Russell) have not found a more accurate description of the human experience than through my studying of the Enneagram and I hope to share those findings with you.

Along with stories from the Lioness Tale Prison Project about how the use of the Enneagram has contributed to the growth and development of women facing long term prison sentences, we intend to provide you with useful tools for gaining insight into the figurative prisons you and your clients find themselves in; and how to free yourselves from them.

the lioness tale prison project

The Lioness Tale Prison Project brings transformational tools for spiritual freedom and emotional literacy to women serving long term to life prison sentences at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, California. Participants then facilitate the sharing of these resources throughout their prison community.

Based on the book, The Lioness Tale, a story of a young lioness captured from the wild and silenced by her life in captivity, the program is about moving toward the deepest truth at the center of our beings and discovering our unique voice. It is about letting our voices blossom into full, meaningful, and profound lives, no matter our external circumstances.

The lessons in this story are potentially life-altering for any of us, and are that much more relevant and urgent for those of us who are literally imprisoned. The Lioness Tale Prison Project is based on and built around this book. Readers are led to examine their own life stories, the essential wounds underlying their own personality and to discover resources within themselves for healing and transformation.

Diane Pendola portrait

The Lioness Tale

by Diane Pendola

Diane Pendola portrait

Diane Pendola

Author & Co-Founder

The Executive Director and Co-founder of Skyline Harvest, a California 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, Diane Pendola is the founder of the Lioness Tale Prison Project and the author of The Lioness Tale, upon which the program is based.

The intention of The Lioness Tale Prison Project is to awaken the inner freedom of women serving long term to life sentences, giving purpose to their lives, and lighting up the prison where they live from the inside out.

Diane has been a contemplative presence in county jails and prisons since 1986 when she completed her Masters degree in theology. In her graduate studies she was deeply influenced by feminist and liberation theologies, with their emphasis on giving voice to the voiceless and bringing the disenfranchised in from the margins to the very center of authentic life. She has worked among incarcerated women for over 30 years.

Diane has sought her own transformation through prayer and meditation, Gestalt Awareness Practice and the Enneagram, all of which she teaches and integrates in her life and work.

Diane knows all things are possible through the Love that resides at the center of our expanding universe and at the center of our human hearts.

The Instructors

Russell Jensen has been studying Gestalt Theory and Practice since 2007. He began studying at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training in New York City, then at the Pacific Gestalt Institute in Los Angeles, and at Tribal Ground, a Gestalt-based learning community in Aptos, California. He has been participating in these communities in one way or another through today.

Russell entered the mental health field in 2004. Over the course of his career so far, he has worked in various mental health treatment settings including residential settings, transition houses, schools, in-home support services, outpatient centers, a women’s prison, and at his own private practice. In that time, Russell has worked with a wide range of ages, populations, diagnoses, and levels of acuity. His greatest interest is working with human service providers; therapists, social workers, spiritual leaders, nurses, teachers, law enforcement, armed forces, and emergency responders.

Russell V. Jensen

Russell V. Jensen LMFT

Nikki Fryn

Nikki Fryn

Born in Australia, Nikki Fryn, considers herself a perennial student of human nature, a trait she has found invaluable in her coaching and consulting work with businesses.

Nikki participated in the business world for many years, until discovering an inclination for computers and programming systems, when she began consulting in systems design, and taking extended breaks to live in Japan, Tonga, and New Zealand for months or years at a time.

Eventually missing deep joy in her life, in late 2000 Nikki decided to fire her consulting clients, began learning to fly, taking singing lessons, and took a deep dive into the world of behavioral sciences exploring meditation, group process, hypnosis, and more.

Nikki completed life coach training in 2001, and began a practice. Watching clients transform and seeing them fulfill lifelong dreams, she soon realized she was somehow a spectator in her life.

In 2003 Nikki started to travel the world, but soon discovered a new life of work and personal development with gifted Gestalt practice teachers such as Christine Price and Dorothy Charles at Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, California. Staying for more than 2 years, she learned what it takes to create a fulfilling life for herself.

Since joining the Lioness Tale Prison Project Nikki has discovered ways to give back what has been shared by her teachers, and guides. Working with the women inside has helped her to acknowledge her own inner prison, and understand incarceration can be a state of mind rather than a state of being. Nikki considers the opportunity to work with women in prison a gift and a privilege, and has found courageous teachers and mentors hidden within prison walls.

Our founder, Diane Pendola, speaks about the history and intentions of The Lioness Tale Prison Project



(559) 640 7077



Suite 101 – 2080 N. Winery Ave Fresno CA 93703