In nearly six decades of daily life in Southern California and adventure, training, and speaking engagements on three continents, I have grown into the realization that the full experience of life in the moment is generally the most productive, healthy, and fulfilling way to spend my time on this planet. I have learned to choose being fully alive in the present whether in the breathtaking exhilaration of a trek to 17,000 feet in Peru or the quiet intimacy of a therapy session, in telling stories to grandchildren or feeling an earthquake shaking our house and toppling our chimney, in losing a best friend or gaining a life partner, and in the wedding of a daughter or a Physician’s declaration that “she probably won’t make it.” Life can be an incredibly joyous and painful journey. A life well lived deals with everything our time has to offer with honesty and grace, love and fear, courage and tears, confidence and acceptance, always taking one purposeful step at a time.
A fulfilling journey in the counseling and psychotherapy process begins with a safe, caring relationship between my client and myself. My first task as a therapist is creating a secure environment that encourages and develops hope, respect, introspection, honesty, and self-responsibility in the therapy room. In this context, each client may begin to contact his/her own inner wisdom that knows what is in his/her highest good. I believe that the “real therapist” in the room is the client’s “higher self.” Therefore, my second responsibility is to help develop my client’s relationship with this inner wisdom ,not to be the source of his/her wisdom.
Within this safe, creative environment and with my client’s ever developing relationship with his/her inner self, the course of therapy takes as many forms as the 1,000s of clients I have had the honor to work. Length of treatment varies from a few sessions to years of deep exploration and growth. Some individuals and families have had three or four series of sessions with me focused around different concern that reflect different developmental stages of life. In fact I have clients that I see today that I first met when they were children in family therapy that returned a decade later for premarital counseling and then came back again more than two decades later as parents with their own “relating to teenager” issues.
I value creativity and flexibility in the therapeutic process , including the use of techniques as diverse as goal setting and dream work, sensitivity and humor, science and metaphor, compassionate listening and straightforward honesty, cognitive understanding and intuitive knowing, behavioral change and exploring the meaning of life; all within an atmosphere of beauty and genuineness. For more information about my view of counseling and psychotherapy, see the piece I wrote for our website at What is therapy.
Individual, couple, family, adolescent, and child therapy with a creative use of the training and experience described above and below, adapted to each client’s present situation and his/her treatment goals.
Hypnotherapy, meditation and other altered states of consciousness techniques for exploration and transformation that are generally available only beyond the limits and abilities of the rational mind. For a list of CDs and tapes that use these techniques see Meditation. For an extensive look at consciousness and altered states of consciousness modalities, see Consciousness-Altered-States.
Shamanic counseling can be described as a creative synthesis of the best of ancient and modern psychological and spiritual healing techniques and ceremony. (For a discussion of ordinary and altered states of consciousness, an extensive description of shamanism, and a comparison of shamanism with mediation, hypnotherapy and guided imagery see Consciousness-Altered-States. Areas of work and potential for growth include, but are not limited to, the following:
I enjoy working with a variety of people using a wide range of philosophies, theoretical orientations, and techniques. I have supervised and trained therapists for more than 20 years in the basics of counseling and psychotherapy, adding a rich mix of complementary formulations, included such altered states of consciousness techniques as guided imagery, meditation, hypnotherapy, and shamanism. For more detailed information about my professional life please see My Vita
The following articles are available to view on this website:
Alternative States of Consciousness in Shamanism, Imaginal Psychotherapies, Hypnotherapy, and Meditation, book available at amazon.com and elsewhere. Below are the titles of the three major sections.
Section One: Shamanism/Hypnotherapy/Meditation/Imaginal Therapies
Section Two: Consciousness—Ordinary and Altered
Section Three: Shamanism and Meditation Inspired Personal and Professional Training Program for the 21st Century Psychotherapist.
I have also written and spoken a variety of CD’s and tapes on meditation, health, relationships, and prosperity at CD Connection
I am co-director of The Place Within, a not-for-profit counseling group that offers low cost therapy to our community and training to MFT Trainees and Interns in traditional psychotherapy enhanced with the alternative therapies noted elsewhere on this page, all within a private practice paradigm.