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Thursday, July 27, 2017

EHI Now Enrolling for Experiential Focused Existential Humanistic Therapy Training Programs

Now Accepting Applications for EHI's 2017/18 Existential-Humanistic Training Programs

Orah Krug, Ph.D. EHI Clinical Director and Saybrook Faculty
Co-Author of Existential-Humanistic Therapyand Supervision Essentials for Existential-Humanistic Therapy.

EHI's 2017/18 teaching staff, Orah Krug, Kirk Schneider, Sonja Saltman, Nader Shabahangi, and Troy Piwowarski invite you to join one of our unprecedented Existential-Humanistic experiential training programs this upcoming 2017/2018 curriculum year.
EHI Faculty, all noted leaders in the field, emphasize the key ingredients of the E-H approach, including empathy, acceptance, and genuineness, to model how trainees can create safe, collaborative and life-changing therapeutic encounters. They demonstrate how the therapeutic relationship, in and of itself is a vehicle for healing and change and how therapeutic "presence" cultivates sensitivity and appropriate responsiveness to clients emotions, relational patterns and inner worlds.These two essential principles: building the therapeutic relationship and working in the "here and now" are the foundational blocks of E-H therapy and EHI training.

EHI's Faculty Fall 2017: Orah Krug, Nader Shabahangi, Troy Piwowarski, Kirk Schneider and Sonja Saltman

Do You Wish to Deepen Your E-H Therapeutic Practice?
EHI offers four experientially-focused training and certificate programs for licensed clinicians and graduate students in psychology or counseling programs.
Apply to an EHI Program Today »

Apply Now to a 2017-2018 Cohort
Space is Limited to Maximize Student Engagement

EHI is currently accepting applications and enrolling students in the upcoming 2017/2018 Programs. The next programs start in Fall 2017. All programs are open to licensed professionals and students currently enrolled in or recently graduated from psychology or graduate schools.
westerbeke retreat experiential October

Experiential Retreat Program
For those interested in engaging in EHI Experientials.

Open to licensed mental health professionals and graduate students who would like to participate in EHI's two curriculum-year Experientials, held at a beautiful Northern California retreat center. Master E-H therapists and noted authors such as Kirk Schneider, PhD and Orah Krug, PhD. create intimate, safe and collaborative training environments which emphasize hands-on learning of relational and experiential techniques. Participants learn how to enter their clients' self constructed worlds, using their own personal contexts to develop responsiveness to clients while also cultivating the "presence" that enables genuine encounters and real therapeutic change.The first of the two 2017/2018 EHI Experientials is in October - Apply now to participate in the Experiential Retreat Program!
Join the 2017/18 Experiential Retreat Cohort!

At the experiential trainings, we can apply theories to cases, watch the work of our mentors and each other. By living together we experience an intimacy that creates an environment that reduces barriers and the ensuing connections foster a greater capacity for learning. The use of transparency within therapeutic boundaries has influenced the work I am doing with my clients. I am more relaxed in session and I believe there is more connection between us when I find a way to be more revealing yet remain therapeutic.

~ Gloria Saltzman, LMFT, EHI Foundations Certificate Student

Consultation Program
For those interested in engaging in EHI's In-Person Consult Groups.

Open to licensed mental health professionals who would like to participate in a monthly two-hour consultation group held in Oakland, Ca and led by master E-H therapist and noted author Orah Krug, PhD, Troy Piwowarski, and at times other EHI faculty. These consultation groups mirror the experiential retreat training goals as they emphasize the relational and experiential principles of E-H practice--principles which have proven to be essential for lasting therapeutic healing and change. In an intimate and collaborative group setting, participants present cases, work with personal context and role-play clients, all effective methods to understand clients' (and therapists') subjective worlds and protective patterns.
Join a 2017/18 Consult Group!
Discover More About EHI's Consult Groups  »

I think what I took away from the last Experiential course, having been to several already, was a new appreciation: the understanding that the client's (a human being's) process is a sacred thing which must be nurtured and not usurped or dictated. The trust that people can do their own work--in their own time.

~ Juanita Ratner, LPC, Ph.D. Student, EHI Advanced Certificate Student

westerbeke retreat experiential October

Certificate in the Foundations of E-H Therapy
For students looking for grounding in E-H theory & practice.

Open to mental health professionals and graduate students seeking to develop a foundational understanding of depth work through an existential-humanistic lens that emphasizes how to build a healing therapeutic relationship and how to work experientially in the "here and now." To be certified, participants need to complete two experiential trainings, an online survey course in E-H therapy supervised by EHI faculty, 10 hours of group consultation (live or by video conferencing), a practicum and a faculty evaluation.
Gain a Foundation in E-H Therapy Practice
Find Out More About the Foundations Certificate Program »

I gained a deeper understanding of my own context and how that has directed and influenced so much of my existence. I have always had an understanding certainly that what is experienced in the early, formative years is paramount in shaping our belief systems and personality, but somehow I have never before been able to feel this in such a palpable way.

