Dr. Michael Mayer’s Contributions To Depth Psychology and Psychotherapy
I. Background (For a more complete Bio please scroll down to the bottom of this page):
• Michael Mayer’s interest in Depth Psychology began in 1970 when he read a book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, in a class he took at the New School for Social Research in New York with Jungian Analyst, Dr. Bernie Weitzman. He was fascinated by Dr Jung’s introduction in Wilhelm’s book. Later, after the microcosmic orbit breathing methods described in the Secret …book helped him to relieve a panic attack he had during his first graduate psychology teaching job in 1971, Michael went on a quest to learn more about the larger tradition in which the Secret… was embedded. Before moving to California he discovered how the microcosmic orbit breathing method came from the Chinese traditions of Qigong and Taoist Alchemy. He has trained in these traditions now for about forty years, and has incorporated them in his approach called Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy. Dr Mayer now has about three decades of experience in developing this integral/transpersonal/depth psychology approach that includes: two decades of university teaching, presenting at many conferences/workshops, and writing six books & many articles. His “Quest to the West” has brought this journey to fruition…
• Summary of Dr. Mayer’s Contributions to Depth Psychology: (Here is a link for a list of the publications to which the dates below refer).
A. Summary of Contributions to Symbolic Process:
• The Mythic Journey Process: (Mayer, 1982; 1993; 1994; 2007; 2009). The Audio CD is available at this link.
A. Adds a somatic dimension to the Jungian Active Imagination process and depth psychology
B. Adds to Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing, a depth psychological dimension
• Outlined a” Full Spectrum Symbolic Process” continuum that combines directive/non directive and somatic/imaginal clinical modalities (Mayer, 2007; 2009).
• The River of Life (ROL) Visualization Process: Combines directive and non-directive imaginal methods to activate the hero’s journey of one’s life and to add to its healing pathways. It combines Chinese Qigong methods from Jung’s commentary in the Secret of the Golden Flower into a psychotherapeutic and behavioral health tool. CD downloadable audio. Clinical applications of the ROL in articles on chronic pain (Mayer, 1996), and in two books case illustrations demonstrate how to apply the ROL to: anxiety, trauma, hypertension, depression etc. (Mayer, 2007; 2009).
• The Mystery of Personal Identity won an international prize from the Astrological Association of Great Britain for being the first book to integrate the use of astrological symbolism with depth psychology (Mayer 1984, 2012).
• Extracted the essence of astrological symbolism to use the astrological mandala to create an overarching psychotherapeutic meta-system (Mayer, 1977; 2007; 2009; 1984/2012b)
B. Contributions to Integrating Depth Psychology with Tai Chi/Qigong:
• Integrated Qigong with Depth Psychotherapy. Taught the first accredited doctoral university course integrating Qigong and Depth Psychology (California Institute of Integral Psychology, 1996). Illustrated how to add Qigong’s somatic healing dimensions to depth psychology and to anchor psychological change with and without using qigong movements – in books (e.g. Mayer, 2007) and articles ( e.g. Mayer, 2004c; 2007).
• Brought a depth psychotherapy understanding to Standing Meditation Qigong. (Mayer, 2004, 2004c, 2009)
• First integration of the concept of “spirit” and “soul” (Hillman, 1978) into Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong… in books (Mayer, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012), articles (Mayer 2004c, 2012b), and workshops (e.g.Esalen Institute, 2005-2011).
• Integrated traditions of postural initiation as healing modalities into depth psychotherapy to add a somatic dimension – including both static meditative and dynamic movement dimensions. (Mayer, 2004; 2012b).
• Keynoted The National Qigong Association Conference in 2004 showing how Tai Chi Qigong can be integrated with depth psychology. Tai Chi stems from a tradition of postural initiation that can be seen was having four dimensions: self healing, spiritual unfoldment, self-defense and changing one’s life stance psychologically. See the Secrets… book (Mayer 2004) where this view is put forth or click here for download of this keynote address: Qigong Ancient Path to Modern Health.
C. Contributions to Couples Therapy
• Integration of Depth Psychology with couples therapy outlined in the book, Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy (Mayer, 1993).
