Healing counsel is neither psychotherapy nor pedagogy. It is a contemporary practice of psychagogy. Psychagogy is pedagogy’s lesser known twin; both emerged from life in Ancient Greece. If pedagogy literally means “to act upon or lead children,” then psychagogy means “leading or acting upon psyches (or souls).” Psychagogy embraces and supports the process through which we change our relations to our psyches, our souls, and ourselves.
As a psychagogical practice, Healing Counsel engages in and unfolds through vital conversation. Although we don't always notice it, “converse” (from the Latin root converso) initially denotes: to revolve, to turn around, to invert, to change. Through conversing deeply and openly with one another, we sometimes turn our "selves" around, and thereby change our lives.
Healing Counsel promotes this kind of transformative conversation. Counseling is always a collaboration, since in its most literal sense it means “to go with” or “to jump with.” In healing counsel, when we converse, we jump together into the streams of life and attempt to go with their healing currents.
My practice emerges from the skills and resources I have developed while living and thriving with Crohn’s disease. Over the last 40 years or so, this experience has challenged me not only to desire to heal, but also to appreciate that healing is a value. Unfortunately in our culture we too often fail to appreciate it as such. In so doing, we fail to recognize ourselves as care-full beings.
Luckily for us, life provides many opportunities to redress our neglect. Unluckily, they often occur in circumstances that involve pain, debility, and loss. To use the language I learned from Crohn's disease: shit happens. However, if healing becomes our horizon it can transform the shit that happens to us. It's not that it's no longer shit, but sometimes it becomes fertilizer too.
As a therapeutic process, Healing Counsel encourages us to embrace the potential for healing embedded in even our most traumatic experiences. From our sessions you can expect to gain clearer insights about the intelligence that illnesses often reveal (if only in concealed forms) and to develop strategies for cultivating more healing relations to your "self" and to the world. Reframing illness--or any of the other shit that life sends our way--as a call for healing, healing counsel seeks to expand our repertoire for living with more grace and freedom.