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Personality Potential

Author Jennifer Freed will discuss book that urges self-analysis.

April 14, 2001|ANN SHIELDS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Say you are an only child, born under the astrological sign of Libra and in the year of the goat. What does it all mean? You can find out in "The Ultimate Personality Guide" by Jennifer Freed and Debra Birnbaum.

Published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, the interactive guide includes seven interpretive tools, from ayurvedic typology (a holistic healing system) to the enneagram (a system that identifies personality types). The cover blurb suggests you forget the shrinks and psychics and analyze yourself.

Freed will be at Borders in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday to discuss the book, which she describes as an introduction to these symbolic systems. Audience members may also win a 30-minute reading, to be done by phone later.

Many of the systems in her guide have lasted for thousands of years--and they wouldn't still be around if people had not found them helpful, Freed said in a phone interview.

But the book is meant to entertain as well as educate, she said.

Of all the disciplines, Freed said she is most comfortable with Western astrology, since she spent 20 years studying it. She is founder of Astrological Counseling Seminars, an institute for astrological psychology, and teaches the subject.

Freed is also a licensed marriage, family and child therapist with a private counseling practice in Santa Barbara.

She does not, however, push astrology on her clients.

"If a client comes to me as a psychotherapist, they are usually coming to investigate issues dealing with their relationships," she said. "If they come to me as a professional astrologer, usually they are looking for guidance in terms of understanding their potential and their purpose."

Another passion is the Academy of Healing Arts for teenagers. The program, designed by Freed and therapist Rendy Freedman to develop character through emotional intelligence and mythic imagination, aims at helping others get a dream back in their lives and understand that they belong to some greater story, she said.

Begun more than a year ago as a summer school program, it also is designed to help teens learn social responsibility and unlearn prejudice. Requests have come from other counties to start similar programs, but funding is needed to expand beyond one high school in Santa Barbara, Freed said.

"People are putting more money in metal detectors and security guards in schools, and frankly, it's just going to create more of an air of tension and not really address the core problem," she said. She and Freedman are writing a manual for the program.

HAPPENINGS

* Today: 7 p.m. Pajamamania gets a visit from Mouse Cookie, in the tales of Laura Numeroff's "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." Borders, 126 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 497-8159.

* Wednesday: 7 p.m. Jennifer Freed will discuss "The Ultimate Personality Guide." Borders, 497-8159.

* Wednesday: 7 p.m. Jacqueline Marcell will discuss and sign "Elder Rage or Take My Father . . . Please!" Thousand Oaks Barnes & Noble, 160 S. Westlake Blvd., 446-2820.

* Thursday: noon. Katherine Hall Page will discuss and sign "Body in the Moonlight." Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 384-0084.

Plan Ahead: 8 p.m. April 21. The Ojai Valley Library Friends and Foundation presents the fifth annual Ojai Shorts event to benefit local libraries. The event will feature short, mostly humorous selections. Actors will be Peter Bellwood, Dwier Brown, Kim Maxwell-Brown, Leigh Curran, John Diehl, Robert Krimmer, James Lashly, Doug Motel, John Perry, Lionel Smith, Rachel Ticotin, Robin Strasser and Peter Strauss. Matilija Junior High Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai. Call 289-0368.

*

Information about book signings, writers groups and publishing events can be e-mailed to anns40@aol.com or faxed to 647-5649.

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