Planet Waves Reader Suggestions for Alternatives to Therapy

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Kingston, September 10, 2020

Dear Friend and Reader:

Recently, we asked for your suggestions for “alternatives to therapy.”

As you may know about me, I take therapy as seriously as I take brain surgery. I believe that a practitioner and a method should be chosen as carefully as for the most serious medical procedure.

Few share this view with me. And we now live in times when therapy is out of fashion, misunderstood or priced beyond the ability of people who need it to afford it.

Eric Francis.

As you will read if you look at my article The Folk Art of Therapy, the central issue is trust. It is much less about the process or the method and much more about building trust with the practitioner.

I cannot emphasize this enough. And be aware, it does not happen fast — it happens over a period of a year or two of regular, in-person meetings.

Another situation that needs to be addressed is the extent to which people need assistance with sex. Not just sexual abuse, but with sex — and very few practitioners are qualified, much less willing, to assist in this aspect of life. So it remains an issue left unaddressed.

I provide my own resources around sexuality. They include Tantra Studio, Yogi Slut (which is where to find my essential reading list) and Book of Blue.

Thank you for your suggestions below.


One could argue that all of these are forms of therapy

An Akashic Record reading, a past regression hypotherapy session, or a LBL (Life Between Lives) session… although one could argue that all of these are forms of therapy.

— Layla

I chant strongly for myself and my environment

Hi friendly Planet Waves humans,

I am reading through Eric’s September Monthly Horoscope Essay. Lovely Monty Python reference!

I should preface this by saying that all of the following is based on my Buddhist practice. I chant strongly for myself and my environment – family, community, country and on out to the world.

My experiences recently with:

Family Systems work –‘ Principles of Love’ held with compassionate excellence by Krista Kujat and Karen Passalaqua on Zoom. Based on work by Burt Hellinger.

Also regular community contact, again via zoom or WhatsApp calls, with my Buddhist group.

‘Creating Ecstatic experiences during challenging times’ with Barbara Carrellas on Zoom.

Breathwork practices found through ‘One Commune’ online.

Yoga practices online with my favourite teacher.

Yin Yoga Teacher Training – held before, during on Zoom and after lockdown.

Collective Trauma healing summits (one coming up September 22 Tomas Hubel et al).

All of this adds up to therapy to me, not perhaps in the traditional sense.

Sincerely yours,

— Jenny



Love this article. Your writing is amazing. The note about Orthodox Christianity (I was raised an Orthodox Christian) is wonderful. Self observation and withdrawal of the senses are two of the eight limbs of yoga. I recently completed a 500 hr RYT.

My son, 11 and daughter, 15, are immersed in this virtual world. Your comments about digital photography spot on. I teach photography, art and yoga.

We will be building a darkroom this fall.

Return to nature. Renaissance…

Thank you so much for your work???.

Regarding spiritual reading…./spirituality during this time…

Bhagavad Gita
Stephen Cope, Your Life’s Mission/purpose

St Thersa Interior Castles. Etc

Spiritual reading every day.

Also loved your writing on Notre Dame burning…

— Mary


Our family did healings together. Honopono We gather together in prayer and asking for forgiveness with each other and our past . We also did remotely healings together. One that felt like we were thrown from a speeding train. Powerful and changed our course as a family. We all have felt like we came here to heal our family karma. We each individually have worked to heal ourselves which in turn helped us to heal much of our family past.

Writing this seems like it was a small feat though it was not. We are in our 60’s and our mother in her 90’s. My father passed away a few years ago. Many of us in some type of therapy. Two of my siblings never went into therapy. Who is to say what worked better. I know therapy worked for me. Our family is a loving group of independent thinkers, and travelers on this planet who care about humanity. And our ancestors are with us cheering us on.

Loved the I AM Cancer reading. Thank you Eric. I laughed when I saw the password was [x]. Constant shifting for years. All those eclipses.

I think the crabs are out of the sand basking in the sun taking a dip in the clear water finally taking care of themselves. No more sideways moves. Forward and maybe a bit more snappy. And hey we are looking into $ and leadership after all the inner work we have done. I am in. Not completely sure how it will pan out. Tell Eric I went to art school following my dreams though a bit bumpy at times.

All my best to each of you at planet waves.


— Lesley

Comprehensive Resource Model


I’ve had some really good results healing trauma in the last few months with Comprehensive Resource Model & (especially) Deep brain Reorientation. They are therapies, but not talking therapies.

