“The Neurophysiology of Spiritual Guidance”

dr stephanie mines.jpgDr. Stephanie Mines in this TEDx Talk video says that “Clear (spiritual) guidance is an integrated, holistic neuro-chemical phenomenon that forever transforms the individual who experiences it, recalibrating the nervous system.” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQOAxT8llto )

Mines is a psychologist who describes herself as “an advocate to clearing personal and collective trauma by unburdening the overwhelmed nervous system.”  She has a clinic and offers training in what is called The TARA Approach, which is an energy-releasing practice, such as releasing the trapped energies of shock or trauma for clients.

In this particular TED talk she elaborates on how to become more intuitive and Neuro+Resiliency.pngspiritually guided in your life: “Let your body become the tuning fork for harmonious efforts…(to make this a better world). …  (Spiritual) Guidance will tell you YOUR role …. Let guidance come to you. Accept it without regret. …Track your sensations carefully. … In that space between assumptions and conclusions, something new is waiting—that is guidance.  Guidance will cause you to give up the life you had planned and replace it with the life you are meant to live. …And you will accept that without regret.  And that will surprise you. ..It is in that very surprise that you know that guidance has found you. ”

Guidance is an expansive softening, whereas compulsion is tight and compressive.  True guidance always allows free will and brings a felt sense of spaciousness.  It feels good. …There is joy in the experience of guidanceGuidance is an organic, utterly human phenomenon. It thrives in the presence of creativity and honesty. …”

“Our task is to find it (TRUE Spiritual Guidance) and surrender to it.”

She is also a very vocal ecology advocate: “We all have the capacity to attune to the spiritual forces that are convening now at the crossroads of time. A call has already gone out from the Guardians of the Earth. Can you hear it? Please, don’t let anything interfere with the reclamation of your personal guidance. This is your whole priority.”

taraapproach3While this specific TED Talk video was focused on developing the ability to listen to your higher guidance and act from that direct knowing, I guess I’m more amazed at the multitude of folks working on their own in the world—folks that I was so unaware even existed, just doing their own versions of trying to help others in some way. Evidently Dr. Mines with her TARA Approach, mixes psychology with energy work to help clients get in tune with their own bodies to first recognize and then eliminate the energetic trauma packets still affecting the client’s energy field (and physical body).

As a REIKI teacher and practitioner, I can easily relate to this approach because during REIKI sessions when I am working on someone who tells me of a particularly sore or painful area on their body and I put my hands over that area (and I don’t even have to touch them), I can sometimes feel the flavor of the emotional sensation trapped in that area (like sadness, or fear, or anger, etc.).

I can kinesthetically FEEL them because they are energetic vibrations that my emotional body recognizes, plus I may get visual images in my mind of a scene in which the client and others participated. When I ask the client what this image that I’m seeing means to them, along with explaining the accompanying emotion that I’m feeling with the scene, they suddenly know what that body pain is and who it was directed at.

Then when we work through releasing the stuck energy in that part of the client’s body/energy field, the original pain washes away like magic. It’s amazing. I’ve actually seen it happen.vortex knots

So I understand what Dr. Mines is doing even if I don’t know exactly how she’s approaching it. Trauma and shock are disharmonious energies that are tangled in the client’s energy field that disrupt the natural energy flow through the body. If that energy flow is disrupted long enough, then health problems arise.

The point of the therapy, whether with REIKI or whatever Dr. Mines is doing, is to find the problem area, acknowledge what the client’s association and connections are to that problem, and then to clear them from the client’s energy field and body. Then the body can reestablish a more harmonious energy flow which leads to better physical/emotional health.

taraclimatechangeThe other main thing Dr. Mines seems to be focused on is the ecological crisis at present and to bringing increased awareness to resolving that. To that effort I wish her the best of luck and hope that this renewed publicity of critical ecological situations can get people activated to become climate advocates themselves.

Lots of folks are doing lots of positive things in the world. Why not join them?