~ Ada Fitz-Gibbon, LMHC, EHI Advanced Certificate Student

Sonja Saltman engages with students in triad group during the EHI Experiential in Spring 2015.Sonja Saltman engages with students in triad group during the EHI Experiential in Spring 2015.

Advanced Program Leading to a Certificate as an E-H Therapist
For students who have completed the Foundations certificate program.

Open to EHI participants who have completed the Foundations Certificate and wish to take their clinical practice to deeper levels of nuance and skill. The advanced program includes participation in several more experiential training retreats, several more E-H therapy related online courses, additional hours of group consultation, a practicum and faculty evaluation.
Deepen Your E-H Practice and Get Certified as an E-H Therapist
Learn More About the Advanced Program Today »

The community interactions and the exploration of our own context in relation to how we practice. This retreat in particular was great at providing new learning experiences without eliciting 'there is a particular way to be'.

~ Brac Selph, Ph.D., EHI Foundations Certificate Student

Experiential Dates for 2017/18 

EHI Spring 2015 Retreat Photo - Students Working in Triads
Students working in triads at the EHI Experiential at Westerbeke Ranch, Spring 2015

EHI 2017-18 Experiential Training Dates
E-H Therapy in practice.

EHI Experiential* I: Sun, October 22nd, 2017 - Thurs, October 26th, 2017
EHI Experiential* II: Sun, April 8th, 2018 - Thurs, April 12th, 2018
*Every EHI student participates in both of the in-person experiential residentials per curriculum year; one in the Fall and the second in the following Spring. The experiential retreats are held at the wonderful Westerbeke Ranch Retreat Center in Sonoma, just north of San Francisco.
See more retreat photos here in the EHI gallery >>
Troy Piwowarski and Orah Krug at ExperientialTroy Piwowarski, Clinical Coordinator
w/ Orah Krug, Clinical Director

We are here to answer them!

Do you have questions about a program or about becoming an EHI student?
Orah Krug, our Clinical Director, and Troy Piwowarski, Associate Faculty and EHI's Clinical Training Coordinator are available to give you more information and to answer your questions about the upcoming EHI programs.

Contact either Orah or Troy by email: info[@]

Thursday, June 1, 2017

EHI Continues In-Person Bay Area Consult Group

The Existential-Humanistic Institute is excited to offer Bay Area in-person existential-humanistic therapy Consult Groups. The Existential Humanistic Institute is offering in-person consultation groups for licensed professionals in the San Francisco Bay area led by EHI Faculty. Each group is limited to six or seven licensed Masters and/or Ph.D. psychotherapists. Consultation will focus on cases that illustrate the existential-humanistic orientation to therapeutic practice. This group is an opportunity to explore how all therapeutic orientations are enhanced by incorporating existential and humanistic perspectives.

Consult Group Program Description

The EHI Consult Group Program is intended to give participants hands-on experiential opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of how to work with clients from an e-h perspective. Each group will be facilitated by an EHI faculty member who will serve as the group leader. Leaders will emphasize effective relational and experiential techniques that enable genuine encounters and real therapeutic change. 
    In each group participants will be able to focus on:
  • • Cultivating clients' personal and relational presence
  • • Tracking and reflecting clients' process
  • • Mirroring and resolving clients' problematic protective patterns.
    By role-playing clients we will gain depth to our understanding of:
  • • Their self and world constructs.
  • • How their protective patterns may trigger the therapist.
  • • How to work with the therapist's personal contexts to resolve therapeutic impasses.

Professional, Safe, and Supportive Group Environment

Participants will have opportunities to present cases in a safe and supportive environment. The group leader will assist the group to not only understand the complexities and nuances of the suffering of the client but also the challenges to the therapist to effect change. Group Length: 5 Months
Five monthly meetings Location: Bay Area
Office of Group Leader Group Dates: Groups offered in Fall and Spring
Dates dependent on Group Leader schedule For Group Availability Contact Us: Email our Admin, Michelle at info[@] to let us know you are interested!


