The PATH Method (PM) which stands for Participatory Awareness for Transformational Healing, is a novel psycho-medical healing modality used in an integrative medical and psychotherapeutic setting to treat a variety of physical and psychological conditions. It is also a novel counselling and coaching method for personal growth and healing, and a path of training for professional development. The method teaches the tools and skills for gaining deep insight and experience in expanded awareness, partnership and health resolutions, and the path is the practise that will bring about and sustain transformational healing and optimal health. The PM uses what is naturally present as faculties in every human being, makes it conscious and offers an easily-learned method for awakening, empowerment, transformation and healing.

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The PATH Method is based on an holistic view of a person as living body, soul and spirit that has a potential connection to vast resources of vitality, creativity, intelligence, compassion, intimacy, expanded awareness and spirituality. It promotes conscious awareness and conscious partnership that strengthens one’s objective sense of self to be able to witness one’s subjective human experience, bringing these together in a partnership than can support health and well-being on every level. On this basis it can be applied individually, socially, professionally and ecologically. Participatory healing is the specific application of the PM to medicine, psychotherapy, and all other healing practices.

The PM evolved out of the merging of various modalities and approaches, such as Psychophonetic Counseling, Anthroposophic Medicine, Goetheanistic phenomenological science, drama, dance and other creative arts. Although it did not evolve directly from established practices, this method combines a seamless and synthetic mix of many philosophical, psychotherapeutic and other healing approaches. It incorporates essential elements of the integral philosophies and practices of Steiner, Goethe and Aurobindo, the psychotherapeutic principles and practices of conversational and person-centered approaches familiar to humanistic, phenomenological, and cognitive behavioral therapies, the transpersonal and mindfulness-based approaches common to Psychodynamics, Jungian and Mindfulness Stress Reduction, the somatic-based and multidimensional expressive interventions familiar to Psychodrama, Drama Therapy, Dance Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Self-Witnessing, Somatic Experiencing, Authentic Movement, the martial arts, sound therapy and Therapeutic Eurythmy, the wide spectrum of the creative arts, and Anthroposophic integrative medical practice. It combines a client-centred verbal approach to psychotherapy with non-verbal expressive modalities of body sensing, gesture and movement, visualization and the skillful application of the sounds of human speech, which allows for rapid access to deep psycho-emotional layers of experience.

The PATH Method offers a relatively short but highly effective counselling-coaching process that enables clients to:

  • Explore their inner life and become aware of hidden patterns and blocks, as well as latent strengths and rich resources
  • Empower themselves to clear past impositions which in the course of life have compromised their wholeness and wellbeing, restoring both their psycho-social and physical health
  • Resource their human potential, invoking and accessing new possibilities for independent living, heightened creativity and the realization of their full humanity.

The PM draws on the full nature and scope of human awareness, creating a skillset that enables immediate and easy access into subconscious, conscious and superconscious  spheres of awareness. It makes use of higher awareness and active participation with various parts of self, using the body and imaginative consciousness as powerful instruments to deeply access the subconscious psyche and to enable rapid changes towards positive physical and mental health. Using the full range of subjective awareness as experienced through the faculties of cognitive thinking, sense perception, feeling-emotional affect and will- based expression, ingrained subconscious habitual patterns that control our lives and interfere with our health are explored and accessed, using the language of the body to make it visible. It develops and strengthens conscious awareness so that it can witness and participate in the full range of human experience. Conscious and constructive partnerships are thus created between our conscious awareness and our subconscious experience. Our higher I-centered being can then choose to guide, manage and transform old habits into healthy new ones.
Human life experience is never lost or forgotten; it is all stored in the body as a memory to be activated consciously or unconsciously by similar experiences in later life. The past is therefore ever present and as such interferes with and distorts present reality. This leads to the perpetuation of dysfunctional behaviour patterns, difficulties in relationships, limitation of creative potential , stress, exhaustion and illness on many levels.
Such embedded memories can be accessed directly, explored and transformed in short-term psychotherapeutic interventions (3 to 6 sessions) using a variety of somatic and transpersonal techniques. The transformation enhances well being on all levels. Physical health is enhanced through healing of psycho-somatic problems while relationships are transformed through recovery from past abuse, addictions and suppressions. Clients often experience a release of energy and creative potential and a deepening of intellectual, emotional, interpersonal and spiritual awareness.

The PATH Method facilitates effective recovery from

  • addictions,
  • past sexual and other abuses,
  • emotional reactivity
  • panic and anxiety disorders
  • depressive disorders
  • dysfunctional behaviour patterns,
  • relationship difficulties,
  • burn-out and fatigue,
  • Trauma
  • creative blocks
  • psychosomatic issues.

It enables a rapid and intimate connection to one’s Inner Child, Inner Man and Woman, Inner Physician, Higher Caretaker and other potential internal characters.

It offers a deep dive into the meaning, purpose and direction of one’s life experience.

The PATH Method in Medical Practice

After 20 years in general medical practice, I realized that the one thing my holistic approach lacked was the option of skillfully using a psychotherapeutic intervention to explore deeper causes of illness. In 2005, I completed a 3 year training diploma in Psychophonetic Counselling and over the following 12 years, have modified it as the PATH Method, and integrated it an and essential part of my medical practice.

Patients consult me for a wide range of physical and psycho-emotional problems. After sharing their story, I invite them to move into another chair and to observe imaginally the person who is experiencing discomfort, distress or searching for solutions. Changing position and moving into a body that is observing and listening to this subjective self, changes immediately the physiological and psychological perspective. Patients invariably are able to see beyond their symptomatic manifestations,  recognizing psychosocial factors which may be connected with the clinical problem.  Using other simple expressive techniques, for instance, if the complaint is abdominal pain, the patient is asked to focus on the bodily sensation of pain, and then to gesture with the hands and then the whole body the character of the pain. Then stepping away and observing the image of their somatic gesture, this imaginative picture frequently unveils new and sometimes epiphanic insights into the nature of the illness which can be explored more fully in a follow up counselling session.

The PATH Method provides a wide range of techniques which enables the practitioner to deepen the diagnostic and therapeutic picture. The specific process that emerges during each session through the dynamic interaction between client and counsellor will determine which methodological utilities are used.
The client carrying their own unique life experience is entrusted to steer their own ship, being inwardly equipped and carrying the innate guidance for their own life journey. The counsellor accompanies the client as a well-travelled voyager, who will help to navigate their ship and coach the client through the uncharted seas until they have learned the skill to travel alone. For in the end it is the client’s higher self that is challenged to take charge of the ship of life and to create their own truth and meaning for their own unique destiny.