About Matt Licata, PhD
I am a psychotherapist, author, and independent scholar, currently teaching courses online in the areas of embodied spirituality, depth psychology, relational neuroscience, and the clinical application of mindfulness and meditative awareness.
My most recent book, A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times (Sounds True, 2020), is now available through Amazon, Sounds True, and other online retailers. Additionally, I am author of The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You (Wandering Yogi Press, 2017), an exploration of my discoveries in depth and relational psychologies, contemplative spirituality, and the poetic imagination. My next book, The Path of the Wounded Healer: A Soulful Spirituality and the Alchemy of the Heart, will be published in 2024.
My work incorporates developmental, psychoanalytic, and relational psychologies, as well as contemplative, meditative, and mindfulness-based approaches to transformation and healing. Over the last 30 years, I have trained extensively in both psychological and spiritual methodologies and practices, in North America, India, and Nepal. Tending to our human experience with emotional maturity, awareness of shadow, and sensitivity to the body and relationships are important dimensions of my work.
In addition to practicing as a psychotherapist and mentor, I was Director of Sounds True‘s Division of Professional Studies, where I organized online and in-person training for mental health professionals looking to incorporate the latest research and clinical skills in the areas of trauma, mindfulness, attachment, regulation theory, neuroscience, and related fields. My therapeutic interests are in depth psychology, relational psychoanalysis, and the clinical application of mindfulness and meditative awareness.
For nearly 25 years, I was involved in the creation of spiritually-based, psychologically- and emotionally-informed learning programs, working closely with some of the leading psychologists, psychotherapists, researchers, and healers of our time. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology and religion, where my research focused on contemporary psychodynamic/ relational theory and contemplative approaches to psychospiritual development and healing.
I have long been interested in the creative and unfolding dialogue between Western, developmental models and contemplative methods of inquiry and practice. My spiritual background is in a variety of wisdom traditions and practices, primarily Vajrayana Buddhism, Sufism, Daoism, and contemplative Christianity, though I am not currently involved with any particular tradition and remain interfaith in my practice and view.
My doctoral dissertation explored the ways spiritual beliefs and practices can serve a defensive function in the avoidance of unresolved emotional and developmental wounding. It examined the various expressions and essences of this phenomenon in the lives of those committed to inner work, its adaptive and maladaptive expressions, its role and importance for individuals at certain stages of the journey, how practitioners and clinicians might cultivate a greater awareness of its manifestations and functions, and the nature of an integral response in both clinical and non-clinical settings.
Finally, I am editor of A Healing Space blog, where I have been sharing my exploration of this journey nearly every day over the last few years. You can subscribe or join there and have my writing sent directly to you. You can also join me via Facebook (business page, friend page, and discussion group) as well as Instagram.