What is transpersonal counseling?
(Pt. 1)

In short, it's a holistic therapeutic approach emphasizing spirituality.

Now, for the lengthier rendition.

We may look back as far as the first known civilization for confirmation that humans have long embraced—and established rituals inspired by—the mystical... that we've felt pulled toward something living outside the sphere of the organic world; yet remarkably, we sense, living deep in our terrestrial selves.

At the start of the 1900s, William James proposed this 'transpersonal' consciousness as a concept germane to psychological study. Some six decades later, Abraham Maslow—credited with the theory of self-actualization and, like James, both a philosopher and psychologist—formally introduced us to the process of transpersonal psychology, which is defined as being:

focused on the exploration of the nature, varieties, causes, and effects of 'higher' states of consciousness and transcendental experiences; referring to the concern with ends that transcend personal identity and individual, immediate desires.

What is transpersonal counseling?
(Pt. 2)

For some, the compounding of 'transpersonal' and 'psychology' strikes as a misnomer, since psychology has been occupied, traditionally, with fathoming personal identity (or 'personality')—the complexes of characteristics that distinguish us. There's an argument to be made, however, that the two not only may co-exist peaceably, but that they also may work together to great effect. (Contrast need not always imply conflict.) An acceptance of the transpersonal perspective in clinical settings provides options that extend past viewing the extraordinary or atypical as pathological. And that seems, to me, a very good thing.

Psychology emerged as a separate discipline in the mid-1800s, and psychoanalysis at the very end of the same century. Through structuralism; functionalism; psychoanalysis; behaviorism; "the third force" (humanistic theory); and up to cognitive psychology, the field has acted as a keen observer of the material (physical) self... an identifier, a diagnostic presence, a "science of mental life" (to quote William James). The transpersonal, on the other hand, acts as a clarifying agent, recalling us to the transcendent (metaphysical) Self. It distills what's been identified... codified... to its essence—where our most profound work begins and genuine restoration takes place. The transpersonal shifts the clinically therapeutic attention from illness or disorder to healing.

The logical corollary of fragmented people occupying any place? A fragmented place. The outer world is littered with brokenness because a preponderance of knotted thoughts, amplified into disordered and oppressive systems, regularly demands that we dismember... that we discard entire parts of ourselves. Transpersonal psychology and counseling stretch the edges of their kindred domains to an inevitable sequitur, to include what I submit it never served us well to preclude: the interconnectedness and interdependencies of mind, body, and spirit.

What is transpersonal counseling?
(Pt. 3)

Ego's vision is myopic. Its way is to find discomfort in dissimilarity, chafe against change, and exhibit an incapacity for welcoming polarity's dance of complementary opposites. Perhaps, the perceived 'problem' of how science and spirituality might be congruous has been a bit less about each area's tack and a bit more about how lamentably accustomed we've grown to imbalance. What might it mean for us to function as fully integrated beings, befriending our native multilateral intelligence? As a transpersonal life skills counselor, my work lives in that query—and in an embrace of psychosynthesis... in the mystical (i.e., spiritual) underpinnings routinely overlooked or dismissed in discussions of mental and emotional care.

🎓 The word 'psychology' derives from the Greek words 'psyche' (soul or mind) and 'logos' [word], and translates most closely as "study of the mind-spirit". The word 'philosophy', from the original Greek (philosophia), translates as the "love of wisdom". A synthesis of the two excites me: I imagine a move towards personal and, accordingly, collective coalescence... a move from rote knowledge to embodied wisdom.

Are you a licensed psychologist?

No. While I am a formal student of psychology, and although Carl Jung (originator of analytic psychology), Carl Rogers (proponent of "unconditional positive regard"), and Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (best known as the architect of flow theory) are among the most influential informants of my process, I'm a licensed transpersonal counselor, as opposed to a licensed counseling or clinical psychologist.