The consult program is open to licensed professionals who seek to work experientially on cases and enhance their clinical skills; pending a successful interview with the group leader. If you have questions about the program please write us at info[@]

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kirk Schneider's to Release New Book, Spirituality of Awe, June 13, 2017

The robotic revolution is here and there is no going back. From the way we raise our children, to our work settings, to our governments, and even our wars, the quick fix-instant result society is roiling our world. Yet what is lost in this delirium is depth, the awesomeness, not just of our machines, but of our flesh, our capacity to feel, and our capacity to dwell in the miracle of the unknown. This book dwells in the miracle of the unknown. It is an intimate trek into the evolving spirituality of awe--the humility and wonder; sense of adventure toward life. Can we preserve awe--the arguable "heart" of humanity--in spite of and even in light of our technologies? Or will we devolve into mechanically driven puppets, numb to our possibilities, blind to our servitude? There is no more critical problem for our age."
cover of Spirituality of Awe by Kirk Schneider - robot hand reaching finger towards human hand
  • The Spirituality of Awe: Challenges to the Robotic Revolution
  • By Kirk Schnieder, PhD
  • Available on Amazon June 13th, 2017
  • Paperback: $14.00; Kindle: $9.95
  • To Pre-Order and Read the Reviews Visit: The Spirituality of Awe on Amazon.
The robotic revolution is here and there is no going back. From the way we raise our children, to our work settings, to our governments, and even our wars, the quick fix-instant result society is roiling our world. Yet what is lost in this delirium is depth, the awesomeness, not just of our machines, but of our flesh, our capacity to feel, and our capacity to dwell in the miracle of the unknown. This book dwells in the miracle of the unknown. It is an intimate trek into the evolving spirituality of awe--the humility and wonder; sense of adventure toward life. Can we preserve awe--the arguable "heart" of humanity--in spite of and even in light of our technologies? Or will we devolve into mechanically driven puppets, numb to our possibilities, blind to our servitude? There is no more critical problem for our age.
Reviews of Spirituality of Awe
"The dehumanization of life in the new computer driven society...leads to a gradual death of feeling. When people are cut off from feeling they are more likely to act out in destructive and potentially violent behavior. In The Spirituality of Awe, Kirk Schneider elaborates the negative consequences of what he calls the Robotic Revolution. In this important book, the author offers an alternative in his conception of an awe-based psychology that emphasizes both the mystery and magnificence of existence. I am personally inspired by Schneider s concern and ethical approach to coping with the problem of maintaining one s human heritage in the new society."
--Robert Firestone, Ph.D., author of Overcoming the Destructive Inner Voice: True Stories of Therapy and Transformation, and (with Joyce Catlett) Beyond Death Anxiety: Achieving Life-affirming Death Awareness
"In a world where many feel dehumanized and devalued, we need courage and clarity to widen our perspective and find new purpose. In this book Kirk Schneider offers a sensitive and incisive new narrative to help us reconsider what our lives are about today. He gathers wisdom from his long experience, and freely combines this with the insights of psychology, psychotherapy, philosophy, sociology, religion, literature and cinema to create a new vision of where we are heading and how we may change direction before it is too late. Fascinating and essential reading for therapists and lay readers alike."
--Prof Emmy van Deurzen, PhD, Principal of the New School for Psychotherapy and Counseling, UK; author of Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice and Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness
"...a beautiful and important work."
--Pninit Russo-Netzer, PhD, Lecturer, University of Haifa; co-editor of Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology

Companion Video Available

Watch this related video from EHI's 2016 Conference in San Francisco: Kirk Shares Jason Silva's "Radical Openess" [Video]

EHI 2016 Conference: Kirk Schneider Shares Jason Silva's "Radical Openness" Video from Existential-Humanistic Institute on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An EH Therapeutic Practice Workshop with Bob Edelstein, Feb 24th, 2017

Other Organizations and Workshops We Support

Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT is presenting a workshop titled Deepen Your Therapeutic Work Using and Existential-Humanistic Perspective on February 24th in Portland. CEs are available. 

Deepen Your Therapeutic Work Using an Existential-Humanistic Perspective
Friday, February 24th 9-12pm and 1-4pm
Hosted Reception 4-5pm
$150 (6 CEs for full day) $100 (3 CEs, morning or afternoon)

Lewis and Clark Graduate Campus Lloyd Building #107
The workshop is sponsored by the Oregon Mental Health CE/U Consortium.

This workshop is open to all levels.
The day is split up into two sessions, with 3 CEs available for each session.
Space is limited.

Morning session:

·        Core Existential-Humanistic
·        Inward Searching
·        Authentic Connection
·        The work of Jim Bugental, PhD
·        The work of Irv Yalom, MD

Afternoon session:

Philosophical Frames:
·        Being versus Doing
·        Process versus Content

Relationship Attitudes:
·        I-Thou Relationship
·        Intention and/or Resistance  

Therapeutic Skills:
·        Deep Listening
·        Mirror the Client’s Process

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Recommended Read for the New Year, I Am Not I by Jacob Needleman

Nader Shabahangi, EHI President and Eldership advocate is suggesting, I Am Not I, the recent book by philosopher and educator, Jacob Needleman, as our first recommended read of the New Year. Here is a description of I Am Not I from Amazon:
Seeking to reconcile the split between our inner child and our adult self, eminent philosopher and religious scholar Jacob Needleman evokes the ancient spiritual tradition of a deep dialogue between a guiding wisdom figure and a seeker. The elder offers an initiation to a younger self, an initiation the author feels is missing from our culture. Rendered as a stage play, the conversation between the 80-year-old author and his younger selves unfolds, and an ambiguity emerges as to whether this is strictly the author’s internal dialogue or whether the younger self may be nurturing a rebirth of the author.

