Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Matt's Spirituality & Healing group closing enrollment on Thursday


Dear friend, 

Just a quick reminder that my new 2023 Spirituality & Healing group will be starting on Thursday with our first live session if you’d like to join us.

→ Click here to join our group or learn more

I’ve created this community in response to an inner call that I’ve felt as well as many requests that I’ve received over the years to spend a year together where we can commit to our healing and spiritual path in a new and deeper way.

Over the last 30 years (including many years in meditation and my own therapy), I’ve come to see how supportive, loving, and wise it can be to bring together the very essence of psychotherapeutic healing, working with early trauma, the wisdom of the body and nervous system, along with spiritual and meditative realization, in the creation of a path of embodied spirituality.

I know there is a real longing that many of us feel to commit to our inner lives in a deeper way and to step into the mystery of this life, to fully participate in the reality of the sacred world that we sense is very near, yet often can seem out of reach. It is my sincere intention that this group and training offer a powerful, merciful, wise, and effective holding environment in which we can engage the mysteries of the heart together.

I look forward to making this journey with you.

Gratefully,

Matt 

P.S. Please reach out to support@mattlicataphd.com if you have any questions about the new group.




Saturday, January 28, 2023

Psychotherapy, Healing, and an Alchemy of Our Time


Dear friend, 

One of the things I’ve discovered over the last few decades - in my own life and through my clinical practice - is how essential it is to include psychological work, trauma and shadow integration, and sensitivity to the body and nervous system as vital aspects our spiritual paths. 

This is a unique time in human history when for the first time we have access not only to the world’s great meditative and spiritual traditions, but to contemporary psychotherapeutic teachings as well as profound discoveries in the fields of relational and contemplative neuroscience, as well as developmental psychology and trauma studies. 

Despite this vast knowledge, many contemporary approaches to transformation and healing leave out one of the essential ways of knowing, being, inquiry, and practice. 

How do spirituality and psychological inquiry fit together and what do each offer one another? 

What happens if we weave these ways of knowing together into an alchemy of our time, and engage a contemporary path of wholeness, which honors the psychological wounding many of us have experienced and how tending to this is in fact a radical form of spirituality in and of itself?

The path is everywhere and our wounding can serve as a profound form of initiation, though this wisdom is often lost, left out, or misunderstood in our modern world. 

What is the connection between trauma and the sacred? And how does uncovering, illuminating, and transforming our psychological and emotional wounding open us to a new kind of spirituality, one that is earthy, human, whole, and oriented in a deeper level of wisdom and compassion? 

The purpose of my new 2023 spirituality and healing group is to help support you, in an ongoing way, to develop (or deepen) a spirituality of your own, open your heart, heal the wounds of the past, and cultivate a new relationship with the Divine, the soul, and the mystery of this human experience. 

My intention for this yearlong course is, along with you, to create a dynamic and alive holding environment, a real temple, in which we can explore and be in contact with the realities of true Being, in relationship with the creative unknown and the mysteries of the heart. To step out of the matrix, if you will, even if only for a few moments and allow our perception to be cleansed and our heart to be polished. 

I will bring everything I have to the course and the group, the 30+ years I’ve spent on this path, my own spiritual experiences through many years of meditation and inner work, tending to my own pain and trauma, and what I’ve discovered through my clinical and teaching work with thousands around the world. In addition to my many years of study and practice, I also bring  many hundreds of hours of my own in-depth therapy, analysis, and supervision, which remains ongoing. 

There are allies and guides all around and inside us, and it is my hope and aspiration that this new group help to connect us with the intelligence, mercy, and grace of the human heart as it deepens our connection with something vast. Recognizing how tenuous and fragile it is here, we might come to see how every minute here is precious, a radical view and embodied experience that has the potential to reorient our world. 

In this exploration, we come to see that even our deepest wounds, sensitivities, and eccentricities are not pathology, but path. They are portals. They are the ways that the light gets in, reaches and transforms us. 

