Applied AromaGnosis: Aromatherapy for Trauma and Addiction

A 2-day Workshop with Cathy Skipper & Dr Florian Birkmayer MD

Addiction is the archetypal illness of modern consumer society. Why do we ‘addict’, and what is our healthy power underneath that? For many people, addiction is the first glimpse they catch of the limits of their ‘free will’ and the power of the unconscious. For many it can be a harrowing encounter with the archetype of the Shadow — a power within our psyche that we have no conscious control over.

How can aromas support us on the healing journey out of addiction and co-occurring conditions, such as trauma? Aromatherapy can be an important tool in the treatment of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. When used by trained specialists, essential oils are safe, simple and effective both in alleviating symptoms as well as in helping to increase self-awareness and to transform consciousness.

Olfaction is a powerful sensory modality and olfactory receptors have been found in nearly every tissue of the body as well as in parts of the central nervous system relevant to addiction and motivation. Essential oils are widely used to support and alleviate nervous symptom disorders such as those triggered by addiction; ie. anxiety, sleep disturbances, panic attacks, depression, stress, etc. And they can go further, and become allies on a journey from addiction and trauma to individuation and personal myth. This is the journey we will be discovering in this class.

This 2-day workshop will provide a framework for using the power of natural scent for healing addiction and trauma, and includes hands-on exercises to deepen our intuitive relationship with these powerful plant allies.

This class is for aromatherapists, addiction counsellors, medical herbalists, massage therapists, and other healers.

Suggested prerequisite: We encourage participants to undertake our class, Aromatherapy and the Medicine of the Soul: the Wounded Healer, the Alchemical Journey and the Sacred Union, either live or online, to gain a foundation in the concepts that we will be applying to trauma and addiction.

What will you learn in this course?

• How to work with oils and the molecules of connectedness as living partners rather than tools.
• The importance of the Wounded Healer and of working on ourselves to be able to better help our clients.
• Discovering the importance of personal myth and how to use oils to awaken to our personal myth.
• Working with oils for Shadow work; ie. what is being covered up by addiction?
• The Alchemical stages of addiction and of healing, and the essential oils that help us work through each stage.
• Working with trauma – personal, family and historical – using oils.
• The importance of feeling the whole and of gaining a deeper understanding of microcosm and macrocosm, and healing our core wounds.

• We will explore some basic principles of treating addictions, including:
– The importance of building self-efficacy.
– Assisting stages of change with essential oils.
– Essential oils that address symptoms of addiction.
– Using essential oils to anchor new, healthy behaviors and new rituals.

For dates and locations, visit the Live Classes page.


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