D. Contributions to Integrating Depth Psychology and Energy Psychology
E. Introduced various concepts to Depth Psychology:
• The Transcending/Transmuting dialectic (Mayer, 2007, 2009): In psycho-spiritual domains this concept helps to distinguish between spiritual and soulful healing directions (Hillman, 1978)
• Bringing the concept of “life stance” to depth psychology; (drawing from the traditions of Standing Meditation Qigong and traditions of postural initiation).
• Shape-shifting (integrating cross-cultural mythology with psychotherapeutic healing practice)
• Repairing the Cultivating your Vital, Primordial Self
* To see more about the application of these concepts into depth psychology they are more fully outlined in my books (Mayer, 2004, 2007, 2009)
F. A Life Embedded in Depth Psychology:
• How does one follow a life path embedded in depth psychology? The Path of a Reluctant Metaphysician: Stories and Practices for Troubled Times. (Mayer, 2012)
II.Overview of Books: (For a more complete description of Dr. Mayer’s six books on integral/transpersonal/depth psychology click this link).
• Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health (Mayer, 2004b). Drawing from 30 years of training in Tai Chi and Qigong with some of the most respected masters of these traditions, this book shows how to integrate the essence of these practices into depth psychotherapy and into our healthcare without ever doing a Tai Chi/Qigong movement, and without mentioning a word about Qigong. Using case illustrations from his work in an integrated medical clinic the book shows how ancient and modern, East and West, psychotherapy and mind-body medicine cam be amalgamated to make a stronger integrative medicine. Theory, research, and case illustrations are blended to show how bodymind healing methods can help alleviate hypertension, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, trauma., and other common issues plaguing the modern world. This book, endorsed by major leaders in mind-body healthcare makes significant contributions to the field of depth psychotherapy, behavioral healthcare, Qigong, and energy psychology.
A.) List of Endorsements:
- Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Methods for Bodymind Health(North Atlantic/Random House, 2009) presents a comprehensive approach to healing that combines leading-edge Western bodymind psychological methods with a broad system of ancient, sacred traditions. Incorporating Dr. Mayer’s integral approach called Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, Energy Psychology draws on Chinese medicine approaches, including Qigong and acupressure self-touch; kabalistic processes; methods drawn from ancient traditions of meditation and postural initiation; and psycho-mythological storytelling techniques.
- Secrets to Living Younger Longer: The Self-healing Path of Qigong, Standing Meditation and Tai Chi(Bodymind Healing Publications, 2004). This book shows how Tai Chi and Qigong have roots in Cross-Cultural Shamanism and a lost, integrative Self-healing lineage; each posture has four dimensions of purpose: Self-healing, spiritual unfoldment, self-defense, and changing one’s life stance psychologically.
- Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy (Celestial Arts/Ten Speed Press, 1994). Psycho-mythological solutions to the trials of intimacy. Relationship as a trial of the elements: fire, earth , air and water. This book has been called a “‘Hero with a Thousand Faces’ for couples.”
- The Mystery of Personal Identity (ACS Publications, 1983, 2012), winner of a prize from the Astrological Association of Great Britain for creating a new theoretical framework (phenomenological) for astrology that makes it palatable to skeptics; the first book to integrate astrology and depth psychotherapy.
- The Path of a Reluctant Metaphysician: Stories and Practices for Troubled Times (Bodymind Healing Publications (2012). This Ben Franklin award-winning book traces the journey of Dr. Mayer through the Integral/Transpersonal/Depth Psychology movements over three decades. However, it is not just an autobiographical book, rather it shows how anyone can carve out a path to their destiny.
III. Selected Articles: (For a more complete publication list please click here.
- Mayer, M. (1982, 1993, 2007, 2009) Mythic Journey Process. An integration of Gendlin’s Focusing, and Archetypal Psychology to somatically anchor psycho-mythological processes. Appearing first as an article in 1982 in Dr Gendlin’s Focusing Folio, this article has appeared in four of Dr Mayer’s books. Building upon the mythic processes of Sam Keen, (1989) and Carl Jung’s active imagination process, Dr Mayer’s mythic journey process (Mayer, ) added a somatic dimension to psycho-mythological inner work.
- Mayer, M. (2015). blog article, Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology: Transforming Energy Psychology into a Comprehensive Transpersonal Psychotherapy.
- Mayer, M. (2008). Mind-Body treatment for anxiety and panic disorders. California State Journal of Oriental Medicine, Summer.
