Dr. Paul Dunion has been in private practice as a psychological healer since 1982, with his areas of specialty being individual therapy, men’s and women’s soul work, couples counseling and EMDR as a therapeutic approach to PTSD. He is a graduate of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, as well as the Integral Somatic Psychology Professional Training.
“I’ve come to understand healing as occurring when we are willing to bring a new dimension of truth and compassion to the stories of our lives. The ancient Latin meaning for the word medicine is ’embellishment’, which means to increase in size and to increase the beauty of something. The work we do will be aimed at enlarging and beautifying the story of your life.”
Existential Psychotherapy for Individuals
Paul offers individuals an existential healing perspective, which focuses upon four pathways to individual deepening:
- Seeing change as an ever-evolving process of becoming more of who we were meant to be rather than becoming a better human being. This view of change deepens our knowledge of ourselves and our capacity to make choices which truly reflect what we believe and value.
- Strengthening our ability and willingness to identify the truth about ourselves, especially as it pertains to how we are wounded, how we are gifted, and what we desire. Individuals learn to hold what they discover about themselves with compassion.
- Developing reparenting skills. Dr. Dunion’s BEND reparenting model is employed, emphasizing the roles of Boundaries, Encouragement, Nurturance, and Discipline.
- Learning about the dance between personal will and fate. The dance of personal will and fate yields the individual’s destiny. This dance guides learning and deepens healing.
Men’s Soul Work
Since 1980 Paul has been offering counseling, training, and workshops for men. His work with men focuses upon the hazardous impact rigid definitions of maleness and manhood have upon the development of boys and men. Gender demarcations are typically restricted to social-economic achievement, athleticism, and attainment of intellectual acuity and soldiering. The greater the need to demonstrate gender legitimacy, the tighter a man’s grip becomes upon one of these ways to exhibit male prowess. This diminishes the warmth of a man’s heart, impairs his capacity to be soulful, and ultimately endangers his ability to be himself.
Our culture gives men little or no permission to have an inner world or to know what it means to honorably labor in that world. Hence, men are deeply confused about what they need, what they feel, what they love, and what they long for. Prohibition from their own inner world guarantees isolation from the outer world and makes men strangers to their emotional lives, their intuition, and their capacity to steward. The tragedy facing men is that they are remaining distant from their losses, often locking them into an adolescent holding pattern.
Paul’s work with men is designed to help men relinquish cultural injunctions against their own depth by offering mentoring, initiation, and ritual aimed at welcoming men to their inner worlds and to the world of men.
He also offers a healing community experience for men. In these communities men have the opportunity to shed their isolation, discover the uniqueness and the nuances of their own manhood, reclaim what was lost, create expressions of authentic self-empowerment, and experience participation in genuine brotherhood where men are not asked to give up part of themselves in order to belong. Men learn to identify to what service they are called.
Shadow Marriage Couples Counseling
Shadow Marriage explores the nature of Shadow – not only as those elements of the personality we deem unacceptable, but also as our own unique personal gold. Special attention is given to the roles of denial and projection of shadow and their impact upon a marriage. We explore ways to welcome Shadow into a marriage in order to deepen our capacity to have intimacy. The counseling also focuses on ways that we can cope with conflict through creative self-empowerment and radical self-responsibility. Couples are encouraged to develop the resiliency necessary to respond creatively to both fears of abandonment and feeling overwhelmed.
“I am no longer interested in self-improvement as long as that implies, in any way, that my essential goodness is not already present.”