I began this leg of my journey—just under a decade ago, and by way of a two-year spiritual practitioner program—with certification in Spiritual Counseling. (Think: life coaching with spiritual guidance prominence.) I arrived at such counseling with a longstanding interest in ancient and postmodern spiritual technologies and world religions; almost five decades of Metaphysical Science education; and personal stories of exquisite healing. For the past seven years, I've completed thousands of study (Science of Mind/Metaphysics, psychology, philosophy) and hands-on practice hours. I've helped hundreds of people on their paths to heart-mind alignment.

ℹ︎: 'Counselor' is a liberally applied title for those professionally trained in disciplines ranging from psychology to non-clinical community and peer-led mental health service... from social work to nursing. There's certainly some overlap, but preparatory instruction and methods differ. I encourage you to investigate the distinctions, if seeking assistance, so that your needs are capably addressed.

What is your area of specialization?

I have a couple of them, rooted in the same soil.

⦿ As a counselor, I invite people (as I continue to invite myself) to shift from unconscious to conscious creation... to live by design (versus default). Our very nature is creative—we're born manifestors! — yet, we often become convinced that something far less powerful is our factory setting. In the counseling environment, and in my personal life, it's an honor to remind others of their innate power and accessible genius and to lend a helping hand (when it's solicited) toward their acceptance of those reminders.

⦿ As a coach, I aid blocked artistic creators in accurately identifying what's impeding their imaginations—suggesting ways to break through the barriers; re-enter flow state; and even level up, as they return to the awe-inspiring and essential act of art-making.

What are some ways in which you have helped clients?

I've had the privilege of guiding others toward:

developing a spiritual self-support practice;

being at peace amid chaos;

replacing expectation with expectancy;

differentiating between the voices of intuition and fear;

getting to the root of a depressive state;

balancing subtle bodies (i.e., chakras);

shedding 'imposter syndrome'/knowing the difference between 'imposter syndrome'

and the self-doubt engendered by long-endured systemic gaslighting;

connecting Spirit/Love-driven intentions to sociopolitical activism;

readjusting to life after time spent in a cult;

healing from religious trauma;

healing from narcissistic abuse trauma;

conquering codependency;

adopting a stance of radical acceptance;

adopting a stance of radical forgiveness;

adopting a practice of lovingkindness;

lovingly parenting one’s inner, wounded child;

ridding oneself of a tendency toward self-sabotage;

identifying connections between mind and body, toward improved physical health;

unpacking and transmuting (what we've termed) 'procrastination';

releasing shame;

(re)building self-esteem, self-confidence;

breaking through creative blocks.

Do you have an ideal client?

PM Counseling's "ideal" client is someone devoted to their unfolding. They accept that our work together is a process requiring patience. They put forth consistent effort; to the best of their ability, they do their work between—and in preparation for—sessions. They aspire to full presence during sessions. They're in time integrity: respecting my time and theirs; prioritizing punctuality; following established protocols involving schedule conflicts, session length, and session cancellation or rescheduling. They understand sessions to be collaborative... synergistic. They're not averse to killing their darlings. They express any boundaries or in-session discomfort as quickly as possible; they communicate honestly. They're purposeful, knowing why they've come to counseling and what they hope to achieve through it. They believe in the prospect of healing—enhanced self-awareness that honors the profound intelligence of injury—and are willing to heal. They recognize me as a facilitator, not a fixer.

Do you consider your services a sufficient alternative to psychotherapy?

That's not a question for which I have an across-the-board response. I work with some people who prefer our setting to their experiences of psychotherapy; however, I work with more people who session with me and a psychoanalyst or clinical specialist, and that's proved to be a constructive arrangement. If the other counselors are supportive of and have, themselves, adopted integration methodologies, their and my focal points, though distinct, can be quite symbiotic. Transpersonal counseling, after all, contains aspects of Jungian theory and approach, so this ordinarily makes for an uncomplicated twofold strategy.

You might think of it as you would choices from within the wide array of physical therapy techniques. For instance, laser or light therapies are distinguishable from joint mobilization or ultrasound, but they all qualify as 'physical therapy' that could, say, mitigate a patient's knee pain.

Does this work require that clients are religiously oriented?