On one level, I Am Not I brings younger readers (teenagers and young adults) face to face with powerful spiritual and philosophical ideas. But as the book progresses, the dialogue delves into questions and insights that carry astonishing new hope and vision for every man and woman, challenging our culture’s accepted—and often toxic—ideas about humanity’s place in a living universe.

Recommended Discussions and Reviews of I Am Not I 

For a wonderful, in-depth discussion of the book read Maria Poplova's review of I Am Not I on her site,

Gospel Cruz speaks with author Jacob Needleman about the new book in a post on SFSU's College of Liberal and Creative Arts site.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

EHI 9th Annual Conference Scheduled Topics and Events

The EHI 9th Annual Conference, ‘Always Going Home’: Human Evolution and Digital Revolution will take place November 12, 2016 at AgeSong University in San Francisco.

This year's conference will be a dynamic, interactive group discussion hosted by EHI's Nader Shabahangi, PhD, Kirk Schneider, PhD, Sonja Saltman, MA, MFT, Orah Krug, PhD, Mary Madrigal, PhD, Troy Piwowarski, PsyD, and Suzan Bollich, PhD.

Erv Polster 2016 Keynote Presenter

Conference Topics

  • Nader Shabahangi, PhD:
    What makes us human beings feel alive, content, loved? If it is connection (to oneself, one another), what is this ‘connection’, what is it made of, how does it smell and feel? Does this need for connection to feel alive, happy, loved get satisfied digitally? Humanly? Both?
  • Kirk Schneider, PhD:
    How to cultivate a sense of awe as both a counterpoint to and complement of high tech. Highlighting some points from a book I'm working on tentative title of the book is "The Spirituality of Awe: Challenges to the Robotic Revolution."
  • Sonja Saltman, MA, MFT:
    How we use technology in creative and innovative ways.
  • Mary Madrigal, PhD:
    Exploring the breakdown of and in the human relationship as it relates to the use of technology over conversation and how the use of technology offers a false sense of relationship and knowing a person via social media.
  • Troy Piwowarski, PsyD:
    The specific ways people reconcile the increasing speed associated with the digital age (faster communications, faster ways of getting products, etc.) with the intention of going slower when it comes to our interpersonal work as existential therapists and relational beings.

Cocktail Party and Book Signing to follow conference. Join us from 5pm-6:30pm for book signings, libations and nibbles!

These EHI authors will be on hand to sign their books!
  • Dr Orah Krug & Dr Kirk Schneider will be signing the recently published Supervision Essentials of Existential-Humanistic Therapy.
  • Dr Mary Madrigal will be signing her recent books Enough: You are Enough and Spirit of the Female Warrior.
  • Dr Kirk J Schneider will be signing his latest book, The Polarized Mind, and Awakening to Awe.
  • Dr Nader Shabahangi will be signing his recent book Ambiguity of Suffering, and Elders Today, Deeper into the Soul, and Encounters of the Real Kind.
*There will be copies of the above books available.

EHI 9: " 'Always Going Home': Human Evolution and the Digital Revolution"

Exploring the Intersection of the Digital Age and the E-H Therapeutic Perspective

November 12th, 2016
Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm
Cocktail Party & Book Signing: 5:00pm - 6:30pm


AgeSong University
350 University Street
San Francisco, CA 94102


Professionals: $100
Students: $50
Find out More and Register Online >> 

Contact EHI's Conference Chair, Dr Mary Madrigal at

EHI is Honored to Have Erv Polster, PhD Present the Keynote at Upcoming Conference on Nov 12th

EHI Proudly Welcomes

Erving Polster, Phd
Opening Keynote Speaker EHI:9 2016

Erving Polster, PhD, master therapist and presenter, author of Gestalt Therapy Integrated, Every Person’s Life is Worth a Novel and From the Radical Center: The Heart of Gestalt Therapy, director of the Gestalt Training Center San Diego, has recently published his book Beyond Therapy: Igniting Life Focus Community Movements. He will be opening our Conference with a discussion via Skype. We are thus combining both the Human interaction with the benefit of the Digital Revolution. Erv is not able to travel but we will have his presence via a digital method that allows us to witness and participate in our topic: " 'Always Going Home': Human Evolution and Digital Revolution.'
"The paradox is that, while a concern with past and future is obviously central to psychological functioning, to behave as though one were indeed in the past or future, as many do, pollutes the lively possibilities of existence.”
― Erving Polster, PhD, Gestalt Therapy Integrated: Contours of Theory & Practice