- Three peer-reviewed articles on Qigong and Hypertension:
- Mayer, M. (2010) Hypertension: An Integral Bodymind Healing Approach, Natural Standard, February, (Peer Reviewed).
- Mayer, M. (1999). Qigong and hypertension: A critique of research. Journal of Alter-native and Complementary Medicine, 5(4), 371-382. (Peer-reviewed).
- Mayer, M. (2003). Qigong clinical studies. In W. B. Jonas (Ed.), Healing, intention, and energy medicine (pp. 121-137). England: Churchill Livingston. (Peer-reviewed).
- Mayer, M. (1996). Qigong and behavioral medicine: An integrated approach to chronic pain. Qi: The Journal of Eastern Health and Fitness, 6(4), 20-31.
- Mayer, M. (2004c). What do you stand for? The Journal of Qigong in America, Vol. 1, Summer.
IV. Selected Workshops: (For a more complete listing of Dr. Mayer’s workshops on his integral/transpersonal/depth psychotherapy approach click here):
- June 2, 2016, 18th Annual International Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology Conference,Deepening Healing with Transpersonal Energy Psychology, Hyatt Regency Hotel.
- May 31, 2015, The 17th International ACEP Conference, Transforming Energy Psychology into a Comprehensive Transpersonal Psychotherapy. Hyatt Regency Hotel Reston VA. Introducing the EP community to the importance of integrating a depth psychology approach to EP to balance it’s mechanistic tendencies.
- The Mystery of Personal Identity,Lecture at Coniunctio, California Institute of Integral Studies, available as an Audio Download.
- March 10th, 2013, 2 pm to 5 pm, The Analytical Psychology Club of San Francisco, The Path of a Reluctant Metaphysician: Stories and Practices for Troubled Times. Click here for information about the presentation.
- February, 18, 2012, Association for Transpersonal Psychology Conference, Bodymind Healing in Psychotherapy: Towards an Integral Transpersonal Psychology , 10-11:30 AM, Menlo Park, CA.
- October, 4, 2012, The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Integral Health: Bodymind Healing Approaches to Troubled Times. Dr. Mayer presents how this integral/transpersonal, depth psychology approach applies to our healthcare system – at The Commonwealth Club, the oldest and perhaps leading public affairs venue in the U.S. This presentation draws from Dr. Mayer’s decade working in, and co-founding an integrative medical clinic, The Health Medicine Center.
- February 13, 2010, Association of Transpersonal Psychology Conference, February 18, 2010, Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Towards an Integral, Transpersonal Psychotherapy, 2:45- 4:45 PM, Menlo College, Atherton CA, Register www.atpweb.org,email@example.com.
* Some other venues where Dr Mayer has presented his approach to his integral, depth psychology, where they have received MCEP credits: Cascadia Training (Seattle,WA., 2013), Association for Transpersonal Psychology (Menlo Park, CA2012, 2010), Wright Institute (Berkeley, CA.,2010,) the Psychotherapy Institute of Berkeley (2008), Esalen Institute (Big Sur, CA., 2007), and online through Alliant International University.
V. University Teaching Experience (Selected Courses):
2016, Sofia University, Masters in Transpersonal Psychology Program, Transpersonal Psychology: Transformative and Healing Dimensions, 2016.
2011, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Doctoral Committee Member, A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Process and Effects of Finding Meaning with Astrological Symbolism, by Koslova, Elena, Final Committee Approval.
2009, Alliant International University, Bodymind Healing and Qigong in Psychotherapy, CEUs available for psychologists and other health professionals San Francisco, CA. Recorded for 7 Online Continuing Ed Credits, Click here for Online course.
1998-2000, San Francisco State University, Health Education Department-Holistic Health, Eastern Perspectives on Healing, Six classes 1998-2000.
1996,1997, California Institute of Integral Studies, Tai Chi Qigong and Psychotherapy, East West Psychology Doctoral Psychology Program, 1996; Energy Medicine: East and West,Graduate Doctoral Psychology Program, 1997.
