“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the deeper pull of what you
Debbi Flittner, JD, MA Licensed Professional Counselor
Located in SW/Portland Garden Home Area
My Personal Journey
I began my professional life in the southwestern US as a lawyer, and worked on behalf of people accused of crimes, people who were victims of crimes, and for the general public, as a legislative attorney charged with researching, writing, hearing testimony, and testifying about new laws. In another state, I helped manage the legal part of a federal/state healthcare program that provided birth control and medical services to low-income women. I have worked on behalf of those whose voices often went unheard, including women, children, the environment, the elderly, prisoners.
Working with members of the state senate and house of representatives was a wonderful opportunity to work in a larger spirit of compromise to help create laws that would work the best for most people. It helped me form the perspective I see life from today – a continuum; an interwoven tapestry of events flowing into each other. I have sought in some way to be a part of a healing river flowing into an ocean of wholeness, grounded in both the spiritual and the practical.
I still cultivate a sense of social justice and participate in events locally, regionally and globally as I feel called to do so.
The desire to be a part of global healing led to the start of my own healing work, through a search for a deeper understanding of myself and my Self, and what that meant on all its many levels -spiritual, physical, emotional, energetic. This required inner traveling and outer traveling, as I visited sacred sites that confirmed and supported the evolving inner landscape. I took a sabbatical from working and spent two years as a full time Seeker. That time was an invaluable catalyst for what came after, both in the richness gained, and the loss of the life that I had known.
After a few years of Buddhist meditation practice, I surrendered into a yoga practice of both meditation and asana work with a teacher and a spiritual community, and also with a Tibetan Buddhist rinpoche. The transformative power of this more intense work lead me ever deeper into the diverse world of yogic and Buddhist texts, developing a disciplined meditation and yoga practice, and studying with many teachers.
I also met and embraced many mystical voices of the Beloved during this time: Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, Tagore, Lalashwari, Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and others. This work left me changed from the inside out about who and what I understood myself to be, and a desire to return this work into the world to support others in whatever way was called for, whether spiritual, emotional, practical or tactical. An intense yoga teacher program left with me with a new way to work with others, through the power of compassion combined with intentional movement. This connects one deeply to the inner felt experience.
After a few years, I returned to Pacifica Graduate Institute, a school known for its archetypal and soul-centered approach to counseling, to meld these body-centered practices into a holistic psychology. The blend of the spiritual grounding of a complete yoga philosophy with clinical, depth psychological work is the natural offspring of that effort, and informs our work in sessions. I continue to train with spiritual teachers and clinical mentors I am drawn to, and consult with like-minded colleagues regularly. I regularly study research in trauma, and its many faces: developmental, relational, physical. My own journey of healing continues as well, as life progresses for all of us on a continuum …
Who Is Drawn to This Work
This work offers wonderful support to anyone seeking a deeper point of entry into the truth of Self. While I find that clients come through my door for many reasons, some themes do reoccur. This work might be for you if you:
- Are grieving the divorce or death of a spouse or sibling, or simply refocusing in the second half of your life
- Feel drawn toward a deeper spiritual life, but the tradition of your youth left you disconnected or traumatized
- Are considering changing professions or jobs but are stuck in confusion or fear
- Are trying to understand more about yourself from within your ancestral lineage or from family patterns
- Were under-parented as a child, leaving you confused about who you are, or your place in the world
- Suffered physical or sexual abuse at the hands of others during your growing-up years
- Are questioning how to have a strong, but feminine voice in the world
- Feel shaken by a chronic health diagnosis, such as AIDS or cancer
- Feel grounded in recovery from an addiction, but shaky about how to create a life with you at the center of it
- Feel a need to visit, or revisit sorrows or losses to see what was left unfinished there
- Want to create healthy, intimate relationships as you are ready
- Are highly sensitive to the energy of people and environment around you, and are unsure how to protect yourself
- Are in the process of dying, and need support to see your way through the choices that you have