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About me

I facilitate shadow work and experiential psychotherapeutic process as an effective method of supporting others to fully explore their experience and patterns and to heal, to clear their barriers to growth and joyful living, and to discover and reclaim their agency and authenticity.

 

The power and potential of this work excites me and I am passionate about holding a shame free space for men and woman to feel safe and to connect deeply and truthfully with themselves.

I believe I can only support others to face their deepest, darkest aspects inasmuch as I engage myself with the bravery and courage required in doing so in my own life. I believe that I can only support others’ deep inner work to the extent that I am intimately involved in my own.

Alasdair Kirk - Shadow work therapist, practitioner, facilitator & coach

Qualifications & Experience

I am a fully certified Healing The Shadow practitioner and offer an integrative and transpersonal psychotherapeutic holding for one-to-one work with men and woman. The ethos behind my therapeutic approach to one-to-one work with clients is detailed here.

I carry full professional insurance and my work with clients is bound by a code of ethics. I undertake regular supervision (both professional and peer-to-peer) and I'm committed to my continued personal development: for me there is no other way. My curiosity lies in a relational approach to life, therapy and healing: we experience wounding in relationship, whether it’s historic, or present moment, and in relationship we have the opportunity to heal our wounds.

I am passionate about contributing to create a trauma informed society at every level. I have an academic background in Psychology, Biological Sciences and Neuroscience (B.Sc Hons.) and have an active interest in attachment, complex trauma, and the development of Stephen Porges' Polyvagal theory and the advances in the neurobiology of trauma which illustrates the physiological  recalibration of our autonomic nervous system occurring in response to trauma, the part this plays in the pathology of most chronic illness, and how emotional processing and somatic release can deeply support the road to trauma recovery. Contemporary research into the neuroplasticity of the nervous system has illustrated the repairable nature of traumatic memory and the re-regulation of the physiological imprint on the body possible through deep process work and emotional release. I believe we create peace in our external environment by first learning how to create peace within ourselves. 

I value all modalities that offer deep and direct healing and I value greatly the direct experience of touching that which is greater than me, through way of council circle work, meditation, entheogens and ritual. I have a deep respect and interest in non-ordinary states of consciousness and the potential benefit of therapeutic work in expanded states. I have been following the developments in the psychedelic assisted psychotherapy being pioneered by many research institutes across the world for quite some time. I have deep respect for Rick Doblin at MAPS for his tireless commitment for making the use of these agents a near-reality in clinical and therapeutic practice. MDMA and Psilocybin particularly are proving transformational in the processing and healing of trauma (PTSD and cPTSD) and treatment resistant depression (TRD). I believe these naturally occurring agents have a powerful place in the future of psychotherapy, the healing of emotional wounds, and the healing of the trauma, alienation, disconnection and meaninglessness inherent in wider society. I am a professional member of The Institute of Psychedelic Therapy and a registered psychedelic integration practitioner with IPT. I am actively involved in the IPT community and the shared learning journey as this exciting area of transformational potential unfolds gently across the world. I benefit from the excellent academic and experiential professional development that IPT offers.

Outside of my work with private clients, I am passionately involved in Men’s Group work, regularly holding and facilitating space in a local men’s group I started in 2018. I am an active member of The Mankind Project UK & Ireland and support fully the work MKP offer worldwide in helping men to find authenticity, clarity and meaningful direction in their lives. I am also the founding member, Local Group Coordinator and volunteer mentor for Journeyman Hereford. JourneymanUK is a registered charity running fortnightly local JGroups for boys aged 13-18 offering mentoring, support, and a space for teenagers to be authentic and share. I staff the annual Rites Of Passage weekend  JourneymanUK also run, a powerful contemporary initiation for young males.

 

I can say very definitely that the work that happens in these circles and the love received in my personal relationships, resource me to sustainably bring my vision to the community around me and the wider world. 

In facilitating you to reclaim your wholeness and bring awareness and acceptance to all parts of you, I draw from a toolkit of counselling and integrative psychotherapy, shadow work facilitation, group process work, and Jungian archetypal psychology. I absolutely love this work and feel tremendously lucky to be able to do what I am doing. 

My story

How I got here

Sat on meditation cushion some years ago now on a ten day Vipassana sit, I noticed for the first time a raging anxiety that I carried in my belly. I knew that I had carried this without acknowledgement for as long as I could remember. I had a long time to sit with it on that cushion, to get to know it and the bodily sensation of carrying it within me. It was quite a shock to realise it was there and always had been. And once I saw that it was there, the question naturally began to arise: why did I carry this? This anxiety, and the question that arose from it has become a jewel that I hold close, guiding me along a path of inner work, understanding, unfolding, opening and acceptance of all that I am. 
 
This path, and the various processes I have sought in support along the way, have brought deep rewards in the relationships I have with others and deep rewards in the relationship I have with myself. It was through a Vision Fast in May 2018 that I experienced with clarity how I could really show up in the world, what I could bring, and what now needed to happen. At that point I renounced my dance with alcohol, a life long crutch, choosing to face and fully inhabit my emotional body, and choosing to stop hiding from what I was capable of being, doing and bringing. 
 
As I have begun explore the edges of my life and identify and drop the barriers to full living, I have found an inner strength and a latent self-respect. From this new space I am able to notice and turn towards opportunities for growth. Through the professional training with Healing The Shadow and the other paths of nurture and deep connection that run in parallel in my life, I have chosen to accept all that I am and surround myself with good support. I am noticing that the quality of my life and my relationships with others have deepened and become more meaningful. As I reclaim my shadow and those parts of me pushed away earlier in my life, I am noticing more energy to use in a conscious way day-to-day and I am able to channel this. I stand now with greater integrity, accountability and authenticity. 

I live on a small holding on the south side of a ridge in the Welsh Borders of Herefordshire with my partner of twenty three years, two teenage children, cats, a dog, and five sheep. I see each step of my pathway to where I am today to be meaningful: all part of my journey in discovering my gifts and learning how to bring them. I am very happy to be right here, right now.

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HealingTheShadowTraining

The Healing The Shadow training is an in depth experiential and theoretical syllabus developed by Marianne Hill and Rod Boothroyd (Healing The Shadow, Frome UK). Their pioneering training is a deepening and an evolution of the traditional shadow work facilitation tools, woven into an integrative psychotherapeutic theoretical framework harnessing their 40+ combined years of holding clients therapeutically. Along with the academic and theoretical psychotherapeutic component of the program, the training also incorporates two years of deep personal therapy, emotional process work, shadow exploration and shadow integration in both one-to-one and group settings, extensive peer-to-peer practice and support, and substantial client practice hours prior to assessment and certification.

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