1978-1991, JFK University, Co-founding faculty member of the first accredited university transpersonal psychology program in the U.S. at John F Kennedy University, trained therapists for 12 years (from 1978 to 1991). There he developed his depth psychotherapy approach and subsequently wrote two books on this approach that integrates somatic, energetic, cross-cultural initiatory traditions, traditional psychological approaches and symbolic process methods. Graduate Psychology Courses included: Astrology in Psychotherapy (1978-9); Foundations of Depth Psychotherapy ( 1979); Symbolic Process in Psychotherapy (1981-86); Tai Chi, Qigong, and Psychotherapy (1987-1989); Clinical Supervision & Clinical Case Seminar (1987-1991).
VI. Clinical Supervisor for Depth Psychology Interns:
2015-current, East Bay Mindfulness Center– Clinical Supervisor, Orinda, CA.
1980-1987, Psychotherapy and Healing Center, Director and Clinical Supervisor.
VII. Dr. Mayer’s Contributions to the field of Integral/Transpersonal/ Depth Psychology centers upon the integrating the following areas of foci with depth psychotherapy: A. Symbolic Processes B. Tai Chi/Qigong, C. Traditions of postural initiation:
A. Symbolic Processes: Dr. Mayer has contributed to the general traditions of symbolic process in psychotherapy with his Full Spectrum Approach and his conceptualization of the transcending/transmuting dialectic. Some of the specific processes he has developed are his Mythic Journey Process, River of Life method, as well he has added an astro-poetic, phenomenological approach to the use of astrological symbols in psychotherapy:
Full Spectrum Approach to Symbolic Processes: Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy brings a full spectrum approach to symbolic process inner work which integrates the somatic and imaginal dimensions thus adding to Imaginal Psychotherapy traditions. Some components of this symbolic process approach are a somatically oriented mythic journey process, and an integral approach combining Qigong, symbolic process methods, and somatic psychotherapy (Mayer 2007, 2009a).
The transcendent/transmuting dialectic: There has long been a split between psychotherapy and spiritual traditions. Modern psychologists have long been trained that by using spiritually transcendent methods, the transmutation of psychological complexes will not occur but will be bypassed and then reappear the next time an associated trigger touches off the complex. It is the viewpoint of BMHP that dichotomizing between transcendent and transmuting needs of the patient in psychotherapy is a function of the Western dualistic mind. Such dichotomization does not do justice to the holistic spirit of healing in the deepest sense of the “perennial philosophy” (Huxley, 1970); nor, as Dr. Mayer argues, does it meet the healing needs of an integrative psychology. In order to resolve this false dichotomy Dr Mayer introduces in Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy (Mayer 2007, 2009a) a theoretical framework and practices for integrating transcendent and transmuting dimensions of psychological and spiritual healing. . Dr Mayer’s work in this regard is part of an emerging movement of integrating meditative and spiritual methods into psychotherapy (Walsh & Shapiro, 2006; Wilbur, 1980).
Mythic Journey Process: The Mythic Journey Process, an integral component of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, is an archetypal psychology, narrative approach to psychotherapy that combines Dr. Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing approach with symbolic process methods. Building upon the mythic processes of Sam Keen, (1989) and Carl Jung’s active imagination process, Dr. Mayer’s Mythic Journey Process (Mayer, 1982, 1993, 2007, 2009a) added a somatic dimension to psycho-mythological inner work.
The MJP is a symbolic process tool that has a person transpose a life problem into a story set in ancient time in order to work through that issue. To ground the mythic dimension, the MJP uses Gendlin’s Focusing so that the storyteller continually refers back to the felt sense of the body. It has been used by therapists, by lay people as a self-growth tool, and it is a central component of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy. Dr Mayer uses it as a method in his workshops for relationship issues (Mayer, 1993), and to help people in his private practice and workshops with psychological and somatic issues. The Mythic Journey Process was included in many of Dr. Mayer’s written works (Mayer, 1982, 1993, 2007, 2009a).It has been included in numerous workshops, which have received MCEP credits, including Cascadia Training (2013), Esalen Institute (2007), etc. The MJP adds a somatic dimension to the Jungian Active Imagination process; and it adds to Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing a depth psychological dimension. The MJP is a symbolic process tool that has a person transpose a life problem into a story set in ancient time in order to work through that issue. To ground the mythic dimension, the MJP uses Gendlin’s Focusing so that the storyteller continually refers back to the felt sense of the body. It has been used by therapists, by lay people as a self-growth tool, and it is a central component of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy. Dr Mayer uses it as a method in his workshops for relationship issues (Mayer, 1993), and to help people in his private practice and workshops with psychological and somatic issues. The Mythic Journey Process was included in many of Dr Mayer’s written works (Mayer, 1982, 1993, 2007, 2009a).
