About NickRelevant Clinical Training: I’m a licensed MFT and have been practicing psychotherapy full-time for 23 years. I studied Phenomenology at Goddard College in the late 60’s. I received a Masters in Clinical Psychology from JFK University in 1992. In addition to my degree, I received an Advanced Family Certification. This was called a double specialization with separate supervision and training in both psychodynamic and systems theory and practice. Affiliations, Certifications, Trainings & Professional Activities: I belong to two Professional Organizations. I’m a Clinical member of both California & American Associations of Marriage and Family Therapists. I was Certified in Mitchel method of Advanced Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, as well as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction by Jon Kabat-Zinn. In addition, having attended15 years of presentations of Psychiatry Grand Rounds at Alta Bates Medical Center, I’ve been exposed to the current pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment approaches of most mental disorders and conditions. In my early years I gained experience and trainings in both brief and long term approaches to a wide range of clinical issues. One training was in James Mastersons’ approach to Personality Disorders. Another was the British School of Object Relations. I also trained in Self Psychology, a Western approach to disorders of the Self structure quite compatible with Buddhist Psychology. Later, after ten years of studying Jungian techniques and ideas, I began adding this Analytical approach to my repertoire of East/West skillful means. I have been in full time private practice for my entire professional life. Occasionally, I have Supervised Groups and Individual MFT Trainees and Interns at J.F.K. Counseling Center in Pleasant Hill as well as at Options Chemical Dependency Center in Berkeley. I have also recently taught a weekend seminar at the Psychotherapy Institute in Berkeley on “Mindfulness & Psychotherapy”. Personal Iinformation I have been actively exploring consciousness and human suffering for much of my life. After wandering, odd jobbing and exploring various cultures I found myself studying phenomenology at Goddard College in the late sixties, where I received a B.A. My main focus at Goddard were the major works of Martin Heidegger and the poetry and prose of William Blake. After graduation, I apprenticed a Cabinet maker, practiced Tai Chi and built homes in Hawaii until I met my first Buddhist teacher, Ruth Denison in 1978. In meeting her I discovered that consciousness and suffering were interrelated and could be explored directly with Mindfulness meditation practice. I began to study with her and also help build her retreat center. Over 15 years I attended many short and long term retreats in the U.S., Europe and Asia. My practice with Ruth was guided by her focus on the impermanent nature of existence through moment to moment awareness of the liveliness of sense experience and conscious movement. Later, she sent me to Sayadaw U. Pandita who emphasized non-stop mindfulness through intensive one-pointedness. For the last 25 years, I’ve been practicing within the Tibetean tradition under the guidance of Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche, who emphasizes resting the mind within a non-conceptual, open awareness. Meeting each moment with a compassionate, open mind. Each year I continue to attend retreats, as well as spending time doing personal retreat practice. As my meditation practice continues to deepen my understanding of myself, it allows me to be clearer and offer more compassionate service to my patients. When I’m not sitting or therapizing, I’m loving the physical world. I I enjoy hiking, biking & swimming. I’m an avid tennis player and lover of yoga. I feel at home on camping trips and have a particular passion for challenge. I’ve made a number spiritual pilgrimages. I’d also like to add that I’ve been a father and a husband for many years with many twists and turns. I’ve led a full life.
Parasol Dome of the sky. Umbrella embracing the shadow with coolness. Protection from the heat of confusion.