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Avrom Altman

Avrom Altman


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


  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Certified Hakomi Therapist

Avrom Altman is Professor Emeritus in the Counseling Psychology Department. He served as Associate Chair, Director of Research, Research Associate, Clinical Associate, and was a member of the Counseling Psychology Program Development Committee that designed the current 93-unit program. As Director of Research, Avrom was responsible for the design and development of the program’s research sequence of six courses titled Seminars in Directed Research, the Thesis Handbook and Student Papers Handbook.

Avrom served as President of the Academic Senate and wrote the Academic Senate’s Charter and Bylaws approved by the Institute Board.  Avrom was a member of the Executive Committee of the Senate Leadership Committee, Senate Leadership Committee, Shared Stewardship Coordinating Committee, Faculty Review Committee, Council of Research Coordinators, and Internal Review Board. Avrom was Chair of the Institute’s Faculty and Institutional Well-Being Committee and most recently served on the Institute’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Avrom has been teaching clinical and counseling psychology at the graduate level for 30 years. In over 22 years at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Avrom taught the Process of Psychotherapy sequence of courses, the Clinical Practice sequence of courses, and Research in Psychology. He designed and taught the six-course sequence of courses titled Seminars in Directed Research. He created and taught Depth Psychology Theory and Practice VI: Somatic Psychotherapy. He taught Clinical Applications of Group Process, Group Dynamics, and Human Sexuality in the Therapy Context.

Avrom received the Pacifica Graduate Institute Distinguished Service Award in 2009 and received the Pacifica Graduate Institute Award for Extraordinary Accomplishments as Soul Tender in the World in 2015. Avrom was honored for 20 years of service at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2019.

Avrom is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, and certified as a Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapist. He has been in private practice for over 40 years and supervised trainees, associates, and interns privately and at Pacifica Pride in Santa Barbara, California. Avrom taught Clinical Psychology as Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University, Santa Barbara, 1993-2007. He is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, California Association of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, and Hakomi Therapy Institute.

For over 30 years, Avrom was a student, client, and friend of Jungian analyst, artist, and physician Dr. Edith Wallace, who was a student and friend of C.G. Jung, Emma Jung and J.G. Bennett. 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. Avrom studied The Way of Council at the Ojai Foundation.

Avrom was Director of Studies and President of the Claymont Society for Continuous Education where he lived in community for ten years. Avrom has taught over 150 seminars and retreats internationally based on the psychology of humanity’s possible evolution, the creation of soul, the process of individuation, and the Gurdjieff Work and Gurdjieff Movements. He studied with J.G. Bennett and Dr. Edith Wallace 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 sat zazen with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at the Tassahara Zen Mountain Center in 1969. Avrom began studying Theravada Buddhism with Bhante Dharmawara Mahathera in 1973. Avrom became a semazen of the Mevlevi Sufi order under the guidance of sheik Suleiman Dede and sheik Julladin Loras in 1989. He knew and did zikr with sheik Mussafer Ozak of the Helveti order in Istanbul, Turkey and in the United States.

Avrom is currently working on a book of haiku titled Flirting With Bliss.