The River of Life The River of Life Process: Dr. Mayer derived the River of Life method from microcosmic orbit breathing, a Taoist breathing method first brought to the West by Richard Wilhelm (1931). The River of Life method (Mayer, 1982, 1996, 2007, 2009a) adds a visualization of water to microcosmic orbit breathing. As a person is breathing in he or she imagines energy or a river traveling up the governing vessel and on the exhalation one imagines a river traveling down the conception vessel to the belly (tan tien). This method induces a trance state that in Taoist terms opens the practitioner to experience “the sea of elixir” (Wilhelm, 1963). This transcendent state is used to help facilitate the practitioner release stress, mind-body energy blockages, and blocked life issues within the context of psychotherapy and behavioral healthcare. In addition, Dr. Mayer (1982) added a transmuting dimension to the River of Life by having a person “focus” (Gendlin, 1978) on a blockage that emerges in the river of their felt experience of flowing down the river. Then in the Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy method the person uses various methods (such as cognitive restructuring, psychodynamic methods, self soothing) to transmute the life issues and energy blockages involved.
Astrological Metaphor in Psychotherapy: Dr. Mayer studied with Dane Rudhyar who was on his doctoral committee. Dr. Mayer developed a phenomenological approach to astrological metaphor that is palatable even to skeptics. Geoffrey Dean, a president of the Skeptics society, has said that his approach of using astro-poetics is the only one that he views as being reasonable. His book The Mystery of Personal Identity won the Astrology Prize from the Astrological Association of Great Britain for giving the most valuable contribution to Astrology in 1979…the first book to integrate astrological metaphor with depth psychotherapy.
B. Tai Chi /Qigong:
• Tai Chi Qigong and Psychotherapy: From his training in Tai Chi and Qigong for 30+ years with some of the most respected Tai Chi and Qigong Masters such as Master Fong Ha (Ha,1996), Dr. Mayer (1996, 1997a, 2004b, 2007) pioneered the integration of Qigong and psychotherapy, and was the first person to train doctoral psychology students in this integration. The first phase of Dr. Mayer’s work was integrating Qigong movements into psychotherapy as a behavioral healthcare tool for such issues as hypertension, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and trauma. The next phase of his work is the integral phase (Walsh, 2006; Wilber 2000) where Qigong is integrated into psychotherapy without ever using a Qigong movement and without ever mentioning a word about Qigong. Since the greatest Qigong, according to Dr. Mayer’s viewpoint involves cultivating the energy of life by practicing living a life cleared of psychological encumbrances which block the rivers of our chi, on this pathway one can extract out the essence of what creates transformation from Qigong as a Self-cultivation practice (Mayer, 2007, 2009a). For example, with no reference to Qigong, in a psychotherapy session a practitioner can introduce breathing methods (such as Qigong’s microcosmic orbit breathing), teach acu-point self touch, and increase somatic awareness of the movements/postures that a person expresses at the moment of “felt shift: (Gendlin, 1978) which then serve as post-hypnotic anchors (these movements and postures are oftentimes the same as practiced by Tai Chi/Qigong practitioners).
• His book, Secrets to Living Younger Longer: The Self-healing Path of Qigong, Standing Meditation and Tai Chi, describes how Tai Chi, Qigong can function as tools that can be integrated with Western behavioral healthcare. Dr. Wayne Jonas, Former Director National Institute of Health, Office of Alternative Medicine says about this book, A wonderful guide for learning the ancient healing practice of Qigong. Full of clear and practical exercises.