 

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Final Mention of the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit

Before I start the new year of 2018, I want to wrap a few more of the speakers from the 2017 Psychotherapy & Spirituality Summit mentioned previously.dianeheller.jpg

I also found these folks very interesting:

Diane Poole Heller, PhD, who often worked with Peter Levine on attachment theories and trauma resolution—especially working on relationship trauma, was very worth hearing.

She claims that attachment template starts in utero…it is the earliest blueprint for our sense of relationship and how we “attach” to others, which in this sense is the birth mother.

Each attachment style requires a different kind of interface with the client to work through it.

somatic attachment.png

The four attachment styles are secure attachment, avoidant attachment, ambivalent attachment, and disorganized attachment.

Secure attachment:  Biologically designed in all of us. It is the ideal of what constitutes security and safety—this is the baseline of desired attachment—feeling protected and loved, playfulness, confident. Have a capacity to trust, and this is when we feel accepted for who we are. The ideal state.

Avoidant attachment: One of parents may be distant and unattached or unapproachable. When this occurs there is not as much development of the baby’s right brain–the child seems to be living in an isolated bubble of existence.  The child becomes more independent and reliant on self rather than others because s/he had to be this way to survive. As adults, the person tends to dismiss relationships and feel more isolated in life—became more ambivalent toward others. Couldn’t relax into love because they were waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under them—hyper-alertness. As an adult they tend to avoid disappointment that felt inevitable in a relationship–so they avoid relationships.hellerblurb.jpg

Ambivalent attachment is being too focused on others. Too dependent on others for sense of well-being and acceptance–too clingy–too needy–feeling too weak to make it alone.

Disorganized attachment: This style is the result of parents who do “paradoxical injunction” with the child—the “Come here! No, go away!” “I love you—I can’t stand you.”  “You are so good. You are so bad.”  The child may be in a double-bind of never being able to please the parent or to know which behavior is the correct one that is rewarded rather than punished because rewards and punishments are confused to the point of not knowing if intimacy is a good thing or a bad thing. Is it pleasant or painful? Or is it both?

Heller cites a collaborative treatment method for trauma therapy that involves healing attachment issues, using Levine’s somatic trauma resolution, the Diamond approach of psychology mixed with spiritual inquiry, and the New Autonomic NS Understanding by Steven Porge, along with the latest innovations in neuroscience.

***

grof6.jpgThe one other presenter I will mention from that summit is Stanislov Grof who still is one of the most influential transpersonal realm explorers of the last 40 years. The transpersonal realms deal with ordinary and non-ordinary states of reality.

Stan Grof is far too important to contain in a paragraph or two here, but he is one of the main psychiatrists who explored the alternate reality experiences of LSD, shamanic trance, Kundalini activation, Near-death experiences, possessions states, channeling other spirits, etc.

At the end of the 20th century he helped to give those extra-sensory experiences a sense of legitimacy and professional acknowledgment. The bonafide mystical experience was his holy grail of inquiry and exploration. He made it a mainstream exploration for psychiatrists.grofquote2.jpg

Holotropic states of consciousness became his life’s work, and he and his wife Christina, created the “holotropic breath work” treatment to substitute for the psychedelic drugs of mescaline, LSD, or ayahuasca experience.

He still offers training in some of those techniques and provides great historical research into non-ordinary reality.

Thanks again Sounds True for allowing me to listen to these presenters for free!

Second Part on Pat Ogden, PhD from the S & P Summit

I wanted to complete this Pat Ogden review before more “info” comes through that I feel compelled to share. As mentioned in my earlier review of the summit itself, one of the patogden 5.jpgthings I liked most about some of these spiritual psychotherapy approaches was the more collaborative methods of therapy between client and therapist.  Pat Ogden was a main example of that.

Her stated belief was that you must trust your client’s inner wisdom (which the client may not be overtly aware of) to desire to heal non-harmonious aspects of themselves, so there is no need to push or force change with the client. You simply allow what needs to change to unveil itself as you work together. But you need to create a safe-haven (a safe and comfortable environment) for the work to unfold.

