"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Mary Oliver

I am a licensed psychotherapist

(CA LMFT86291) and ordained non-denominational minister honoring all spiritual traditions. I think of psychotherapy as a sacred art that's grounded in the ancient healing and storytelling traditions found throughout the world. I am always profoundly honored to share in the personal discoveries that happen in the therapy room. 

 

My bachelor's degree is in liberal arts concentrating in creative writing, and I have two master's degrees: one in counseling psychology and one in spiritual psychology.  

 

 

 

 

 

Faculty Work

I served for several years on the faculty at the University of Santa Monica, working with graduate students in the Master of Arts in Spiritual Psychology program as they learned to use and refine the practical tools and skills being taught.

Recovery

In 1991, as a college student in New York City, I got sober from drugs and alcohol. Living in an East Village dorm room, I'd participate in outpatient groups and individual psychotherapy in the evenings, and attend my college classes by day. During this early phase of recovery, I learned practical ways to make it through daily triggers without turning to my addiction. While there are some common recovery tools everyone can use, I am also keenly aware that every person's healing journey is a unique and individual experience.

 

Care-giving

I have cared for several close relatives as they made their transitions from life into death, and know first hand the vital importance of care-giver self-care. It's only by caring for ourselves first that we can be available to authentically care for others. Strong self-care is one of the most selfless things we can do for those we love.

Becoming a Therapist

The challenging but profound experiences I had caring for physically ill loved ones, and working with others facing addiction issues, inspired me to become a therapist. Through the years, I'd spent many hours as the "client" in therapy rooms; in 2003 I returned to graduate school and began my journey of transitioning into the therapist's chair.

Spirituality

My spiritual quest led me to a course of study with an open, non-denominational spiritual community where I was eventually ordained as a minister. There is no dogma or prescribed belief system; the commonality strived for is unconditional love. I see my work as a minister merely to serve as a guide for others as they explore and uncover their own truths. Ministry is never about me imposing my experiences or beliefs onto another.

Previous Travel Career

In my previous career before becoming a therapist, I worked for student and adventure travel companies. Through that work, I was blessed to explore regions of the planet both near and far. My travels took me deep into the day-to-day realities of people, customs, and beliefs that were new to me; but those I met were just living their daily lives as they always had. I learned that a simple shift in perspective can change monotony into something new. 

 

Summary

We don't have to be on the other side of the globe to have an authentic adventure, and we don't have to be at an established holy site to make a spiritual pilgrimage. Even in the midst of our own established routines and challenges we can, through practice and clear intention, consciously choose to experience the new and the sacred in each moment we are alive. 

The time to engage with your life is right now - your next breath is literally a once in a lifetime experience.

Education:

Master of Arts 

Counseling Psychology

Pacifica Graduate Institute

Carpinteria, CA

Master of Arts 

Spiritual Psychology

University of Santa Monica

Santa Monica, CA

 

Postgraduate Certificate 

Consciousness, Health and Healing

University of Santa Monica

Santa Monica, CA

Postgraduate Certificate

Soul Centered Facilitation

University of Santa Monica

Santa Monica, CA

Certificate

Mindfulness and Guided Imagery Facilitation

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts

Tempe, AZ

Bachelor of Arts 

Liberal Arts

New School for Social Research

New York, NY

© 2019 by Robert Kirk Donaldson.

  • b-facebook
  • Twitter Round
  • YouTube Social  Icon