Julia Mariko Shannon

Julia Mariko Shannon is a pre-licensed psychotherapist and is a student of the Sowa Rigpa Institute. Julia completed the Sowa Rigpa Institute’s two-year Sowa Rigpa Counselor Professional Certificate program in 2022, studying with Dr. Nida Chenagtsang and Dr. Caroline Van Damme, and currently serves as a mentor to students within the program. Julia is continuing to integrate the Sowa Rigpa framework and therapies into psychotherapeutic clinical practice and hopes to use Sowa Rigpa to empower clients to improve their ability to access self-healing capabilities and expanded self-awareness. Julia also has an interest in working with clients seeking clinical hypnosis and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies and has completed training in clinical hypnosis for mental health professionals with the Oregon Society of Clinical Hypnosis and has served as a clinical volunteer supporting ketamine-assisted psychotherapy through Polaris Insight Center. Julia is a graduate of Columbia University and received a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the William; Mary School of Education in 2023.


Inviting Change: Integrating Sowa Rigpa and Hypnotic Approaches

Changing long-held habits can be a tremendous struggle for clients. Habitual actions and ways of thinking can be deeply ingrained and difficult to modify, even when clients believe they feel motivated to change. When using Sowa Rigpa approaches to improve diet and lifestyle to increase balance and reduce the impact of stress, counselors can also use hypnotic theories and self-hypnosis to support clients in recognizing new possibilities for self-healing and increasing openness to change. By working strategically with the client’s own mental focus, imagination, and ability to pose questions to be creatively solved by inner intelligence, counselors can help clients activate previously hidden abilities to overcome resistance to change, increase capacity to manage stress, and more effortlessly activate self-healing to gain relief from troubling symptoms or anxieties. Sowa Rigpa tools such as horme, meditation and breathwork, Nejang yoga, and dietary recommendations can likewise support the client in preparing physically and mentally for the relaxed state of focus in which hypnotic suggestions can be most effective. Sowa Rigpa therapies and hypnosis can be used in tandem and be modified based on client typology and presenting issues to enhance client ability to achieve sustained and meaningful

improvements to health and wellbeing.