Instructor

All courses may have assistant instructors and or the aid of other lead instructors.

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Aaron M.

Head Instructor

Education

Academic:  Aaron has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Science degree in Mental Health from Western Washington University. He has made the Dean’s List twice.  He aided in research with some of the most acclaimed and leading scientific researchers in the fields of cross-cultural psychology, child development psychology, and cultural psychology.  

 

Indigenous:  Aaron has been under the tutelage of elders since he was a teenager in the early 90’s.  He was first introduced to Indigenous spirituality as a protector.  He has continued this path as spiritual protector to our present day as healer and teacher.  He maintains a close ongoing relationship with many of his elders and teachers.

Work Experience

Aaron has been in the healthcare field since 1993. He has been counseling clients since 2011 both in private practice as well as community mental health clinics.  Aaron has been incorporating Indigenous approaches to healing since 2013 with the aid of his spiritual elders and psychological mentors. 

 

Aaron has been running cultural and spiritual based programs since 2013. He has taught countless classes on culture, psychology, and spirituality.   

Accreditation Licensure & Membership

Aaron is a licensed mental health counselor in the states of Hawaii and Washington.  He is a Nationally Certified Counselor in the United States.

 

Aaron is a member of the Society of Indian Psychologists.  

Life Experience

Aaron is a survivor of abuse and trauma.  He has worked through these difficult experiences utilizing both conventional psychology and with Indigenous spiritual based techniques.  Aaron’s specialty has been working with clients struggling with abuse and trauma across cultures. 

 

Aaron teaches both continuing education to licensed psychological professionals as well as those in need of more spiritual/cultural based tools.  

Aaron considers himself a student of life.     

My Story

I was often referred to as a “weird kid” growing up.  I wasn’t interested in the same things as my peers.  I took interest in the small and subtle things in life.  To me, these things were big and magical.  By the time I got my driver’s license, I was invited to a ceremony on a nearby tribal reservation by a close friend.  I suddenly found myself in what the Lakota call an ‘inipi’ healing ceremony for Veterans.  At the time it was mostly Vietnam Veterans but some Desert Storm Veterans were beginning to come.  This was an ongoing weekly ceremony primarily for those healing from the challenges of war.  This inipi ceremony provided traditional healing approaches for Indigenous Veterans.

 

Being the “weird kid” everyone thought I was, I went again and again.  This was not exactly what my fellow adolescents were doing with their spare time.  I’d listen to the elder’s stories and follow their guidance.  These elder’s knew I was not weird and they also knew I wasn’t a veteran; I was a teenager.  However, they knew I needed healing and some guidance.  They knew I had a difficult upbringing that needed some attention.  They gently kept nudging me towards my healing, week after week.

 

As an adult, I continue to turn to these elders for guidance.  Their teachings have spread through every fabric of my being.

 

During my second stint in college, I was blessed to have two of the most progressive and highly acclaimed Indigenous psychologists in the cultural psychology field to mentor me.  I quickly learned that there was little to no incorporations of Indigenous approaches to sickness and health when it came to psychology; the scientific research was present but the treatment approaches weren’t being integrated.  At best, people were referred out to seek out their own cultural practitioners.  There’s nothing wrong with this but it is limited. ‘Why not integrate the treatments,’ I thought?  

 

Having benefited immensely from Indigenous treatments throughout my life, I thought how absurd it is that psychology is not incorporating ancient wisdoms and technologies into psychology.  Rather than waiting for Super Man to come down and start something up, I took the reins and incorporated what I had learned over the decades into my private practice. 

 

At first, many of my Euro-American clients were confused.  My Indigenous clients and clients from collectivistic cultures got it pretty quick.  It was a complete opposite perspective for many of my clients, so it took some getting used to.  However, everyone that was open to it, found themselves improving and improving rapidly.  I fine-tuned things so it worked better in a clinical setting.  Ultimately, I began to discover that I had something so few other therapists were doing.  People were seeking me out for my unique approach.  They had grown tired of the road blocks they were running into in their previous therapies.  

 

I could see that there was a great need for more cultural choice in therapy; not only for Indigenous people but for people of all cultures.  The therapy reframes the way we look at our mental health.  Mental health issues are more so about being stuck.  

 

My elders always told me that I would teach someday.  From their guidance and listening to the gentle whispers in my heart, I started to teach these skills to other psychological professionals.  However, there were still people who wanted to learn how to heal themselves.  Instead of seeing folks one-on-one, I could make it cheaper for them and help more people if we taught it in short classes.

 

Joining A Little Oneness Therapy (ALOT) allowed me the opportunity to get these teachings out to other professionals and provide more treatment choices for people.  I also love that you can bring your own faith, religion, or spirituality to the work.  For many, their faith is not always welcome or understood in therapy.  Everyone has their own personal journey in life. Whether you’re from the Muslim faith, Christian faith, Buddhism, or you follow an Indigenous spirituality, there is space to maintain the integrity of your beliefs.  ALOT does not preach a faith but rather teaches tools that can empower your faith.  This is something that I personally love.  

 

So many Indigenous cultures around the world freely integrate their faith into everything they do.  The idea that there isn’t space for someone’s faith in their healing journey, is difficult for me to fathom.          

 

I love teaching and I love helping others.  Teaching can be so empowering for people.  There is nothing like hearing the new sound of confidence in someone’s voice when they’ve figured out how to resolve their issue(s).  It is healing and freeing.  This is what I love about what I do.