She believed in the principles of mindfulness and presence, meaning that mindfulness is an actual state of consciousness—where the observer and the observed are united within that state of mind; while presence is a state of beingness.

Being mindful is the ability to focus awareness within and outside the person all at same time, which is desirable at times, but it actually prevents you from being fully present in the body.  Mindfulness may be more the out-of-body experience while being present, is being well-grounded and right here, right now.

traumainterventions.jpgOgden’s work is a unity-focused therapy of client and therapist working together for better client outcomes.  She uses language reflective of the intention of unity— lak’ech-“I am another you.”   It’s a collaborative language of “we”ness in the client’s discovery process where you give the client an option, a say in what they will do together to help the client.  Frame it for them in ways that are easy to understand, and then give them the chance to say yes or no, let’s pursue that suggested exploration or let’s wait a week or so before we do.

Her focus is on holism. Her Sensorimotor Psychotherapy goal is to harness the wisdom of the body to liberate human potential, and the body holds tremendous potential for sensoimotor psy.jpgwisdom. She simply says to honor the intelligence of the body. Watch how a client is presenting herself.  What is the body language stating that the spoken words are not? Hunched shoulders means she is holding fear….so ask about that body message you are seeing.  “Why are you sitting so scrunched together? Are you hiding within yourself or unconsciously defending yourself from something you perceive around you?…Is there something you are afraid of—something you fear about this situation or about exploring those memories? Let’s get it out and look at it. Let’s see if it truly is threatening or just seemed that way for awhile.” (paraphrased)

She says one of the greatest gifts you can ever give is helping the client discover important things about themselves—what is meaningful to them.  Her goal is to help reveal the client to themselves—it’s all about self-discovery.

Ogden avoids diagnosis of a client and especially labeling them with a disorder because they too readily identify with the diagnosis and then become it.  Her stated example was Dissociative Identity Disorder…. It may not be a good thing to call someone this. It limits them—limits how they perceive themselves.

She believes in non-violent approaches. Don’t try to force a client toward an outcome. They resist and it may not be the right outcome anyway. Try another way if possible—make it more exploratory.  A lot of this involves more “undoing” bodypatternsthan doing—unlearning old ways of thinking and being, to allow new ones to emerge.

In her practice mindfulness is a critical skill that supports our way of being, and supports the importance of presence.  When we are focused on our bodies by using our minds to assess what we are feeling in the moment, and when we examine how we are executing the actions that we take in our lives, it establishes the principle of self-engagement. These are all building blocks of the “being present” experience.

Teaching clients how to pay attention to their own bodies and to learn to recognize their own body cues is important for recognizing what the body is telling them it actually needs for optimum mental and physical health. The client might misinterpret a current situation as to whether or not it is threatening, so you look for the natural body cues as to what their body, not their mind, is saying about it?bodyleadsushome.jpg

Helping clients look for their own body-reactions in situations helps them learn what is really happening to them as opposed to what is simply being triggered by a childhood memory, etc.   How we organize our experience—those earliest patterns of inner organization—are often how we first see a situation; and it starts with how we felt about a similar situation in our childhood—like whether or not we felt helplessness or fearfulness in that similar situation.

She believes that if we go in deeply enough to the inner depths of the client, the client’s natural higher consciousness will spontaneously reorganize them toward health.  Uncovering what is emotionally hiding within the client and preventing them from realizing their wholeness allows them to self-reveal and then to self-heal.

She simply becomes a container for love for the client—holding them in acceptance and process until their health is revealed.po7.jpg

Interesting lady, Pat Ogden. Good interview.

Thanks Sounds True for this psychotherapy/spirituality summit.

Energy Shifts Now

lee harris 3.jpg

Lee Harris just did a John Burgos interview talking about the energy shifts that we all are experiencing now. I like his psychic intuitive aspect—it feels very harmonious with my sensing abilities.

