Karen Michaels MFT - Psychotherapist
About the practice
Karen Michaels MFT - Psychotherapist / MFTI am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as an artist/photographer. My background is in counseling psychology which I blend with various spiritual principles to promote change. I view the mixture of these elements as “alchemy”.My specialties include: Self Esteem - accessing your authenticity Relationship Counseling Life Transitions My website will give you a good overview of the guiding psychological & spiritual principles and techniques that I utilize. You can also view my most recent photographic images, as images also transform consciousness; another alchemical process. Spiritual PsychologyDefinitionFor our purposes, spirituality is the science of spiritual law, how we utilize energy and access our authentic nature. Psychology is the study of the mind and the psyche. The practice of clinical psychology assists in healing the mental and emotional bodies. For me, the practice of psychology is not complete without attention to the spiritual element. They are inseparable. We are spiritual beings in human bodies, with busy human minds.Spiritual Psychology is an invitation to go on a personal journey of Alchemy. Alchemy means to transform one thing into another. In other words to change into a different form, nature or condition. I work from the premise that as human beings, our natural state is one of joy and well being. However, many of us do not embrace our well being. We suffer due to ideas, beliefs and “programming” of the mind, that interfere with the expression of our authentic nature. Our inherent gifts and talents are not being fully utilized and our joyful state is being compromised. Through my personal journey I have realized that the indelible tenacity of spirit can bring us to a place of healing our emotional wounds and finding joy within our humanity.I am available for private counseling sessions in Santa Barbara, CA as well as phone consultations worldwide.ThoughtsOur personal psychology is made of the many thoughts, beliefs, and ideas that we have adopted for ourselves along the way. Many of these thoughts interfere with the workings of spirit because our minds are not at peace. Our busy minds often worry, judge and criticize. These thoughts carry energy.One spiritual law informs us that “form follows thought” – so we are creating our lives through our thoughts and beliefs. Buddha said, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought”. Many of the thoughts we think are not even true. They are just illusion. The Course in Miracles says, “Questioning illusions is the first step to undoing them.“ProcessWhat to do with these busy minds? Spiritual Psychology can offer many ways to work with this universal dilemma. I offer practical tools and alternate perspectives that help release thoughts and beliefs that are not supportive. Through these processes, we are able to transmute the energy to a higher vibration and begin to free ourselves from our programming.This is an opportunity to heal the wounds of our past and understand our own human psyche. (the word ‘psyche’ is derived from the Greek word for soul). Utilizing spiritual tools and principles offers us the opportunity to really know our spiritual nature and commune with the spirit that lives within all of us.FreedomOnce we begin to free ourselves, we are able to express ourselves authentically rather than from programmed responses of the mind. We are then open to our creative nature, our joy, passion and our inherent well being.In the Book of Runes, Ralph Blum says, “Know thyself, nothing in excess. The SELF is required to balance the self.” The SELF needs to be invited back to us. Our self needs to learn new ways of being that allow the spiritual SELF to guide us and become the primary voice, because the spiritual SELF is the voice of our true essence.HistoryI graduated with a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology in 1988. After several thousand hours of internship sessions, I received my license as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I had been studying spirituality and spiritual practices long before that. In hindsight I can say that seeking truth became my passion. This journey led me down many paths of study and experience. My earliest education of spirituality was the writings of author/anthropologist, Carlos Castenada and writer/storyteller, Richard Bach. Both were instrumental in helping me realize that there are many alternate realities in the ‘unseen’ world’. Later I studied the esoteric wisdom of psychologist/educator/writer, Ram Dass, author of “Be Here Now”, “Grist for the Mill” and most recently “Paths to God”. Through my involvement with Science of Mind I was indoctrinated into the theory that mind is our personal vehicle for healing and manifestation.Over many years I have worked with author/educator/anthropologist Angeles Arrien, who brilliantly bridges cultural anthropology, psychology and comparative religions. Her books include “The Fourfold Way” and “The Second Half of Life”. Most recently I have studied the work of author/scientist Gregg Braden who shares his knowledge of the science of prayer and personal vision. My current teacher is Sri Swami Kaleshwar, a divine Indian master and teacher, who is passionately bringing forth ancient spiritual wisdom to the western world.
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