Yana Castle, Ph.D
tranformation and healing support
drawing on East/West wisdom traditions
drawing on East/West wisdom traditions
What is Contemplative Counseling?
Contemplative Counseling is a field of inquiry hallmarked by the compassionate relationship between therapist and client. Through undivided attention, empathy and unconditional regard, a container is created where the client can feel safe as they work with their challenges. My role as a therapist is to offer a 'witnessing' and to provide encouragement and supportive guidance.
In my Contemplative Counseling practice, I bring an East/West spiritual approach to healing drawn from Tibetan Buddhist perspectives on body/speech/mind, meditation, Tibetan yoga, as well as depth psychology and energy work.
The primary focus of my counseling practice is to facilitate a client's access to their fundamental goodness, dignity and natural wisdom. It is my belief that deep down we all know what is best for ourselves when we are aligned with our wise mind. The term 'Contemplative Counseling' is based on Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's tenet of 'brilliant sanity' and the concept of aligning with 'lungta' or 'windhorse energy' which helps clear away conceptual and energetic blockages, opening us to our inner wisdom. This wisdom may be temporarily covered over but it is always there and may be cultivated.
Eastern methods: Contemplative Counseling is grounded in the teachings of wisdom and compassion in Buddhism—wisdom to know that everything we envision is a product of our minds and that we have a choice on how to be in the world. One way to actualize this is through the practice of skillful means—paying attention to our moment to moment experiences, our reactions to things and our habitual thought patterns, and through helpful guided meditations, affirmations and energy work. By identifying with a pure essence form that symbolizes our all-knowing higher nature, we can effectively cut through suffering, ignorance, and confusion and develop faith in our limitless potential, awakening to clarity, openness, trust, and compassion for ourselves and others. For it is through compassion and empathy— to be kind and gentle with ourselves and others, we come to realize that love, forgiveness, generosity, being positive and friendliness are the attributes of a healthy mind, strong body and luminous spirit.
Other Eastern methods include: Tibetan yoga, chakra work, teachings on non-dual Kashmir Shaivism based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, shamanism and sound therapy.
Western methods: I draw on Transpersonal Psychology which is also referred to as 'depth psychology,' or the 'psychology of spirituality' for it addresses the search for a higher meaning in life and moves beyond the limited boundaries of the ego. Other Western methods include: active listening, guided visualizations and imaginal work, affirmations, IFS (Internal Family Systems), empowerment exercises, inner child work, somatic awareness, dreamwork, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Authentic Movement, NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), women's spirituality perspectives (personal mythology, archetypes, ancestral work), aromatherapy, ideometer techniques (muscle testing, pendulum), magic and oracular methods (sigils and the Tarot), pagan practices (rites of passage and other rituals) and hypnotherapy.
In 2008, I founded Repatterning Hypnosis, a form of hypnotherapy that honors transpersonal experiences including those experienced in dreams, peak experiences, altered states of consciousness and out-of-body experiences, spontaneous spiritual awakenings, Extraordinary Human Experiences (EHE), spiritual emergencies, and past life recall. Repatterning Hypnosis is included in sessions, when appropriate.
About Dr. Yana Castle
Dr. Yana Castle draws on her extensive training in Buddhist studies, psychology and East/West healing methods from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco (Ph.D., Transformation and Consciousness). She has over three decades of experience as a Buddhist practitioner, counselor, meditation teacher, CCHT (Depth Hypnosis, Medical Hypnosis), CMT and Reiki Master. Yana also holds a M.A. degree in Women's Spirituality and has studied shamanism with jhankris Aama Bombo and Kusali Devi of Nepal and Tina de Souza, an Iyalorixa of the Umbanda tradition of Brazil. Yana is the author of "Guardians of the Gates: An Investigation of Numinous Presence in Dreams." Her work has been featured on 'Eye on the Bay,' Channel 5, San Francisco.
What are some of the benefits of Contemplative Counseling?
Benefits of Contemplative Counseling include:
Your complimentary introductory session
I offer a complimentary half hour phone, Zoom, or WhatsApp appointment so we can determine if we are a good fit. During this session, we begin to get to know each other by discussing your background, your goals—what you would like to work on and what you expect from counseling. I explain about my method of Contemplative Counseling and answer any questions you may have. If we agree to work together, we go ahead and set up a weekly meeting schedule. Fees are discussed at this time (sliding scale is available).
When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently. --Pema Chodron