Lee claims that manifesting your desires is a bit harder at present with these massive upgrades shifting us higher. We are changing so fast that what we create in our lives is having trouble aligning with our fast-shifting personal vibes—it’s like a focusing problem—a frequency discrepancy that is almost auto-correcting our actual needs to be more focused on the moment or being more ready for the future us that we are growing into who is less materially anchored to the old patterns of this world.headshot.jpg

He says there are greater differences in our lower and higher self now—more emotional energy in the lower of course, but the inner discord is really becoming pronounced because of the collective disharmonies and disruption. It’s time to step back and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling but recognize that the energy of that situation is a clearing of sorts for you. That energy needs release—it needs resolution—it needs to simply go because it can’t rise along with our higher-frequency selves as we raise our personal vibration to match the higher-frequency person we are becoming.

An example: For me, patience is a problem, as is tolerance of other’s behaviors that I find irritating or offensive—including my own. Lately I’m constantly trying to not-react.  My temper is tied to my ego’s importance—I do understand this and am continually pulling myself back from reactive mini explosions.  But in doing so, I know there is a caution to not stuff the anger energy as that creates resentment and festering wounds that later explode with far more devastation than the mini eruption might have originally.

Now is a time for self-observation, assessment, acknowledgment of the moment’s feelings, and release of the reactive energies that no longer serve us. And like the Dr. neural pathways.jpgJoe’s Ted Talk explanation from a couple posts ago, when you can do that you create the brain’s new neural pathways of action to move toward who you wish to be—more compassionate, more tolerant, more loving and less judgmental.

As a longtime energy worker (REIKI), I can say that stuck energies create all kinds of mental, emotional and even physical problems for people. Karmically stuck energies can last lifetimes because it attaches to your outer energy matrix which is your personal pattern of earth incarnations that provide you with the very attracting situations necessary to release that stuck karmic energy.

With hypnosis, I take clients into past-life experiences to explore the original wounds in a previous life that are creating the present life problems they are having such difficulty pastlife 6.jpgresolving, so I’m speaking from many levels of professional experience here—energy worker/hypnotist/intuitive.  I’ve personally seen it for myself—I’ve been there with the client guiding them through those situations.

First and foremost, we are beings of energy. For the earth-based experience that overall energy solidifies into a material vehicle that carries and “acts-out” this energetic pattern that defines us. At present, there is so much of our life experience as energy beings that can’t definitively be explained—much of the experience we have glimpses of but have trouble fully understanding—and some explanations we speculate on depending on our own professional focus. That’s why there are so many different treatment methods to try to help people with their various problems.

whatyouthinkis.jpgEverything in our life experience is a matter of perspective and approach—what you see—what you believe to be true—often is. That’s why I keep repeating that what you think, IS, because we create our own life experiences—we create the very tests this earth-based vehicle needs to work through our own energy issues—our own karmic debts and energy disharmonies, because we learn by doing.

The hard part is in recognizing that marvelous learning opportunity at the time, because it isn’t usually a pleasant experience when a “learning situation” explodes in our faces—especially ones that we have created for ourselves.

Yes. … (Long sigh.) …Mea culpa.

New Sources of Information Flooding In Now

Over the last three weeks in my own little myopic world, I’ve been treated to SO many new sources of interesting information that I’m practically buzzing as it processes through me.

What are these new sources? p&s summit2

I’ve previously mentioned the online “Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit” that was very interesting and hopeful for the future of psychology in general. Then there were a few Facebook posts that caught my eye and interest, as mentioned in the Dr. Joe Dispenza Ted Talk that I posted previously, plus a few other short Facebook vlogs that I didn’t mention here such as Lee Harris’s monthly energy report ( November 2017 Energy Update – Lee Harris ) or my favorite layperson’s astrologer, Kaypache Lescher’s weekly energy report.

web of bto.jpgBut besides those things, in approximately that same timeframe as the “P & S Summit” I had also signed up to listen to the “Beyond the Ordinary Show” (https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/ ) led by John Burgos where another 30-plus online interviews were held with various presenters pertaining to energy-related subjects, spirituality, and creating higher-frequency consciousness.  Those are available for replay by signing up for his show’s newsletters (if anyone is interested—I’m not pushing it).

