Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Urban shamanism: a combination of Western, peer reviewed, evidence based therapeutic interventions and work with the psyche’s shadow; an individual versed with the multitudinous landscapes of the subterranean world of the subconscious. Mental, emotional health is limited without the inclusion of the physical body and spiritual experience. Urban Shamanism is the inclusive journey that incorporates talk therapy with physical activity and universal spiritual practices.

It is no wonder that the Shaman of old would navigate the life-cycle transitions of person’s culture to the individual who was stuck. The Shaman was a person who was “different” than the others. As a result, they were subject to alternative life-cycle stages and as such, had to traverse these traumas alone. Thus, by doing so, they gained insight into the landscape that dominates the Universal subconscious. This unique insight is the personal experience of human transition in its intimacy. An urban shaman will learn the person’s narrative, join with their symbols, and discover the language that will provide insightful dialogue to the person seeking help. This process can be very short or in some cases, very long – depending upon how “stuck” the individual seeking help is.

Feeling stuck is a normal phenomenon. In fact, it is universal – both presently and in the history of human-kind. The myths of old are nothing more than the events of the life-cycle being expressed in symbolic language that was intelligible to its specific culture. Therefore, it is more common today when there is seemingly no current myths that speak to our unique experience within history. Moreover, because of the advances in technology; the impact these advances have had in the fabric of our daily lives, have forever changed the way we live our lives – at this point, there is no going back. Our culture hasn’t had the time to create healthy responses to the reality of our societies. Culture takes many long years to develop and is organic in its contours as it is the very boundaries of a healthy society.

My work involves combining the education and personal experiences that I’ve amassed in my life. Personally, I was homeless and chemically dependent at the age of 13. I found my home amidst the urban hardcore punk rock scene of Los Angeles. After getting sober at the age of 22 I attended college. I received my BA in Jewish Philosophy at the American Jewish University. I intended on becoming a rabbi but while in seminary changed paths. I remained in the prestigious Graduate Theological Seminary at Columbia University and was awarded my Doctorate in Divinity by The Esoteric Theological Seminary. While completing my doctorate, I studied social work at Fordham University and interned at Blanton-Peale psychoanalytic counseling center as a therapist. While working at Blanton-Peale, I completed the program at the American Academy of Personal Training to receive postgraduate certification in exercise physiology (the only said program to have state certification).

Sessions are completely individualized as per the patient’s needs. Anything from one-to-one talk therapy, to guided meditation, to physical fitness training, and sometimes a combination of everything, can be included within a session. Sessions vary in price as per content and will be negotiated clearly before the process.