Avrom Altman

Avrom Altman


  • M.A., Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri


  • L.M.F.T., CA
  • Certified Hakomi Therapist

Avrom serves as Core Faculty, Director of Research, and Research Coordinator in the Counseling Psychology Program. He recently served as Associate Chair and was responsible for syllabi development and implementation of APA style guidelines. He wrote the program’s Student Papers Handbook and Thesis Handbook and created the program’s policy which submits all student theses to ProQuest for publication. Avrom is President of the Academic Senate and a member of the Senate Leadership Committee, Faculty Review Committee, Council of Research Coordinators, Internal Review Board, and Counseling Psychology Program Development Committee. Avrom has been teaching clinical and counseling psychology on the graduate level over 20 years. In his 14 years at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, Avrom has taught Process of Psychotherapy, Clinical Practice, Research in Psychology, Directed Research, Clinical Applications of Group Process, Group Dynamics, and Human Sexuality in the Therapy Context. He is preparing to teach a new course titled Depth Psychology Theory and Practice: Somatic Psychotherapy and a new sequence of research courses titled Seminars in Directed Research. Avrom received the Pacifica Graduate Institute Distinguished Service Award in 2009. Avrom is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, and certified Hakomi body-centered depth psychotherapist. He has been in private practice for over 30 years and supervised trainees and interns at Pacifica Pride in Santa Barbara and privately. He is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the California Association of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, and the Hakomi Therapy Institute. Avrom is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Community Counseling and Education Center in Santa Barbara. Avrom was head gardener, Gurdjieff Movements teacher, Director of Studies, and President of the Claymont Society for Continuous Education where he lived in community for ten years. Avrom has led groups and taught over 100 seminars and retreats internationally focusing on the Gurdjieff Movements and the Gurdjieff Work. He studied with J.G. Bennett at Sherborne House in England; with Pierre Elliot at Claymont; and with Dr. William and Louise Welch, Jim Wycoff, and Andre Enard at the Gurdjieff Foundation in New York. Avrom began sitting zazen and studying Zen Buddhism in 1967 while an undergraduate at Washington University in Saint Louis and was a student of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at the Tassahara Zen Mountain Center in the summer of 1969. Avrom began studying Theravada Buddhism with Bhante Dharmawara Mahathera in 1973 and became a semazen of the Mevlevi Sufi order under the guidance of sheik Julladin Loras and sheik Suleiman Dede in 1989. He also studied with sheik Mussafer Ozak of the Helveti order in Istanbul and the United States. Avrom trained professionally at the Psychosynthesis Institute in San Francisco and worked on a comparative study of theories of the unconscious while enrolled in doctoral studies at University of California, Berkeley. For over 30 years, Avrom was a friend, student, and client of Jungian analyst, artist, and physician Dr. Edith Wallace, who was a friend and student of J.G. Bennett, Emma Jung, and C.G. Jung. Avrom’s current research interest is the application of Bracha Ettinger’s post-feminist work regarding the matrixial borderspace to psychotherapy. The research focuses on co-emergence of identity challenging Lacanian precepts which are theoretically phallic in orientation and underpin current psychoanalytic theory, object relations theory, and self psychology. His teachers are stillness and the mystery.

Areas of Emphasis: Hakomi Body-Centered Depth Psychotherapy, the Matrixial Borderspace and Psychotherapy, the Process of Psychotherapy, Clinical Practice, Research in Psychology, Seminars in Directed Research, Group Dynamics, Clinical Applications of Group Process, Human Sexuality in the Therapy Context, the Gurdjieff Work and the Gurdjieff Movements.