So…evidently my info tastes are eclectic, educational, and usually involve learning more about the human experience whether by standard methods or non-standard. I’d say Dr. Joe on Ted Talk was probably the bridge between those two methods this past month.

And I, like just about everyone else I know, like to think of myself as fairly sane and well-adjusted despite the challenging, daily-life situations we all encounter, and also in spite of the news media’s deluge of horrific and toxic subjects that are aired 24/7/365.

But for me to shift my listening back and forth between the “P & S Summit” and John Burgos show “Beyond the Ordinary” – now THAT is quite a set of auditory bookends, even for me. Talk about competing brain hemispheres.Beyond the ordin.jpg

Many of John’s interviewees are energy-sensitive folks like myself who can feel the nuances of the energy ocean we normally swim in; and many are considered healers, psychics, and/or trainers of others to likewise participate in the energy-experience (or the consciousness matrix) in some way.  Many of these folks are channelers of some other dimensional being (or many beings), and some are just directly intuitive and knowing of higher intentions due to natural and developed abilities to decipher them.

I personally am more so in the later group, and am also a bit more skeptical of the channeled stuff depending on the person doing it and how the energy of what they are claiming as truth feels to me, which means my gauge of truth is more along the line of a kinesthetic feeling in my body.

infinity.jpgThe only thing I know for certain on any of this standard or non-standard information is that there is little we know for certain. The rest is speculation and personal belief. All modalities are evolving in understanding—even the psychiatric profession. Look at Freud’s theories from a hundred years ago. How many psychoanalysts today are following the exact same guidelines that he set back then? So who is to say what is relevant and what is non?

ALSO, as if that online acoustic flood wasn’t enough, I had been reading an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) book (because I am a certified hypnotist and a studied NLPer) that was amazingly pertinent to shifting a client’s restrictive perspective and/or attitude. The book is called The Rainbow Machine: Tales from a Neurolinguist‘s Journal by the RM Austin.jpgAndrew T. Austin. To say his treatment with clients is unorthodox is like the consideration of how easy it is to turn water into wine with a single sweep of his hand, although he claims it’s far easier to turn wine back to water—says he does it all the time. (Little Austin humor.)

Irreverent is hardly the word for Austin’s NLP therapy theories and practice—illegal probably comes closer, and I doubt he can even get liability insurance if he actually does what he states in the book. But it was interesting—VERY interesting in how he approached client treatment—reminiscent of Milton Erickson’s early forays into clinical hypnosis, and Richard Bandler’s documented NLP experiences, because it’s all about reprogramming (neurolingually retraining) ourselves and those around us to perceive things the way we want them perceived, rather than how the client sees them which has led to their current life dysfunction.

To me there are many ways to treat the disarrayed human condition—many methods, many approaches, and many possibilities to better framing the troubling situation for the client in some respect—with lots of information sources available to us at any time to establish those new borders of life’s context.

sign post infoInformation-wise this month was particularly fertile for me in that respect, so there will be lots of subjects to explore further—just as soon as they all finally settle down in my noggin. I’m already seeing correlations in approach that might have been otherwise overlooked because that’s what usually happens when counter currents merge midstream. Hopefully once the whirlpools dissipate and disperse I can elaborate on them further in the near future.

Just not right now. My head is still swirling.whirlpool

Metacognition with Dr. Dispenza on Ted Talk

Joe tedtalk.jpgThis morning I saw Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Ted Talk presentation on neuroplasticity and rewiring our brains (cortical remapping) to change our behaviors. I think it was called “Thinking to Doing to Being.” (The location is: https://www.facebook.com/DrJoeDispenzaOfficialNewsFanPage/videos/2122965437728839/  )

Because I have previously commented on this aspect of “Whatever you think, IS—so change your thinking to reflect what you want” I’ll include the link if anyone wants to see it, and I’ll make a few more comments per Dr. Dispenza’s TT advice.

