Everybody needs help navigating the upheavals in our lives, whether they are self-chosen or due to unexpected circumstances. Discover how to surf the big changes and come out the other side feeling stronger, clearer, and more you than you’ve ever been.
My areas of particular focus:
Exploring Polyamory/Poly Couples Counseling
Exploring Gender/Transgender (non-medical)
Support for parents/partners of transgender folks
Life transitions/Starting over/Embracing change
Spiritual path/Spiritual mentorship
Higher education trauma (sexual assault on college campuses, denial of tenure, adjuncts)
Has your world recently turned upside down? Has a steady part of your life that you have counted on been destabilized in a dramatic fashion?
Are you feeling resistance to taking a next step that’s been calling to you, choosing familiarity over growth? Do you feel like you want more out of life, or there’s more that you want to contribute, but you’re not sure how to make it happen?
Are you tired of seeking help for ordinary life/relationship challenges only to be told the real problem is your transgenderism or your polyamory? Would you rather talk to somebody who has walked the path and understands from the inside?
I can help you to engage more proactively with change in ways that affirm rather than undermine your trust in the process of life.
What is shamanic counseling?
I help people experience healing and empowerment through paradigm shift
The main reason why people seek counseling is that our ordinary identity and habitual ways of thinking and perceiving just aren’t working. An alternate point of view is needed and the tools of shamanic counseling provide access to a new or refreshing point of view. I help people to think differently and this change of perspective—or paradigm shift—is often all that is needed for profound healing.
Our ordinary state of consciousness is the general mental framework, persona, and self-concept we have when we go to work, engage in everyday functions, and think about our problems and frustrations. It is built upon fixed ideas and assumptions about ourselves, others, and the world which rule our lives. It keeps us limited by continually warning us that any expansion into the unknown is inherently dangerous.
By contrast, shamanic counseling teaches how to find our own inner navigational system, listen to the heart, and remember who we really are and what we’re capable of. In shamanic counseling, I work with you to find parts of yourself that are “off line”—pieces of yourself that have been hidden or flipped off due to trauma or lack of support for them—and I help you integrate them back into your life and self-concept so that you may feel a greater sense of wholeness and happiness. And we bolster your courage and confidence so that you are able to create a way of life increasingly guided by your own inner wisdom and deepest heart’s desires.
How does it differ from traditional psychotherapy?
There is no diagnosing or pathologizing in shamanic counseling. Rather than being an “expert,” my role is facilitate the emergence of your own natural wisdom. Unlike traditional psychotherapy, there is no set protocol—our protocol emerges organically in response to the needs of your particular situation, utilizing tools that help to open your mind to options and perspectives you perhaps haven’t considered. Sessions average around 75 minutes as we end when there’s an organic sense of completion.
What results can you expect from shamanic counseling?
Here are some of the outcomes you should expect from working with me:
Feeling less stuck in your life
Being more able to initiate positive changes in your life
Feeling less fearful and out of control in the face of change
A deeper knowledge of yourself, your uniqueness, needs, and your gifts
Greater ability to listen to your intuition and discern your inner guidance
More ability to trust yourself and greater self confidence
Greater ability to trust in the process of life
Feeling less alone and overwhelmed
Feeling more empowered and in control of your life
Greater clarity about what you want in life
Better ability to discern when you are trying to control things that can’t or shouldn’t be controlled and when you are abdicating control over things that you should be taking charge of
And lastly…a more satisfying life for yourself—maybe even the life of your dreams!
“Your life is a sacred journey…And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous risks, embracing challenges at every step along the way…You are on the path…exactly where you are meant to be right now And from here you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, beauty, wisdom, power, dignity, and love.” Caroline Joy Adams
Sam’s Reasons Why We Resist/Undermine Change
We are under the impression that if we offer resistance to change (or to things as they are), that our resistance will actually change what distresses us
We fear the unknown and would rather stay in a known malaise than risk the unknown
Even if there is a guaranteed positive outcome, most change requires a temporary period in the void first and we are petrified of and unwilling to experience this void
We believe that this is the best that it gets
We don’t believe we deserve better
We don’t believe what we want is even possible
We don’t know what we want
We equate comfort with happiness when in actuality true happiness usually comes from risk, not comfort—too much comfort usually results in stagnation
We have a lot of motivation to move from crisis to ok, but little motivation to move from ok to great
We don’t trust ourselves (many of us with good reason!)
We don’t trust life or other people
We are unwilling to let go of what no longer serves us or what we don’t love to make room for what we do love
I’ve been there. I know both the terror and the excitement of big transformation.
I come from a long line of change-haters and spent much of my life standing on the side of the pool wanting to jump in but afraid to. As a transgender person, I waited 11 years to go on hormones because I knew it would be disruptive. I remained in multiple romantic relationships for years after I should have left. And I stayed in an academic career that was trying to kill me because it was a partial match and I couldn’t imagine better for myself.
Initially hesitant to take seriously the yearnings of my heart, now I have gone through the shamanic experience of death and rebirth numerous times, starting over in various areas of life and each time stepping into a better happier version of myself.
Healing my aversion to change has given me a lot of freedom and made me a powerful teacher and leader, especially during a time of massive collective upheaval and evolution. What I needed during my years of struggle–and what we are currently needing in our nation–is a paradigm shift, a new way of seeing the world and our place in it. It is my calling to help take people over that crossing, to offer much needed fresh perspectives and new possibilities.
If your old way of seeing and being is no longer working for you, reach out and see if I have what you’ve been looking for. I work with individuals and groups in various settings. The world needs what you have to offer now more than ever so don’t let fear stop you from sharing your gifts and your beautiful uniqueness.
“The question for anyone on a journey of transformation is not ‘will I survive if I step out of my comfort zone?’
The real question is ‘will I survive my comfort zone?’” –Baron Baptist
If you are enjoying these oracle cards, check out http://lynnwoodland.com/oracle/cards/ to learn about their origins and how to use them: