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Join us Feb 29th for a Winter Workshop
The Existential-Humanistic Institute Presents:
Integrating the Self:

The Power of Presence and Community in Cultivating Self-Compassion

A Day-Long Workshop Developed & Facilitated by:
Galia Schecter, PhD

Date: Saturday, Feb 29th, 2020

Time: 9:15 - 4:45; check-in at 9am; break 12:15 - 1:45pm (6 CE* hours)

Location: Heart Source Center at 1600 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 125, Berkeley, CA 94709

Cost: General $175.00;
Student and/or Elder $155.00

A couple of scholarship tickets are available! Please reach out to Michelle for details:

Due to experiential programming limited spaces are available. Lunch is not included.

Ticket Refund Policy: Full refund minus a $15 admin fee if withdrawn by January 29th; a 50% refund if withdrawn by Feb 15th. No refund available after Feb 15th, 2020.

Continuing Education*: Continuing Education sponsorship from Society of Humanistic Psychology of APA. This course will award 6 CE credit hours. $35 CE fee is separate. Attendees who would like to participate in continuing education can indicate it during registration.

  Register Here!


"Proud to have the Existential Humanistic Institute host this workshop in February with one of the warmest, most brilliant therapists, Galia Schechter, as the workshop leader! Galia is an incredibly talented therapist and educator; I highly recommend checking out this training. Galia integrates E-H, Gestalt, and Buddhist Psychology perspectives in a seamless, easy to follow way."
~Troy Piwowarski, PsyD, EHI Director of Clinical Training

Therapeutic Professionals Invited!

We invite you to join us as Dr Schechter works with us in exploring ways to guide clients in accepting and integrating the self toward congruence and wholeness! This workshop is intended to engage and enrich the work of therapeutic professionals.

Save the date to join Galia and EHI for this day of dynamic engagement. 

In this workshop, inspired by and based mainly on Process Experiential, Phenomenology, Humanistic-Existential, and Mindfulness-based traditions, participants will learn how to help clients move from self-shaming and self-alienating states to states of self- and other-compassion. Tapping also into Gestalt, Family Systems, Emotion-Focused and mind-body inquiry practices we will utilize individual and group based psychological inquiry practices, therapeutic explorations, mindfulness practices, reflections and discussions, to explore the following themes:

  • Principles of conscious healing, including families of mindfulness practices;
  • Neo-Humanistic existential frameworks for understanding the ways we internalize a sense of the deficient self and contract against parts of the self, including brief discussion of Internal Family Systems (IFS), Process-Experiential Emotion Focused and Buddhist psychological frameworks;
  • Explore and identify our own living processes of contraction and rejection of parts of self as a means of gaining a deeper understanding of client processes;
  • Explore and identify living processes for making contact with our own deep basic goodness and capacity to accept and integrate self toward congruence and wholeness;
  • Explore and identify collective resonance around basic vulnerability and basic existential longings at the heart of the contracted and transforming self.


One of the greatest human paradoxes manifests in the way our deep longings for love, acceptance and belonging coexist with our human capacity for self-judgment and self-alienation, all too often perpetuated by powerful cultural conditions of worth.

Moreover, it is often our deep desire to belong and be accepted that leads us to suppress and contract against parts of our self we feel may be "bad" "unwelcome" and "not O.K". And yet it is the process of self judgment and contraction that unintentionally contribute to unnecessary human suffering in the forms of loneliness, existential emptiness and common alienation from self, others and even our planetary home.

Perhaps the greatest antidote and medicine to loneliness and alienation from self and others is the cultivation of deep experiences of self-compassion and awareness of common humanity. To authentically embody self-compassion is to awaken a direct knowing that our inner experiences, no matter how uncomfortable, scary, embarrassing or "dark", relate to and reveal fundamental universal longings for love, belonging and freedom.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain at least one (1) framework for understanding the ways the deficient self-identity develops and affects capacity for self-compassion;
  2. Discuss at least one (1) framework for understanding how mindfulness-based practices can awaken self-compassion
  3. Identify two (2) ways in which self-compassion improves mental health outcomes;
  4. Apply at least two (2) interventions to shift the relationship with parts of the self from contraction to acceptance;
  5. Demonstrate at least two (2) group-based inquiry practices that support both the awakening of self-compassion and awareness of common humanity.


Morning session

  • Introduction - overview of the day and collective intentions
  • Didactic presentation - Principles of conscious individual and collective healing from humanistic-existential and mindfulness based perspectives
  • Mindfulness practices – dyadic
  • The “deficient self” and healing of the trauma of separateness from an existential and mindfulness based perspectives, including a review of families of mindfulness practices
  • Participant individual and dyad inquiry exercises.
  • Exercise debrief.
  • Break
  • Individual Demonstration #1 - working with deficient self and existential longing utilizing mindfulness and existential/gestalt practices. With emphasis on: 1) Opening a WE space in the group where individual and collective resonance among participants around existential themes and process explored in the demonstration are shared and explored. (vertical and horizontal resonance)
  • Demonstration debrief.

• Afternoon session
  • Didactic presentation: Principles of self compassion part 1
  • Participant inquiry practice
  • Inquiry debrief
  • Individual Demonstration #2 - working with deficient self and existential longing utilizing mindfulness and existential/gestalt practices. With emphasis on -
    1) How therapist identifies living contractions against parts of the self
    2) Helping clients to awaken self compassion and integrate with acceptance rejected
    parts of self
  • Demonstration debrief.
  • Break
  • Didactic presentation, Principles of Self Compassion part 2- Fears, Trust, belonging and the reclaiming of self-other compassion
  • Participant inquiry practices
  • Inquiry debrief
  • Participant dyad exercise.
  • Working with core fears for self-acceptance
    • Q &A debrief of exercise and clarification of concepts.


Instructional Methods

The majority of the presentation will utilize didactic elements reinforced by experiential exercises and demonstrations.

More Workshop Info

Accessibility: It is the policy of EHI to make every reasonable effort to provide qualified attendees with disabilities with the opportunity to take full advantage of its programs and events. Contact us to discuss learning arrangements with our team. Email Michelle and Troy at or call Michelle at 415-689-1475.

Break: 12:15pm - 1:45pm. Lunch is on our own-not included.

Continuing Education Information

APA Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APA Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CA LMFT/LPCC/LCSWs can get continuing education credit too! California BBS accepts CE Credit from APA Approved Providers like Society of Humanistic Psychology.

Continuing Education has a $35 CE fee. Attendees can request CE participation during registration or reach out to us at or call Michelle at 415-689-1475. *A full continuing education course description is available on request.


The presenter for this workshop has declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or delivery of this workshop session.

Our Presenter: Galia Schechter, PsyD

Dr. Schecter is a licensed clinical psychologist and Buddhist practitioner. She has extensive training and experience in multiple mind-body modalities. Along with having been in private practice for 10 years, she has worked as a clinical director, a clinical supervisor a clinical trainer, and an organizational consultant.

Prior to getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute and becoming a licensed psychologist, she received an MBA from Georgetown University and worked for organizations in the U.S. and abroad in governance, human rights and international development.

Our Co-Host: Heart Source

Heart Source is located in the heart of delightful Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood, at Cedar and Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California and is committed to love through truth, clarity, and community. Heart Source is surrounded by lots of great restaurants, cafes, shops, and quaint residential areas, and just a 10 minute walk from the Downtown Berkeley BART station or a 15 minute drive from the Bay Bridge/ 20 mins from the San Rafael – Richmond Bridge.


Register Today!


Education and Training Programs

EHI's 2020 Training Cohort Has Filled. Contact Us to Join Waitlist!
Taking applications and enrolling for 2021.

The hands-on training component for EHI's programs has been updated. EHI now holds one longer training that combines the former two experiential trainings into one intensive residential retreat!

The next open experiential retreat for both the Certificate and the Experiential Training programs will be held May 16th, 2021 - May 21nd, 2021. Students will receive the complete training previously experienced in our two retreats in one intensive retreat! Approximately forty-three training hours are scheduled in this updated Experiential Training. This update makes the training more effective and much less expensive for attendees.To ensure all our students get the best possible experiential training in Existential-Humanistic therapeutic practices the 2021 cohort is limited to 20 students max.

EHI Programs That Feature the Updated Single Experiential Training

Certificate in the Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Therapy
For students looking for grounding in E-H theory & practice.

The Foundations Certificate Program coursework provides students with an E-H Therapy foundational core by integrating both theory and practice into each course. New to EHI? Join this year long certificate program which is open to licensed professionals who seek to enhance their clinical skills and full or half-time students in a masters or doctoral psychology program.

Gain a Foundation in E-H Therapy Practice
Foundations Certificate Program Info »


Experiential Training Retreat Program
For those interested in engaging in EHI Experientials.

Open to licensed mental health professionals and graduate students who would like to participate in EHI's Experiential Training. Master E-H therapists and noted authors such as Kirk Schneider, PhD and Orah Krug, PhD. create intimate, safe and collaborative training environments which emphasize hands-on learning of relational and experiential techniques. Participants learn how to enter their clients' self constructed worlds, using their own personal contexts to develop responsiveness to clients while also cultivating the "presence" that enables genuine encounters and real therapeutic change. Designed for attendance and participation at the retreat is the only commitment, no additional course-work required.

Experiential Training Retreat Program Info »


Who Should Apply?

Participants who find this training effective include psychotherapists, social workers, counselors, nurses, creative and expressive arts therapists, medical doctors, psychiatric practitioners and psychologists who are interested in adopting Existential-Humanistic therapeutic techniques in their practice. The programs welcome Master's and Doctorate students and residents of the above professions. We have even had sociologists and documentary filmmakers join the training!

EHI welcomes international students in all of our programs and does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

If you have questions about whether a program or training might be a fit for you please contact Michelle, EHI admin assistant to start a conversation: program[at] or call 415-689-1475!

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EHI E-H Therapy Consult Program

Be Notified of Next Consult Group - Spring 2020

We are pleased to continue to offer an Existential - Humanistic Consult Group for the Bay Area. The current group meets Fall and Spring.

E-H therapists seek not only a deeper understanding of their clients, but deeper contact with their own historical context that shapes their sense of reality. EHI's live consultation groups offer the opportunity to consult about difficult cases from an E-H perspective, and to experientially work with the therapist's own meanings that get stirred by particular clients.

Experiential learning in the consult groups includes guided self-reflection and case conceptualization, feedback from fellow group members, role plays, and theoretical reflections following experiential work. We look for group members who are committed to being present for all 5 consultations in the series, and who bring maturity and eagerness to dive into experiential work.

This monthly consult group series meets one Saturday per month from 10:30am-12:30pm for 5 months.

Groups are a max 6-7 members.
Groups meet in Troy's office in Oakland.

Cost of the group is $400 for the five 2-hour sessions. A $50.00 discount is on offer for 2020 Spring Training Retreat attendees. Please contact us at info[@] if you have questions or if you are interested in securing a spot in the upcoming group. The group fee is non-refundable, non-transferable if a session needs to be missed.

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Recommended Upcoming Conferences & Workshops

From our Friends at Society of Humanistic Psychology (SHP)

Save the Date! Annual Conference

As Within, so Without:
Humanistic Psychology, Revolutionary Stewardship, and Global Justice

Presented by Nader Shabahangi, PhD, MFT, RCFE

March 19-22, 2020
New Orleans

More info to come on the SHP Conference website >>

From our Friends at Existential Analysis Canada (EAC)

Save the Date! Inaugural Canadian Conference of Existential Analysis

Becoming a Community of Practice

Presented by: Existential Analysis Canada

Hosted by: Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology, Trinity Western University

Dates: May 8 & 9, 2020
Trinity Western University, Langley, BC, Canada

More info to come on the EAC Conference webpage >>

From our Friends at EHNorthwest

Save the Date! Annual Workshop

Aging or Eldering? A powerful shift to understanding human life. Practical and therapeutic implications from an existential, process-oriented lens.

Presented by Nader Shabahangi, PhD, MFT, RCFE

Friday, September 25, 2020

More info to come on EHNW's website >>

EHI Recommends the 3rd World Congress of Existential Therapy!

Living in the Here and Now: Embracing our Roots
Creating our Future

Athens, Greece
May, 2023

Stay Up to Date >>

From our Friends at

Irvin Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy

Victor and Irv Yalom sitting in discussion in an interview of Irv by Victor

From Our Friends at

Irv Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy Online Course


- Over 7 hours of video
- 3 hours of in-depth interview
- 7.5 CE CREDITS included in the price.
- Permanent access to course materials.

- Transcripts of all videos
- Additional skill building activities

Our friends at are excited to present this new course:

Irv Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy

Join Irv Yalom as he demonstrates how to leverage the most powerful tool of therapists, the authentic engagement of the therapeutic relationship, to help three clients face head-on the existential anxieties that lurk beneath the surface.
For the first time ever, see Irvin Yalom conduct actual therapy sessions. This is your chance to witness firsthand how one of the most revered therapists of our time engages with his clients to address the heart of the human condition.


Register at Academy >>

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Existential-Humanistic Institute Blog

Visit the EHI blog for recent articles, news, updates and events.

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