C. Integrating Traditions of Postural Initiation with Depth Psychotherapy:
What creates change in psychotherapy? All psychological theories have their hypotheses regarding what creates psychotherapeutic change, and so does Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy (BMHP). In general, psychodynamic therapists emphasize the insight gained from going back to one’s families of origin, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapists emphasize changes in beliefs and behavior, humanistic/existential psychotherapists emphasize choice, Jungians emphasize the role of symbolic process, and Dr. Eugene Gendlin emphasizes the energy shift that is experienced in the body and new meaning that emerges at key moments of change in psychotherapy. BMHP draws from all of these traditions and uses a mandala of psychotherapies. In addition to this integrative perspective, BMHP draws from certain traditions stemming from the ground of ancient sacred wisdom traditions. From these traditions there are three interrelated concepts woven together throughout his books Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, and Energy Psychologybook: (1) Transforming your life stance, (2) Shape-shifting, and (3) Repairing and cultivating your primordial Self. Dr. Mayer’s philosophy is that, “psychological issues and bodily disease are divina afflictios (divine afflictions) giving us opportunities for psycho-spiritual growth, soul-making, and finding the source of healing.”
Just as Dr. Gendlin’s research attempted to extract the essence of what made therapy work to empower the process of change for people, Dr. Mayer discovered these three interrelated concepts from his thirty years of practice of psychotherapy, Qigong, and ancient sacred wisdom traditions that seemed to capture the essence of what created energetic change for people:
Transforming Your Life Stance: Change needs to be embodied change, thus the use of the concept “transforming your life stance.” This is one of the quintessential elements of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy (BMHP). Influenced by the traditions of Standing Meditation Qigong and postural initiation (Goodman, 1990; Gore, 1995; Mayer, 2004b, 2004c) as well as the recent advances showing the importance of the body in the role of psychological healing (van der Kolk, 1994, 2002), BMHP places the literal/physical and symbolic elements of transforming one’s life stance at the hub of the wheel of its theory of change. Another way to speak of changing our life stance is to use the practices and metaphors of shape-shifting.
Shape-shifting: Dr. Mayer (2004b, 2007, 2009a) introduced to the literature of the field the theory that one of the earliest roots of psychotherapy involved traditions of shape-shifting that used transfiguring metaphors and practices to enhance the process of psychological transformation, loosen up fixated life patterns, and help to change a person’s life stance. Virtually all age-old cultures have myths of shape-shifting of human beings; these symbolic stories can be viewed as psycho-initiatory tales that have an ability to heal and transform our lives (for example when the mighty Zeus shape-shifted into being a swan to be able to attract Leda). This perspective was outlined in two of Dr Mayer’s books, Secrets to Living Younger Longer…. (Mayer, 2004b) and in Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy (2007) where readers were led on a journey to the age-old traditions of our trans-temporal compatriots. There, Dr Mayer drew on the teachings of cross-cultural mythologies and shamanism, the first holistic healing center of the Western World (the temple of Asclepius), the Kabbalah, as well as the traditions of postural initiation in Native America, Greece, India, and China (Goodman, 1990; Tomio, 1994; Mayer 2004b). In Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy (BMHP), Dr. Mayer specifically applied the age-old metaphors of shape-shifting to help those in modern psychotherapy to increase vitality, add depth, promote healing, and discover the multifaceted form of our “true selves.”
Repairing and Cultivating Your Vital, Primordial Self: ( To see a description of the importance of this concept to Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, please click on this link.
VIII. What are others saying about Dr. Michael Mayer’s contributions to integral/transpersonal/depth psychology and psychotherapy:
- Book Reviews: Dr. Mayer’s approach to an integral, transpersonal, depth psychology in two of his books have been positively reviewed by the following journals:
A. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2012, Review of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy and Energy Psychology, Reviewer David Lukoff, Ph.D., co-president of The Association of Transpersonal Psychology:
“…BMHP provides embodied insight that talk therapy alone cannot… He situates the presentation within a paradigmatic shift that is transforming healthcare, but which he considers to still be in a pre-paradigmatic phase. I expect that when the history of this shift is written, Mayer will figure prominently.” …“I field tested parts of BMHP in my year-long psychotherapy class at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology…His books serve as resources that I reference when teaching and supervising students on how to integrate mind-body practices into their clinical work.”
B. PsycCritiques, January 2008, Reviewer Gilewski, M. January, A review of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health. A Cartesian-Taoist Scientific Revolution: Old Replacing New Medicine
C. Keeping in Touch, Journal of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy, Fall 2007. Review of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health.
