While earning an MA Psychology at Naropa University over 20 years ago, I embarked on the path of meditation and yoga. I found work as a psychotherapist in clinical settings that followed traditional models, meaning, they were subsidised by government agencies, restricted by insurance companies, and riddled with inconsistencies as they tried to meet the conflicting needs of low-income families and Big Pharma. I worked with addicts, inmates, families, women’s and men’s groups, all of which I loved, but I got disillusioned with draconian systems designed to capitalise on people’s suffering.
I saw the limitations of talk therapy when it is not integrated with some kind of body based practice, or in the context of a healing environment that is not based on the bottom line. Insurance payments, pharmaceutical companies and judicial systems have a huge effect on much of what passes for therapy these days. At that time in my own journey I was discovering how powerful yoga and meditation were, studying daily with Richard Freeman, my first yoga teacher. On his suggestion, I traveled to India to study with his teacher, Pattabhi Jois and earned his authorization to teach Ashtanga yoga.
I started teaching yoga and meditation to my clients, and I saw that these contemplative tools were helping just as much if not more than the “therapeutic” treatment offered by the institutions. Then one day I had to submit my resignation because I had found a decent foster home in Aspen, Colorado for a 13 year old boy whose only other option appeared to be a one way ticket to the US prison system. My crime? The foster parents were wealthy friends of someone I knew, and we had not gone through a traditional route for finding the home.
That was the day I ended my path as a “mental health” worker in the public health sector. A week later, I was offered a job in Kathmandu, teaching meditation on the Naropa Study Abroad Program. I followed the signs, and I’ve never looked back.
That professional crisis was what catapulted me into teaching yoga and meditation full time, and to eventually embarking on a PhD to research how psychology and the spiritual path are intimately related. At the time, this work was still new, and I was not able to find supporters or a thesis advisor. So I never finished the PhD, but my research continues. Contemplative psychotherapy is still the model I follow, this approach is based on formal meditation practice.
What is spiritual path if not a psychological unfolding? Our 21st century worldview denies and calls “religious” anything it cannot measure, essentially conflating psycho-spiritual development with a worn-out view of a great man with a white beard hovering in the sky.
But I digress…
What I eventually noticed was that the common denominator almost everyone in the modern world suffers from is disconnection: from self, from other, from environment, from higher wisdom.
So this is my mission: to help you align with your integrity and to reconnect. To help us reconnect. Because we are connected, you and I.
What I Offer:
Individual counseling sessions that will take into account your current situation and where you want to be. The work includes traditional therapeutic techniques, but without the burden of dredging up historical details. Contemplative psychotherapy is a model that works in the moment, identifying the present circumstances and emotions in order to fully embody whatever change wants to take place. Only by staying fully present and embodied can we move cleanly (in other words, without baggage) from one experience to another.
Tools for Evolution is the fruit of many years’ practice and study, integrating wisdom from 4 major threads of inquiry, and I’ve earned my “10,000 hours” in each of these subjects:
- Contemplative Psychotherapy and Counseling
- Ashtanga yoga
- Sitting meditation
- Creative writing practice
The basis for this work is practice.
Initially inspired by the great wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who led me to this path, I’ve been an enthusiastic student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1992, and study regularly with my primary teacher, the Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche. I started teaching yoga in 1995 while staffing a long dharma retreat for Naropa University. I am also an authorized meditation instructor.
I will share with you simple tools to access your inner wisdom to evolve with courage, confidence and grace. My e-book, Ashtanga Yoga for Beginner’s Mind, gives you the basics about how to develop a contemplative practice.
About Kim Roberts
With over 24 years of experience as a wellness professional, I counsel and coach, teach yoga techniques, and help people develop a relationship to sitting meditation. I offers trainings for maintaining balance given the challenges of life in the 21st century. I’ve founded yoga programs in numerous situations around the world, and advise clients on practices to incorporate successful programs into existing hospitality venues.
I began practicing Ashtanga yoga with Richard Freeman in 1992 and spent 10 years studying intensively and eventually teaching with him in Boulder, Colorado. I hosted Richard in Paris and in Hong Kong, initiating his first European tour and his first Asian tour, and assisted him teaching during those workshops: in Paris in 2002, London in 2003 and Hong Kong in 2006. I attended his first teacher training program in 1999 and completed his advanced teacher training in 2003.
After spending a year studying with Sri Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, South India, I was authorized to teach Ashtanga yoga. I also earned a teaching certificate from Ganga White and Tracey Rich’s White Lotus Institute in Santa Barbara, California.
I’ve facilitated counseling groups, taught yoga and meditation in an eclectic variety of settings: a county jail, a psychiatric hospital, by correspondence with Hi Max prison inmates, luxury resorts, embassies, schools, studios and retreat centers in North America, Europe and Asia. I taught privately in Paris while working in the Inter-Religious Dialogue department at UNESCO, ran retreats in post-tsunami Sri Lanka to help garner support for victims, and from 2006-07 directed the yoga program at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. From 2008-2010, I hosted yoga and meditation retreats at a small luxury resort in the Paro valley of Bhutan. Recently, I directed a yoga program in Phuket, Thailand and then worked as a psychotherapist and teacher at New Life Foundation in Chiang Rai. My home base is in Crestone, Colorado.
I also love to paint. You can see some of my work at: KimRobertsArt.com
Write to me if you’re ready to make a change.
kim [at] toolsforevolution [dot] org
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