Photo: Jivan L West

My Grounding

As a psychotherapist, I bring a wealth of training and life experience into the counseling setting. A primary source for the work I do is my more than 30 years of meditation and mindfulness practice. My daily meditation practice is a source of grounding, clarity, flexibility, and playfulness in my life. I am a certified meditation instructor and I welcome the opportunity to bring this knowledge and experience into our interactions, although this is completely optional. I have a Masters Degree from Naropa University, in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and a Masters Degree from the University of Colorado in Education. I worked as an educator for 20 years in Colorado, Mexico, and Costa Rica. I am a proud father of a beautiful son and committed partner to my beautiful wife.

I am passionate about relationships and working with couples and families within the relationship context to support change and secure functioning. I am fascinated by organisms and systems and bring this into all that I do in my work.

Therapeutically, my work draws from many places and influences.

• I consider myself a transpersonal therapist, which means that I work with each client as a whole human being from the basic ground of basic human goodness and worth. I am invested in tapping into and releasing your potential creating wholeness and clarity in your life. The transpersonal view takes into account all elements of being human: physical, physiological, energetic, psychological, relational, and spiritual. All of these realms are part of the exploration of you are and who you want to become. As such, I draw from psychoanalytic theory, humanist theory, existentialism, systems theory, my contemplative Zen practice to name a few.

• I am greatly inspired by the dynamic systems work of Stan Tatkin and his Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy, PACT (see PACT). *Another one of my primary sources is the work of Daniel Siegel. His uniting of brain neurology and mindfulness is groundbreaking and a cornerstone of my work. The Neurobiology of We is a developmental model based in modern attachment theory, which points to our primary caregiver (parents) relationships as the source of who we become and where to look for repair.

• A powerful source and practice for me as an human being and as a professional psychotherapist is working with grief, loss, and dying. My most impactful teachers have been my father, Ronald West, Roshi Joan Halifax, and Frank Ostaseski.