Wed, Jan. 29

Soul sisters<br><i>Women empowering women in Cottonwood</i>

Staff photo by Paula Blankenship

Psychotherapist Carla Nelson and teacher Deborah Darby welcome women of all ages to feel better about themselves at the newly formed Women for Women Learning Center. For as little as $10 women can participate in classes, workshops and individual sessions to help "change your life and make your dreams come true." The center is located in Cottonwood at 2400 E. Arizona 89A, Suite E.

"There seems to be a real need for this," says the Sedona resident of the classes, groups, workshops and individual counseling available at the center beginning this month. "For over 20 years I've spent empowering women and teaching self love."

For Nelson, it's a personal mission of change.

The clinical social worker says she chose female empowerment "so I can learn it too. I think most women have been taught that it's everyone else first," she explains.

The center, with its wide variety of classes, is a place to transform such notions.

From relaxation therapy to career planning, Nelson hopes to offer something for everyone.

"Women for Women Learning Center is founded on the conviction that every woman, regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status has within herself great personal power," says Nelson.

Deborah Darby is a living example of such a transformation.

"I teach workplace dynamics for displaced homemakers," says Darby. "I was in that position in the early 80's. I had no money and no plan."

But by setting goals and attending college classes, Darby ended up using her entrepreneurial skills to leave a corporate environment for one of her own choosing.

"I wanted to work with people that appreciated what I did, to work when I was in the work mode and to be my own boss," says Darby who as a writer provides everything from feature stories to news articles and brochures.

"It took me twice as long to make a profit than the average business, but perseverance pays off," she explains.

And although her schedule may include 4 a.m. writing jaunts or several late nights looking at her computer screen, Darby is happy and making the life she always dreamed of a reality.

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