Rachael Freed, MSW, LMFT taught English, served in the Peace Corps in Tunisia, and practiced psychotherapy for thirty years. Freed is a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spiritu-ality and Healing. She is one of the 'experts' whose work with the ethical will is included on Dr. Andrew Weil’s integrative health web sites. Her work is highlighted at Legacy.com, AgingPro.com, and AgeWellHomeCare.com.
Recipient of numerous awards for her work, Freed was honored with a grant at Norcroft, A Writing Retreat for Women. She read for 15 years as a volunteer for the Minnesota State Services for the Blind. After serving on boards of service organizations, she is currently the volunteer Adult Learning Co-Chair at Temple Israel, Minneapolis. In 2006 she earned a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Education with highest honors from Gratz College.
Introduced to the ethical will in the early 1990s, Freed was inspired to transform the ancient tradition to empower 21st century women to preserve their voices and values for future generations. She developed a teaching model 'legacy circles' to guide adult learners and wrote Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs and Blessings to Future Generations. She is also the author of The Women’s Legacies Workbook for the Busy Woman: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Spiritual-Ethical Will in 2 Hours or Less. She trains, certifies, and leads a guild of nationwide legacy facilitators.
Freed developed applications for the ethical will and legacy writing:
- For use in health care settings, and to create a non-legal, explanatory legacy letter to accompany living wills (advance care directives) and to facilitate family discussion;
- For business, corporations, non-profits: succession planning, management-board relationships from a legacy perspective;
- To guide communities (organizations, institutions, ethnic groups) to collect and preserve their stories, history, values, and traditions.;
- For clients of estate attorneys and financial and estate planners to document their personal values and legacy goals as a foundation for their financial and estate planning;
- To celebrate significant events in the lives and legacies of women (special transitions, birthdays, anniversaries, intergenerational family gatherings, family reunions, Mothers and Grandmothers Days).
Freed is a pioneer in the field of family-centered care in life-threatening and chronic illness. She founded the first Minnesota hospital-based program for families of the dying in 1973 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis. She created Heartmates® to provide emotional-spiritual recovery resources and services for families of heart patients. Freed wrote and produced the Hugo Award-winning video-series, Portrait of the Heartmate. She is the author of Heartmates: A Guide for the Spouse and Family of the Heart Patient and the interactive Heartmates Journal: A Companion for Partners of People with Serious Illness.See Rachael's Programs and Publications List