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The Background of Esotherapy®

During my 20 years of mental health work in US and Australia I became aware of many of the limitations of psychiatry, psychology and counselling.  In both countries, the success rates of prominent psychologists was about one out of three clients, meaning one is twice as likely to fail than to succeed with the best practitioners available.  Many clients left treatment sessions feeling like they had new and useful insights into their problems, yet, in the long run, as time went by, many of them complained that they were no better off after treatment.

This told me that there was something structural in the paradigm of psychotherapy and counselling that was causing this issue.  What could account for such a phenomena?  People deserve to get better, to live full exciting, healthy lives and enjoy themselves... not sometimes... somewhat... maybe...  A new look at this problem was needed... a look from a radically different perspective, rather than the same position where those who devised psychology and counselling stood

The mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.

- Albert Einstein

Human existence goes beyond logical verbalizing, while the psychotherapy one size-fits-all models relied an verbal approaches that stood in stark contrast with a very basic truth of life - the feelings people have and act on do not originate in reasonable, logical thought-out decisions.

I have also noticed two other similarities:

  • People suffering from mental health distress felt ostracized, and


  • Those having a belief in something higher than themselves - regardless of spiritual or religious denomination - tended to recover more often and showed more resilience.  

Numerous studies have documented that a sense of compassionate connection with one's therapist, as opposed to the counselling model the therapist uses, is most related to a good therapy outcome.  Could the cause of mental health problems arise from feelings of separation?  If so, where does this separation comes from and what can be done about it?

The advantage of a multicultural approach is that it allows to find the common denominator between cultures.  Though different in Australia and the US, these Western cultures have a way of knowing based on perpetually classifying "things" apart from other "things".  This causes an internal division of individual's consciousness from the meaningful connections that, in effect, comprise the world.  The inner world of the Westerner is divided because the heavy reliance on perceiving life through classifications creates a sense of inner life division of the self from others and their values, from society, from spouses, parents and siblings, and from Nature.

A similar feeling has been named by French sociologist Emile Durkheim "anomie" (its alternative spelling being "anomy") and is described as an individual's general sense of disconnection from the values of the society he or she is embedded in.  If mental health illnesses were to arise from feelings of disconnection, logically, forming connections with other people, animals or Nature would have a healing effect.  Indeed, things like equine therapy, the beneficial effect pets have on recovery, and even taking care of a plant seem to indicate so.


As a result, I came to believe that almost all forms of psychological distress are manifestations or symptoms of feelings of disconnection from the world.  


This disconnection followed a pattern: both in the Australia and the US, people feel like they know something when they can mentally separate it from the connections with other "things" around and give it a name.   This human dualistic consciousness relies on separate, dualistic words to replace the inborn perception that is non-verbal, nondualistic perception of the senses.  Could it be that one of these perceptions is natural and the other is not?

"Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world."

― Albert Einstein

"Jesus said to her,  'It is I who come from that which is integrated…  a person, once integrated, will become full of light; but such a person, once divided will become full of darkness.”


- Jesus in The Gospel of Thomas 61

Indeed, I noticed that the more I used nondualistic esoteric wisdom to help clients process events during therapy sessions the more stable the transformation became. In time, I decided to keep the psychotherapy session format but center it on esoteric wisdom, rather than psychotherapy's dualistic paradigm, which, understandably, entrench dualism in client even further. 


The antidote to awareness fragmentation is integration.  Fostering client's awareness of  being an integral part of meaningful connections decreases anomie and re-defines a larger, more resilient self-concept and higher self-esteem.


Awareness integration is characteristic of spiritual consciousness, particularly an attitude of people in many spiritualities or religions that has been called mystical or esoteric. Spiritual consciousness is a sense of being a part of the meaningful greater scheme of life.  It has little to do with a particular religion, it is present among people of many religions, just as many people in such religions lack the sense of inter-connectedness.


Though it is not the specific goal of therapists, I believe that therapies regardless of their model are successful when they unintentionally re-establishing a sense of connection between the individual and the grand scheme of things the client is embedded in - family, organization, society or the world.  Basing therapy from the ground up on such non-dualistic underpinning principles of the entire existence at large allowed us to expand the limits of what we can heal and how fast we can heal it.

Ancient Medicine Meets Modern Sciences In Esotherapy®

Many biblical scholars believe that in this passage Jesus was talking about a "form of ancient medicine”.

"When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female... then shall you enter [the Kingdom]..”

- Jesus, in The Gospel of Thomas 22

In fact, Jesus was explaining consciousness integration, the object of Esotherapy®.


The same principle is the quintessence of Taoism, Buddhism and Sufism, the crux of aboriginal earth spiritualities of the North and South Americas and of the Aboriginal Australians, just as it is that of the many Pacific Islanders and of the Christian mysticism.

The integration of dualistic consciousness is the foundation of "peak experience" in self-actualization, described by Ambraham Maslow as the use of creativity to transcend dichotomous states into moments of pure elation, heightened sense of wonder and awe, or ecstasy.  Speaking of the healing power of such "peak experiences" the father of humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow, stated:

“It is my strong suspicion that even one such experience might be able to prevent suicide, for instance, and perhaps many varieties of slow self-destruction, e.g., alcoholism, drug addiction, addiction to violence, etc.  I would guess also, on theoretical grounds, that peak experiences might very well abort existential meaninglessness, states of valueless-ness, etc., at least occasionally.”


- Abraham Maslow

Esotherapy® is an applied self-realization process that leads to unbounded healing through a non-dualistic approach for integrating consciousness fragmentation.  Esotherapy® wakes us up from our dream of separation from the environment and from each other by providing a gentle and supportive environment within which our root assumptions of what and who we really are may be gently revealed, diligently explored and challenged.

Scott Schikell, MFT, Therapist

“Gerald does a different kind of therapy, called Esotherapy®, which gives great transformative results in a short period of time.”

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"We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness."

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