Folk Counseling

Our modern forms of helping people in emotional distress (talk therapy and medications) have largely supplanted more traditional forms of healing. In some cases this is a continuation of oppression and colonization that has gone on for hundreds of years. — Indigenous healing practices are denigrated and seen as unscientific, based on superstitions, or as an adjunct to the proper, modern way of helping people in distress. In this way, we have ignored and suppressed folk methods of healing that are often highly effective. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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In Praise of Pleasure

By Jon Keyes – Pleasure is underrated these days. People ask, “What do you do for a living? What are you working on?” I can’t lately remember someone asking me “what do you do for pleasure?” “How do you feel joy?” Perhaps as our lives fade, those are the things we will remember the most, not what we built, but how well we slowed down and connected, tasted and touched, savored with delight and pleasure. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Herbal medicine, Extreme States and Transformation

By Jon Keyes- We live in a world that is disconnected from this way of looking at plants/herbs and see them as either fairly useless or often as a capsule to ingest to gain a desired effect. When I work with people who are recovering from trauma, I often do the simplest thing possible, I have a cup of tea with them. Just the act of siting down and sipping a gentle tea brings connection, warmth, a movement towards increased stillness and trust and away from the noise and the overstimulation of the modern world. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Dissociation- On finding the way home

By Jon Keyes – Finding peace with the body can be a long journey. Those that are working on finding a way home often explore changing their diet and working with modalities such as yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, herbs, EMDR and EFT. These are ways of building strength and resiliency, of rebuilding the foundation from the ground up, of integrating and processing the deepest levels of sorrow but also transcending these places of fear and shame to come out again, to breathe and shine, to remember their underlying wholeness and holiness that underlies all nature, that can never be breached, that can never be taken away. Sometimes we must go away to protect ourselves. But when the time is right, the path home is available to us all. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Modern Mental Health/ The Problem with Evidence Based Treatment

By Jon Keyes: Often when I work with someone who comes to see me I am at a loss of where to begin. Emotional distress such as depression, insomnia and anxiety often have so many tangled roots that it is hard to know where to begin. Distress often has its roots in multiple origins such as trauma, ongoing stress as well as poor lifestyle and dietary habits. On a deeper level, distress can be thought of as a singular expression of a larger pattern of disharmony that spans the globe due to underlying systemic problems of racism, poverty, colonialism and ecological devastation. If we think of the planet as one living organism, then emotional distress is a signal of systemic suffering. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Restoring Balance with the Plant World

Seeing our mental health as part of a more global ecological picture where how we eat and the food we grow and buy has a direct effect not only on our mental health, but on how we can heal some of the wounds we have inflicted on our relationship with the planet. The global ecological and environmental trauma that is occurring is mirrored in the trauma that we experience in our own lives- the disconnection, the isolation, the lack of the sacred. We can help to heal ourselves in part by re-envisioning how we work with the plant kingdom, feed ourselves and live with the land. … [click on title to read the rest]

Somatic Wisdom Technique Part 2

In the first part of the discussion about developing “Somatic Wisdom”, we used a technique that involved scanning the body for any distress and then using a four part process to describe it and name it. In this post, I will discuss how we can access the body’s innate wisdom to learn ways to transform any stuck energy and release it for better health and emotional well being. Again, the point of this practice is to engage the wisdom of the body to discover areas of distress. Physical distress in the body has an emotional component that often lays dormant without our conscious knowledge. These charged emotional states are essentially messages from our body. When we take the time to tune in and really listen the messages become clearer and more apparent. The simple process of scanning and listening often gives us strong insight into the emotional and spiritual reasons we are feeling uncomfortable. … [click on title for the rest of the post]