I look forward to making this journey with you and supporting you in discovering a path that is truly your own, that opens your heart and brings forward the deep transformation, peace, joy, and healing that is a natural part of your own soul’s journey. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Matt's free webinar on Thursday



Dear friend,

A reminder that I'll be offering a free live webinar this Thursday, January 26th, at 9am U.S. Pacific Time/ 5pm in London. The title of the gathering is Remembering the Inner Friend: Opening Your Heart on the Path of the Wounded Healer.

>>Register for Matt's webinar at no cost here

During the webinar, I'll speak briefly about my new, yearlong spirituality and healing online group, which starts in February.

In the times we find ourselves in, it’s so easy to fall out of contact with the sacredness and preciousness of this life.

Before we realize it, we can lose touch with the Inner Friend, that dimension of mystery, meaning, and aliveness that is wired into this human form.

As a result, we may find ourselves longing for something that always seems just out of reach, manifesting as a variety of emotional and somatic symptoms, the felt experience of a deep restlessness or exhaustion, or the sense that our life has lost its purpose.

By taking time each day to open into a new relationship with the wisdom and creativity of embodied, sensual not-knowing, we’re able to reconnect with the mystery and with the flow of inner and outer nature.

It is in this field where the Inner Friend dwells and from where their guidance and love emanate.

In the webinar, I’ll speak about:

--How our difficult emotions and relational wounding can serve an initiatory function

--The link and connection between trauma and the sacred

--Accessing the organic internal guidance system that is unique to you

--Attuning to an internal holding environment that is always, already here

I look forward to connecting with you on Thursday!

Warmly,

Matt



Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Matt's New 2023 Spirituality & Healing Group


Dear friends, 

I’m happy to announce the launch of my new 2023 online spirituality and healing group. 

You can find all the details here: 

>>Matt Licata's New 2023 Online Group and Community 

In hearing from many of you over the last few years - and reflecting on my own journey - I’ve come to realize that it’s not easy to find a spiritually-oriented group or set of teachings and practices that honor the role of psychotherapy, emotional attunement, the shadow, the body, and our relational lives on an integral path of transformation and healing.

Even if our primary interest is in spiritual transformation, we cannot separate out our unresolved relational trauma, attachment wounding, and the narcissistic injury we may have experienced. For these shape the way that we perceive ourselves, our relationships, and also our connection with the mystery and our own spirituality.

If we do not include these essential aspects of our human experience, we’ll be unable to live fully in the world in a way that is guided by wisdom and compassion. We won’t be able to fully access that joy, aliveness, and creativity that is our birthright, participating in our lives with an open heart, attuned to the mysteries, in a way that is deeply meaningful and beneficial, for ourselves and others.

What I’ve discovered in my own life (the hard way) and also in my clinical practice with a lot of dedicated and courageous women and men over the years is that if we fail to tend to our own wounding and trauma, it will inevitably leak out, and color any realization that we might have.

Unprocessed somatic and emotional material has a way of creating a perceptual lens (reality tunnel) through which we come to imagine ourselves, others, and the world; and also how we imagine and relate with nature and with the Divine.

No matter how deep and profound our realizations have been, they will be filtered through whatever unmetabolized trauma and wounding that remains upheld and unhealed within us.

In response to an inner call that I’ve felt and the many requests I’ve received over the last few years, I’ve designed this new online training immersion for those looking to make a real commitment to their inner lives, to meet regularly throughout the year, in a way that is attuned to the majesty of the human person, sensitive to developmental wounding, embodied and relational, while anchored in the deeper layers of spiritual transformation.

It is vital, in my experience, to have a “home” from which we can step into the unknown and engage the mysteries of the heart, a sanctuary which is safe, which holds us and our experience, while at times being provocative and challenging, in a grounded and loving way.

It is my sincere, heartfelt aspiration to discover and create this home with you as we make the journey together.

What is unique about this particular training group is that it will honor both psychotherapy and spirituality, tending to attachment, narcissistic, and traumatic wounding as well as to the further reaches of the spectrum of consciousness. It will honor who we are as embodied, sensitive human beings as well as pure Spirit, and allow us to engage our spiritual lives in a way that is integrated and whole.

