Susan Willson, CNM is a cross-cultural midwife. She has always seen the body as intelligent and capable, and has spent her career helping to support and empower women to trust their bodies and work with the plan Nature intended. Her original degree was in Psychology and English at Emory University. Once she understood how much of our trajectory is influenced in the womb and at birth, she began her study of midwifery and returned for a nursing degree at Emory and a Master’s Degree at Yale University.
From the beginning, Willson has been interested in other cultures and what birth traditions tell us about a culture. She has worked among the Navajo, in Africa, with Alaskan natives and Pacific Rim cultures. She is always looking across a broad spectrum for what connects us as human beings, as well as the differences in each culture that add spice to the basic recipe. Her last two decades have been spent working with women during the menopausal transition.
Her book Making Sense of Menopause: Harnessing the Power and Potency of Your Wisdom Years, in press with Sounds True Publishers for January 2022, is a positive re-framing of the menopausal transition. It fits menopause within the biological arc of a woman's life, building on what came before, and shows how our earliest experiences shape our menopause, not just our genetics or physical health. The book includes a process that a woman can use to look at her own life and how her identity as a woman was formed, tease out whose voices went into creating that, and find what is authentic to her now. That can then be brought forward into this next arc of her life.
Willson lectures domestically and internationally on Women’s Health at Midlife, Breast Health, Re-framing breast cancer, Hormone balance, and Recognizing signs of Sex Trafficking in one’s Clinical Practice. She has taught at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and is a frequent lecturer at the annual meetings of the American College of Nurse Midwives. She conducts workshops on the Emotional Work of Menopause.