“My goal is to help you gain more influence over how you experience yourself, others, and the world so that life becomes more satisfying and meaningful. Safety and trust are indispensable to this process and together constitute the foundation of my work with you. By creating a comfortable, effective, and sometimes humorous atmosphere, our relationship serves as the ground from which we explore past experiences and process current situations. By uncovering the internal structures that create undue pain and conflict, these structures can transform into more harmonious networks of well-being.”
About Peter Gold, MA, LMT
I hold a B.A. in Philosophy, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and I am a currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Depth Psychology. I have a private psychotherapy practice with a specialty in an emotionally-based form of qigong as well as a massage therapy practice. My graduate work in psychology has emphasized the importance of engaging with the underlying dynamics of symptoms. By working with the roots of issues–in addition to their manifestations–core dynamics are addressed and transformed so that life can be a richer, more fluid experience. I graduated from the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts’ 1000-hour massage therapy program in June of 2001. Since then I’ve had a steady private massage practice while working for some of the best known businesses in America including: Nike, 24 Hour Fitness and Whole Foods.
Due to my diverse training in various healing arts modalities, I am able to offer survivors of sexual violence a range of options, through massage, energy work, or psychotherapy, to support and facilitate their healing process.
Massage therapy has been my profession for over 15 years. During that time I’ve worked with many survivors of sexual assault as well as other service providers that specialize in working with survivors of sexual assault. Both survivors and professionals that work with providers (sometimes embodied in the same person) comment on how safe they have felt during my massages. Fully clothed massages are available and often preferred by survivors returning to touch for the first time after trauma. Sometimes people choose to remain fully clothed for many sessions, sometimes they feel comfortable enough to begin to disrobe incrementally. It’s totally up to them. Each person is unique and I do everything possible to assure survivors, and all people, that their level of comfort is the right level of comfort for them. Returning to touch is a powerful healing experience that needs to be honored and respected according to each person’s individual pace. My presence as a massage therapist is imbued with my training as a counselor as well as a massage therapist. Though massage sessions are not for counseling per se, many people are reassured that I’ve been trained to work with the psyche as well as the body.
As a therapist, Jungian, somatic, psycho-dynamic, existential and attachment theory form the foundation of my training. I work with people and their relationships to themselves and others. Many times I use traditional talk therapy, other times I incorporate both talk therapy and the psychologically oriented moving meditation of Archetypal Qigong (AQ). AQ is a psychologically oriented form of Qigong that helps people move through the emotional, psychological and spiritual challenges inherent in life. It is added to supplement talking and deepen the process of integrating talk therapy. AQ is also a great means of alleviating symptoms with out using conventional psychopharmacology. I also use cognitive-behavioral and neuro-linguistic programming interventions. All of theses tools aim towards helping you live a more meaningful, satisfying, and enjoyable life.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
Healing and helping others to return to their optimal wellness was the initial motivation behind my decision to become a massage therapist, Reiki practitioner and psychotherapist. Over the 15 years I’ve been working, survivors of sexual assault have been some of the most rewarding people to work with in my practice. In my massage practice, clients can feel and often comment on how safe they felt during the massage. I provide a warm secure space for survivors to return to and receive healing touch.
I support people in re-integrating the body and mind in my therapy practice. Since dissociating from the body is one of the hallmarks of surviving any traumatic experience, I often incorporate, when appropriate, the moving meditation of Archetypal Qigong (AQ). Not only does AQ relieve symptoms, it also offers physical and psychological forms to contain the body and mind. Understanding and changing the psyche’s needs and structures is more possible when mind and body work together. Re-integrating the body and mind are invaluable after sexual trauma.
Trusting after a violation such as sexual violence is a huge step and I feel deeply honored to be of service when a survivor feels ready to explore their healing with bodywork, energy healing and/or psychotherapy.
Within my massage practice, I usually I blend Swedish, deep tissue, Shiatsu, Reiki and Cranial-Sacral massage, but with survivors of sexual assault I defer to what feels best and right for each individual. As stated above, many people choose to begin with a fully clothed sessions. I recommend starting slow. There’s always next time.
In my role as a therapist, I incorporate both traditional talk therapy and at times, I integrate the psychologically oriented moving meditation of Archetypal Qigong (AQ). I utilize therapeutic Qigong as it is ideally suited to repair the mind-body split associated with trauma in a safe and gentle manner for survivors of sexual violence.
How Therapy, Massage & Energy Healing Holistically Address the Impacts of Sexual Violence
Scientific studies have shown that the body stores trauma in ways the mind is unaware of but the spirit and soul know well about. In addition to talk therapy, bodywork can be a deeply powerful tool for healing–especially when the trauma involved the mind, body, spirit and energetic systems. In addition to being a massage therapist I also hold a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology so my presence is imbued with my training as a counselor as well as a massage therapist. Though sessions are not for counseling per se, many people are reassured that I’ve been trained to work with the psyche as well as the body. I have also been trained in Reiki which is an explicitly energetic form of healing. When people would like to begin their healing process with sessions on the table but are not yet ready for hands on – Reiki is ideal.
I use psychologically oriented forms of Qigong to help people move through difficult thoughts, feelings, situations and emotions. Sometimes talking is not enough and energy needs to move for emotions and habitual patterns to release. Qigong is a moving meditation for wellness used throughout Asia for millenia. A holistic approach to psychological wellness includes the body as a way of addressing the whole human being and their full range of experience and potential.
Modifications for Survivors
You come as you are. Anger, confusion, depression, anxiety, numbness or any other type of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or spiritual experience are great starting points. The psyche needs to be seen and heard just as it is–however that is. If it is not, or if it is disparaged, its demands and accompanying symptoms will usually become louder and more insistent. I welcome your state of being just as it is by holding a context of safety, care and respect. Before change occurs, it is first necessary to honor that which needs changing by recognizing and acknowledging it. Simply witnessing with full attention and care is often enough to initiate shifts in core dynamics, perspectives, and relationships.
In my therapy practice, I use qigong when it fits into the flow of sessions or when people specifically request it. In my personal and professional experience, qigong facilitates a deeper level of verbal processing and a more holistic integration of changes which can be a more accessible approach for processing trauma. Qigong is always an option within sessions, never a necessity.
As a massage therapist, sometimes hands on touch is too much for people – which is completely understandable for someone returning to touch after traumatic experiences with it. In these cases Reiki sessions are ideal as they provide healing and energetic engagement without actual touch. Fully clothed sessions are also offered as a way of ensuring that you feel as safe as you possibly can. I cannot overstate the necessity of feeling safe and secure and to that end I will accommodate your needs as much as I possibly can.
Learn more about Peter’s practice of utilizing Qigong in therapy in this article he published “Therapy and Qigong: Good for Clients and Therapists” here.