It’s essential, in my experience, that we not leave any aspect of our humanity out, including our bodies, our relational nature, our trauma, and all of our wounding, which it turns out are vital pathways to spirit. The connection between trauma and the sacred is mysterious and we will explore the many ways that our wounding can serve as initiation into the spiritual world.

And so whether we’re prioritizing safety and regulation, which is essential with trauma; uncovering, unconscious, and shadow integration; intimacy and relationship as yoga and temple; existential matters such as freedom, purpose, meaning, and aloneness; or the more transpersonal, or spiritual aspects of our experience, we can turn to the wisdom, compassion, and skillful means of the various approaches, traditions, and practices to help us along the way to the felt, lived experience of an embodied wholeness.

As part of this new yearlong training, our work together will integrate the wisdom, teachings, and practices from the fields of depth and somatic psychotherapies; relational and contemplative neuroscience; developmental and trauma studies; the clinical (practical) application of mindfulness, self-compassion, and meditative awareness; and the experiential discoveries of the alchemists, mystics, and yogis. 

One of the primary intentions of the program is to help you discover and live a spirituality of your own, one that is unique to your own being. Spiritual transformation and lasting, embodied healing is a matter of direct revelation and will not always look the same for you as it does for those around you. It is the full embrace of your own path that allows you to fully participate in your life and in this world in a way that is spontaneous, alive, meaningful, and free.

I invite you to explore the course information page to see if this journey might be resonant for you, if you feel drawn to connect with myself and fellow travelers around the world on this path of deep soul-healing and spiritual transformation.

Warmly,

Matt Licata

P.S. If you have any questions about the course and the training, please reach out to us at support@mattlicataphd.com.

P.P.S. I'll be offering a free live webinar next week on Thursday the 26th, at 9am U.S. Pacific Time/ 5pm in London, where I'll speak in part about the new group. You can register for the webinar for free here




Monday, January 16, 2023

Work Online with Matt in 2023

 

Dear friends, 

On Wednesday, I’ll be announcing the opening of my new 2023 (online/ yearlong) group exploring a soulful spirituality and path of embodied healing. Here's a description of one of the modules:

PROVIDING A HOME FOR THE LOST ORPHANS OF PSYCHE AND SOMA: HOLDING THE PIECES OF SOUL WITH ILLUMINATION, PRESENCE, AND COMPASSION

Much of our wounding occurs prior to the acquisition of language and is not able to be healed through the questioning and reorganization of patterns of thinking. In other words, we can’t think our way out of trauma, attachment, and relational wounding

When our capacity to process unbearable terror, panic, shame, and rage is overwhelmed, undigested pieces of experience are held subcortically and in our cellular circuitry, unreachable by thinking which is a layer removed from the fires of the alchemical body.

Encouragement to “just get over it, that’s totally irrational, you can’t really believe that, you know that’s not true” and so forth is experienced by an inflamed nervous system as the activity of violence and aggression.

It’s like an autonomic form of gaslighting and reflects a deep misunderstanding of trauma and the workings of implicit memory, and only contributes to re-traumatization, in personal, cultural, and collective networks.

In addition to shattering and unendurable experience – which is painful and terrifying enough – there is a profound sense of aloneness that goes with this, the sense that no one can understand, that there is no companionship into the dark night. I am alone in this. This is devastating to the soul.

When that raging alive little boy or aching little girl cries out longing to be held, known, felt, and heard, they’re really not all that interested in our clear cognitive analysis, rational inquiry, thoughts on the matter, or even our powerful spiritual insights. 

They’re yearning for something else… for you, your heart, your holding. To know that you will stay near, not abandon or shame them, that you will do your best to provide sanctuary and safe passage for them to return Home, to be allowed to come out of that crystallized, frozen state and live, play, and breathe once again.

In this way they don’t even want or need to be healed, but to be held. And to feel safe.

Together, we’ll open to the reality of the inner family and enter into a new relationship with the richness of our inner world. In this way, we start to discover that things may be a bit more alive, open, spacious, loving, and even magical than we thought.