He began by explaining the functions of the 3 main parts of the brain: the neocortex3 parts of brain.jpg (the thinking brain), the limbic (mammalian/emotions/feeling) brain, and the cerebellum (the subconscious/reptilian) brain.  When all parts are functioning optimally and are in coordination with each other, we are in optimal mental health and can direct the course of our lives as we wish.

However, when what we think and what we feel are out of line with each other—like when a disturbing memory association and corresponding body reaction because of it counters our intentions to better control our present-day actions, then we feel we have no control over our lives—we automatically react to everything around us. We become stressed, we lose our temper, we act fearful for no visible reason, etc., and then we tend to blame others for our inability to control ourselves.

brain neuropla.jpgBut humans have an amazing ability to actually observe our thinking/acting processes. It is called metacognition—we can become consciously aware of ourselves and our reactions to life through observation—by pulling back to watch how our mind and our body are trying to take us in a direction we really don’t want to go, and then tracing the behavior back to the trigger point that created the reaction.  When we go into observation mode we can simply watch ourselves being WHO we are being—watch how we are reacting to the stimuli before us—even observe our thoughts at the moment to see what we are automatically thinking when a trigger subject arises. It is self-observation and reassessment before automatic reaction.

The importance of this is that in the ability to simply observe ourselves through metacognition, we then have the opportunity to change our previously-patterned behavior.

Dr. Dispenza went into depth on when you maintain the observer of how you are reacting stance rather than automatically react, you change the neuron-firing patterns of your brain’s neocortex enough so that you actually disrupt the limbic brain’s emotion-charged, chemical reactions to the same subject matter. By doing this you are diffusing the chemical effect that it would normally have on your endocrine system which controls the specific chemicals released into your blood stream like the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands that triggers our natural fight-or-flight response.create your future.jpg

Auto-reactions are carefully created neuropathways in the brain established by patterns of reaction and behavior. “Circuits that fire together, wire together,” he says. “So change your thinking, and you can change your body’s reaction to your environment.”

When you can shift to observer/non-reactive mode and choose how you wish to respond to a situation, you begin to biologically breakdown the old circuits earlier created in your brain that were connected to your old way of reacting to life stressors.  This makes your brain neurons start firing in new sequences and new patterns so that what once might have sparked a stress reactor in you, now is recognized as a trigger that you no longer will allow to affect you in the same way. You’ve taken control of how you think about the situation.

I’ll paraphrase him a bit here: “Nerve cells that fire together—wire together. Think new thoughts and you change your brain’s wiring patterns. This is how you change patterns of behavior—you start by thinking new thoughts and recognizing automatic stress triggers that previously might have adversely affected your body. By thinking about the situation in a less-reactive way—less emotional attachment to the situation, you can establish a new pattern of thought and a new pattern of behavior.”

“Knowledge is for the mind, but experience is for the body.  When you change a pattern of thought over time, you change the pattern of your body’s reaction to those thoughts.  The mind is primarily the neocortex of the brain, where as the emotions and body reactions are feelwhatyouthink.jpggoverned by the limbic (mammalian) brain which sends out the signals for the endocrine’s reaction and corresponding chemical release into the bloodstream to provide the body with additional reaction abilities. To change your body’s behavior, you neuro-chemically condition the body to accept the new behavior or new reaction.  With repetition, new circuits are created and the brain creates new pathways for more calmly dealing with a once-stressful situation.”

The third brain, the cerebellum or the reptilian brain, is the automatic reaction for protection and preservation of the body.  When you establish solid connections between the neocortex and the limbic brains, and develop new patterns of established behavior and reactability, then the cerebellum (the seat of your subconscious mind) can adopt it as the natural reactive pattern—it becomes the new habit, the new second-nature, the new go-to skill.  This becomes innate—it becomes your new way of being.”

