Answering the Necessary Call to Growth: An Interview with Luisa Kolker

Many thanks to our volunteer Sophia Sorensen for this introduction to Santa Fe-based therapist Luisa Kolker, who will present “A Passage to Spain: How to Answer the Daunting, Necessary Call to Growth,” a lecture and workshop at The Jung Center next Saturday, Nov. 1

As long as humans have existed, they have been engaged in a search. In this era, through popular media, ‘the search’ has often been presented as a spectacle: The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Avatar, Lady in the Water, Grace is Gone. Despite sophisticated special effects and distractingly famous actors, a fundamental premise prevails: a protagonist’s attempt to find meaning in human existence.

Inherent in traditional and modern stories of seeking are many common elements, one being the presence of a sage guide to accompany seekers on their uncharted path. Luisa Kolker is one such example, a woman who responded to a sense of discontent and despair in her mid 20’s by boldly initiating her search for meaning. She describes “feeling dead inside” until a series of events led her to the work of Paul Bowles and, ultimately, to a powerful epiphany.

“I read all of his books and felt a degree of profound excitement in how he described his world,” said Luisa. “His writing resonated with me and led me to leave my job, a relationship, and my home to find him in Morocco.” Despite discomfort and trepidation, this was the moment of embarkation on her own hero’s journey.

Luisa reveals that “prior to that journey, I did not have faith, patience or trust that I would receive the guidance I needed for my life.” That initial journey, over 30 years ago, has shaped the subsequent period of her life and work, including imparting lessons about the cyclical nature of growth, loss, and pain.

While many experience a sense of dissatisfaction, disillusionment, or incompleteness, few have the opportunity or compunction to emulate Luisa’s total renouncement of her former life. Such a dramatic response, while remarkable, is not a necessary condition for spiritual growth. The call to embark on the spiritual journey is accessible to everyone. “It is completely possible to have a ‘hero’s journey’ wherever you are; for me, it was necessary to leave Washington, DC,” said Luisa. “I have seen people transform their lives after relatively short, powerful experiences.”

While there are an abundance of teachers sharing personal stories of transformation, Luisa’s story is enriched by a unique, complementary portfolio of skills as a psychotherapist and shaman. Luisa uses “cross cultural techniques and contemplation to bypass ego consciousness so repressed unconsciousness can be brought to the surface.” While psychotherapy is accepted as a common process to facilitate growth and change, shamanism is less widely-known, and the combination of both skills, rare.  Luisa feels that her model of healing both honors her own familial experience and history, and overcomes the limits of ‘talk therapy’.

There has been considerable study of the convergence between Jung’s ideas and shamanism, particularly the presence of the sacred in nature and the importance of nature in reconnecting with the soul. Luisa’s unique model, which she teaches in workshops and to healing professionals, abides in this crossroad, and celebrates the values and wisdom in both approaches.

Luisa will be travelling from Santa Fe, New Mexico to be at The Jung Center on Saturday, November 1 to present a lecture on her personal journey of transformation, and afternoon experiential workshop to help others on their journey. Together, the two events create a context for dynamic dialogue and the sharing of valuable resources with those on the path to greater self-awareness.

Online registration is available by clicking here, by calling 713-524-8253 or visiting the Jung Center at 5200 Montrose Boulevard.