D. PsycCritiques, Vol. 55, Release 7, Article 8, Feb, 17, 2010. Reviewer Church, D. (2010). A review of Energy psychology: Self healing methods for bodymind health. Energy Psychology: Applying Eastern medicine to quantum entanglement:
IX.Supportive Quotes from leaders in the field about Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, and other publications.
• About the book: Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Practices for Bodymind Health
“Energy is the most self-renewing quality of any organism–if the organism is functioning properly.… The energy that joins body to mind is the continuous current that flows through all of Michael Mayer’s healing efforts. He brings a practical capacity to utilize Eastern and Western disciplines into relationship with his powerfully intuitive trust of bodymind in a way that is a delight to learn from.”
— John Beebe, MD, Jungian analyst, former president, Jung Institute of San Francisco, and author of Integrity in Depth
• About the book: Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy
“…a masterful integration of mythology and contemporary psychology about the universal themes of love and life, pain, hurt, rage, and death. Trials of the Heart follows in the tradition of Joseph Campbell-a Hero with a Thousand Faces for couples.”
– Jane Goldberg, Ph.D., author of The Dark Side of Love
• About the Book: Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy
“ This scholarly and eminently readable book integrates eastern and western forms of self-healing techniques and examines the capacity of various approaches that put human beings at the center of their own self-care. I applaud Dr Michael Mayer for his monumental work, which hopefully foreshadows the shape of body-mind approaches for years to come.”
– Bessel van der Kolk, MD Medical Director, The Trauma Center, Boston University School of Medicine
X. Further supportive material that helps to show that the instructor’s approach and program “has obtained a degree of credibility in the wider community:”
- Researchers have taken Dr. Mayer’s three peer reviewed articles on hypertension (Mayer, 1999, 2003, 2010) and are following his research suggestions. One example: Guo, X., Zhou, B., Nishimura, T., Teramukai, M., & Fukushima, M. (2008). Clinical effect of Qigong practice on essential hypertension: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 14, No 1, pp. 27–37. For a more extensive list of articles that have mentioned Dr. Mayer’s articles please see, “Who is Publishing in my Domain,” BioMed Lib, Val Outterson-BioMedLib firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, the co-principal investigator for the field trials for the DSM IV category of Post Traumatic Stress, and the director of Boston University Medical School’s Trauma Dept. uses Dr. Mayer’s Bodymind healing Qigong DVD in his training of trauma therapists.
Michael Mayer, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Qigong/Tai Chi teacher who specializes in giving his patients self-healing methods for health problems. Dr. Mayer presents his approach to bodymind healing at professional conferences, national/international workshops, universities, and hospitals; and he is a keynote speaker. He was a co-founding faculty member of John F. Kennedy University’s Transpersonal Psychology Program and he is a co-founder of, and a practitioner at, The Health Medicine Center, a multi-disciplinary medical clinic practicing integrative health-care. Dr. Mayer pioneered the integration of Qigong and psychotherapy, and was the first person in the United States to train doctoral psychology students in these methods. The World Institute for Self-Healing gave him an award for outstanding research and contribution to the advancement of mind-body medicine. He is a fellow of the American Association for Integrative Medicine; and the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association has certified Michael as a Master Instructor of Tai Chi Chuan. Dr Mayer is the author of twenty publications on bodymind healing including six books and various articles. His peer reviewed article on Qigong and hypertension appeared in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine; it was updated in the book Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine, by Dr Wayne Jonas, past director of the National Institute of Health, Office of Alternative Medicine; and it was recently featured on the website Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.Dr. Mayer has served as a peer reviewer for The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine.His Bodymind Healing Qigong DVD is currently being used in training of trauma therapists by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Medical Director, The Trauma Center, Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Mayer has certification programs which include Bodymind Healing Qigong for Qigong practitioners/teachers, and a Bodymind Health Practitioner’s Certification Program for health professionals. His book, Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy (2007), has been released as a trade paperback called Energy Psychology by North Atlantic/Random House, (2009). They have both received endorsements from leaders in mind-body medicine, and from the journal PsycCritiques. His latest Ben Franklin award-winning book is The Path of a Reluctant Metaphysician, Stories and Practices for Troubled Times (Bodymind Healing Publications, 2012). Michael’s guiding image of the integral, transpersonal depth psychotherapy approach he has developed, “two streams becoming one,” guides him as he joins East/West, mind/body and ancient/modern in his work.