“The way we transform the world, is to transform ourselves.”joe destiny

And there you have it.

I liked the last statement best, paraphrased as: “If you want a more compassionate world, then train yourself to react with compassion rather than anger to a situation not of your liking.”

He’s worth hearing.

Why Hear the “Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit”

I watched/listened to the online conference listed above for 10 days.psych-spirit-final_1.png There were a total of 30 individual one-hour-plus sessions provided by 30 different presenters.

To untrained me who loves seeing the integration of both subjects into this unified psycho-spiritual approach to helping people, I think this methodology is extremely important in evolving psychotherapy for clients: to focus on ourselves as Spiritual beings simply trying to make sense of the world around us while determining our working relationship to it, to ourselves, and to each other.

There were some excellent speakers/practitioners participating in this summit; and the 30 individual sessions were totally worth hearing for those dedicated to listening within the allotted 24-hour, free-listening option, but I personally would not pay $300 for the DVD set, although some folks might. If you are interested, here it is: ( https://www.soundstrue.com/store/psychotherapy-and-spirituality-summit?sq=1&utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=C171108-PASParticipant10&utm_content=Welcome+to+Day+10+of+The+Psychotherapy+and+Spirituality+Summit#jumplink-buy )

Screenshot2017103021.27.01However, after listening to all of these practitioners and their own takes on how each one integrated spirituality into a psychotherapy practice, I can also personally say that there were some psychotherapists I would readily hear further in discussions or even in a personal session, and then there were some folks that I wouldn’t want to sit across from at lunch and have to listen to more than a sentence or two. Authenticity or falseness came across loud and clear with these folks in an hour-long session of them talking about what they do and how they do it.

This leads me to one point of my posting here: Not all psychotherapists are equal in spiritual depth and professional therapy skills. Those who were genuinely deep vessels of Spirit and who could relate readily to an audience and to their clients, were amazing and felt wonderfully aware, and, in my opinion, were likely helpful to a client.

Others, …well, …I couldn’t even handle listening to them for more than 10 to 15 minutes without thinking that they must be absolutely terrible with clients and simply taking a client’s money by extending session after session with little intentional progress or problem resolution for the client.  So if you are considering personal therapy, do your research into well-recommended therapists—and I’d look for client recommendations of whether or not this therapist helped the person make better sense of her life.

The second point I would like to make was: I personally liked the folks who talked about a ‘collaborative’ interaction allowing the client and therapist to work together to determine the healing direction for that person, rather than those therapists who acted more rigid and maintained an authoritarian relationship to their client.

A therapist’s job should be to help the client discover how best to help themselves, and many presenters taught clients self-empowerment as a major aspect of their sessions. Some folks actually stated that was their goal—to teach the client how to constructively frame life for themselves for future reference.

The Sounds True producer and moderator, Tami Simon, was great. She asked pertinent follow-up questions, pulled the more spacey folks back to reality and tried to get specifics about what they were explaining and HOW that approach applied to a psychotherapy practice—made each one elaborate and provide anecdotal evidence on how this approach actually helped their clients.p&s summit2.jpg

There were many approaches to these two main subjects of integrating psychotherapy and spirituality with differing techniques pertaining to how each therapist conducts their own practice. Every therapist was unique in some way from the others—and some were quite radical in their approach to helping a client, and even in how they framed the therapy experience for the client.

Overall, I felt it was enlightening to hear so many different takes on what makes a person human and how that humanness is to be explored and assisted in today’s world. To me the layperson, integrating spirituality into psychotherapy is recognition of our wholeness as soul-based incarnations on this often chaotic planet, and I feel this is a very good direction for the future of psychology in general.

(Hint for the future in my blog: I needed to mention the summit itself first, to then post additional subjects pertaining to those individual summit sessions in the near future.)