This is a link to my therapist’s website there are a couple of videos on that page explaining the practices.

Happy to answer questions or tell you more about my experience.

Kindest Regards,

— Lee

Organisational role analysis

Hey efc,

In the systemic organisational work I do in the world. We do specific work related to the roles given and taken in the family at 6years, 16years and first real job. It is broadly understood as organisational role analysis. We then make links to the current role based challenges people experience. I find it particularly useful for dynamics related to power and authority that originate or are influenced by the familial.

This is not therapy and can be the first and only time that some people even consider these issues. So I just normalise these types of processes in the group work as important to the function of leadership and indeed how the organisation operates. It may or may not lead to people moving into therapy and being mindful of the boundaries I just ensure that we can locate the impact of the past experiences in the present.

As a result of my years of systemic training and personal therapy I know the difference and can provide containment for the group as a result. Shifts in consciousness in the collective can happen as a result. If we can get to a point of people understanding that we have valences and that we can mobilised in groups to take up certain roles/behaviours, that is progress.

Attached is the Transforming Experience Framework that we use to analyse the conscious and unconscious aspects of being in roles in the world of work. We enable people to develop working hypotheses from the different domains to guide actions, decisions and discernment. Also, astrology can certainly come into view regarding where the personal chart intersects with the system, the broader context and source. This I know you are already so skilled in doing and understanding. I am an astrology hack btw! Continuing to learn.

I could go on, however I hope this gives you a view of some useful approaches that can occur outside of the therapy room and that are normalised as part of being in the world of work.

— Rx

Reparative relationships can function like therapy too

David Berceli’s trauma releasing exercises.

Go to search trauma releasing exercises. It’s a 49 min long video to watch the first time, it teaches how to release tension/trauma from the body so long as the person allows the body to do its thing without judgement.

Reparative relationships can function like therapy too.

Warmest regards,

— Teresa

Psychedelic Journeying

Hi Planet Waves,

You were asking about alternatives to therapy.

In my experience, psychedelic journeying has been very effective in doing work around my family. I follow a shaman who leads traditional ceremony with ayahuasca. With the right intention and relationship with the plant, it’s possible to understand and heal some of the difficult family dynamics that one encounters.

It’s allowed me to see myself, my siblings and parents, ancestors and the family system from a different perspective, one that is informed by the soul rather than my hurt ego. It has allowed me to see with clarity many of the dynamics that are going on with myself and others, their psychology, their wounding and their motivations, so that I might interact with it all in more helpful ways.

I’ve also invested a considerable amount of time and energy into learning Inherited Family Trauma. This is a type of therapy based in Family Constellations and the science of epigenetics, which helps you investigate symptoms (mind, body, spirit) in the context of your ancestors’ trauma, illuminating where you may be carrying trauma patterns that aren’t your own but may have been inherited. It’s fascinating work. I recommend this book – “It Didn’t Start with You” by Mark Wolynn – if you want to learn more.

Love and Gratitude,

— Mary

Recognize the patterns


I have thought a few times recently to mention Pete Walker’s ‘Cptsd: From surviving to thriving’ to you. It is a guide to understanding the complex effect of living in a family that engenders ComplexPTSD, and offers ways to recognize the patterns, understand what triggers flashbacks, minimize the effects (shrinking the critic for example) and begin to engage the grieving and somatic release that facilitates healing.

Sure, it works hand in hand with good therapy, and isnt being suggested as an alternative.

But I saw the link in Tonight’s post and clicked it. Now I have passed the information on.
I recall years ago I suggested ‘A General Theory of Love’ to you, and have heard you cite it many times since.

I trust you will find Walker’s work equally quotable and useful.


— Jennifer Cobb


Hi Eric!

Just read your September forecast, loved it! You asked if people find other ways of resolving karma and family issues besides therapy. I’ve found that breathwork can make some things very clear to me in a very short amount of time, realizations that would take much longer in talk therapy. I don’t think it’s a replacement but sometimes it seems like there are confusions stuck in the body that won’t come out through talk.

At Brad’s you mentioned giving a free reading to people who have had bad experiences with astrologers. I would take you up on that but you might have been under the influence! So I won’t hold you to it, but do you have availability for a reading, and if so, what is your rate?

Thanks! Hope you are well. (I’ve been loving Lanvi’s photography, by the way.)

— Jill

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