No, not at all. As described above, this unification-minded work acknowledges spirit as part of whole beingness—an acknowledgment made by many, throughout time, including those who engage(d) in no particular system of faith or worship. (For example, see any of agnostic astronomer Carl Sagan's musings on the numinous).

That stated, I always respect and consider the faith practices of my religiously oriented clients, as they influence much of what we work on together.

What therapeutic modalities are employed in your practice?

This is an integrative practice. (When our energetic systems [spiritual, mental, somatic, and emotional] are in a balanced, free-flowing state, that equals consummate wellness.)

As pertains to the mind, we work on the levels of thought (the cognitive), response (the behavioral), achievement potential (the humanistic), and the unconscious (the psychodynamic).

As pertains to the spirit, we practice spiritual mind treatment (a.k.a. affirmative prayer toward intentional manifestation), meditation and mindfulness practices, visioning, self-mastery, catalyzing healing consciousness, and engaging creative process.

Additional modalities are incorporated, as needed; however, those mentioned here are the most commonly exercised. All may not be utilized in work undertaken with all persons.

What is meant by your use of the words 'truth' and 'true'? Isn't what's true up for discussion?

Words, even when meant to be helpful, are imperfect tools. (An oft-quoted observation in A Course in Miracles (M‑21.1:9-10) is that "[w]ords are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality." So technically, I suppose, all words are up for discussion; however, I'll share the conviction of my practice with you, here.

Back in the mid-2010s, I authored a book titled Things I've Come to Realize in the Past Few Days (Vol. 1). In it can be found the following:

Believing something doesn't make it true. Not believing something doesn't make it untrue. Feeling something doesn't make it real. Not feeling something doesn't make it unreal. Judgments are slippery. Opinions are judgments and not always fact-based. Facts change. Truth doesn't. (But you don't have to take my word for it.)

That quote serves as a strong brace for how I provide and gather information in counseling sessions (and life, in general). I see Truth as changeless—including, interestingly enough, the gospel that change is constant—and I see 'reality' as a construct attached to perception. What we perceive informs what we believe as much as what we believe informs what we perceive. I recognize what we interpret as "real" to live in that routinely ouroboros-like ring. Sometimes, our reality (bathed in temporality) will intersect what's untouched by time. Quite often, it won't.

You've perhaps heard the expression "The struggle is real." Overwhelming evidence (the available body of facts or information indicating whether a proposition is valid) bears this out. Struggle is "real"—a direct result of conflicts of belief/perception, and my great sense is that only Love is True. For any open to heeding its call, The Work of our lifetimes is ushering what is real (subjective), in its due season, into alignment with what is (objectively) true. In other words, how can we be re-membered to Love—that whence we came and, in our deepest wisdom, to which we desire to return? Another way of contemplating this might be to picture reality as lowercase-'t' truth (as viewed through opaque glass) and Truth as uppercase-r (or illuminated) Reality.

You may be thinking, "Well, that's simply what you believe. That's your perception, your opinion. It's not necessarily THE truth."

My response is that what I've shared exists someplace, in me, more intuitively intelligent than belief; it's a knowing... a thing rattling the bones. This isn't an exercise of the mind. Another's willingness or ability to trust that belongs to another; I've neither compulsion nor inclination to defend it. (As Byron Katie has stated: "Defense is the first act of war." I don't wish to be at war with anyone.) If one is, at least, open to the possibility of my assertion's accuracy, we may find ourselves a good fit, joining hands on a mysterious, healing journey. If one isn't, the final line of the above quote stands: "You don't have to take my word for it." You really don't!) Philosophers are known for saying, "Eat the fish and spit out the bones." What's for you won't miss you, friend; I accept that I may not be the channel through which what's for you arrives at your door. It's all good. It Truly is.

How do you conduct sessions with clients located outside of the U.S.?

Are you ending one-on-one sessions, after 2022?

Presently, there's no plan to end 1:1 counseling, although I'll be sizably reducing the number of clients (or 'co-creators' ['CCs'], as I refer to them) with whom I engage. This is to make way for projects that allow for wider scope (e.g., group programs, online and live courses, reading materials).

How much are your sessions?

You'll find a full breakdown of my rates HERE.