Please look out for additional information later in the week if you're interested in learning more, and also be sure you're signed up to my mailing list if you're not already. 

Warmly,

Matt

Photo by Bess Hamiti

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Free live webinar with Matt on January 26


Dear friends, 

I'll be offering a free live webinar on Thursday, January 26th, at 9am U.S. Pacific Time/ 5pm in London. 

>>Register at no cost for the live webinar here

In the times we find ourselves in, it’s so easy to fall out of contact with the sacredness and preciousness of this life.

Before we realize it, we can lose touch with the Inner Friend, that dimension of mystery, meaning, and aliveness that is wired into this human form.

As a result, we may find ourselves longing for something that always seems just out of reach, manifesting as a variety of emotional and somatic symptoms, the felt experience of a deep restlessness or exhaustion, or the sense that our life has lost its purpose.

By taking time each day to open into a new relationship with the wisdom and creativity of embodied, sensual not-knowing, we’re able to reconnect with the mystery and with the flow of inner and outer nature.

It is in this field where the Inner Friend dwells and from where their guidance and love emanate.

In the webinar, I’ll speak about:
  • How our difficult emotions and relational wounding can serve an initiatory function
  • The link and connection between trauma and the sacred
  • Accessing the organic internal guidance system that is unique to you
  • Attuning to an internal holding environment that is always, already here
I look forward to connecting with you then. 

Warmly, 

Matt


About Matt Licata

Matt Licata, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, teacher, and writer based in Boulder, Colorado. Weaving together the wisdom and practices from somatic and depth psychologies, relational neuroscience and trauma studies, and the meditative discoveries of the mystics, yogis, and alchemists, he presents a contemporary path to embodied transformation and healing.

He is author of A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times (Sounds True, 2020), The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You (Wandering Yogi Press, 2017), and the forthcoming The Path of the Wounded Healer: A Soulful Spirituality and the Alchemy of the Heart.



Thursday, January 5, 2023

Midway through life's journey...


From inside the mandala of the wounded healer, there is a call emerging out from the central courtyard: Your grief, your longing, the uncertainty, the loneliness, and that aching and burning inside your heart is not pathology, but path. It is the very path itself

The wound isn’t in the way of the path, but is the path. Each feeling and image, each strand of sensitivity in your body and nervous system are stones on that path, pieces of light on the forest bed that illuminate the way ahead. These figures who carry these experiences, these ones arise not to harm or take you down, but as emissaries of wholeness and allies of integration.

Each thought, feeling, image, mood, and bodily-felt sensation are manifestations of what the alchemists call the prima materia, the essence-material the soul is providing us to tend, to shepherd, to midwife as psychonauts, explorers, and artists of our own inner lives. 

Not only is this material not an error or a mistake, as it is often conceived, but it is valid, workable, and required; it is gold in hidden form. In fact, we can’t transform or heal without it. 

That’s what’s so radical about an alchemical view and practice. That material is actually needed for light, healing, and transmutation to unfold. In this sense, we could even go so far as to say it’s holy, a forerunner or ambassador of wholeness.

No, it’s not always going to feel natural to turn toward the material in the vessel and illuminate it with our awareness and our devotion, to allow ourselves to touch and be touched by it. At times the path forward is going to be dimly lit and we’ll be asked to walk alone into the forest, unsure of how it will all turn out. 

As Dante reminds us in the Inferno, he says, “Midway through life’s journey I found myself in a dark wood, having lost the way.”

This is an archetypal pattern and experience within the human psyche that each of us who makes this journey will be touched by; it’s not a mistake or error or evidence that we’ve done something wrong or that we’re broken or defective. 

It’s evidence, high voltage evidence, that we’re alive, that we have a heart that’s open and raw and tender and beating, a nervous system that is sensitive and online, and a soul that longs for connection and for union. 

There are lamps hidden in the forest which will reveal themselves in moments of interior illumination, often when we least expect it.


Image by Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz 

FREE LIVE WEBINAR - I'll be offering a free live webinar on Thursday, January 26, which you can learn about and sign up for here