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Avrom Altman

Avrom Altman


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


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

Avrom serves as Professor and Core Faculty in the Counseling Psychology Program. He is currently also Research Associate. He served as Program Associate Chair and Director of Research and was a member of the Counseling Psychology Program Development Committee. Avrom is responsible for the design and development of the Thesis Handbook and Student Papers Handbook and created the program’s policy regarding submission of student theses to ProQuest for publication. Avrom was also responsible for syllabi development and implementation of APA style guidelines.

Avrom is currently a member of the Senate Leadership Committee and is Chair of the Faculty and Institutional Well-Being Committee, Avrom served as President of the Academic Senate, was a member of the Faculty Review Committee, Council of Research Coordinators, and Internal Review Board.

Avrom has been teaching clinical and counseling psychology on the graduate level over 30 years. In his 20 years at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Avrom has taught Process of Psychotherapy and Clinical Practice and Research in Psychology. He created and teaches the six-course sequence of courses titled Seminars in Directed Research. He created and taught Depth Psychology Theory and Practice VI: Somatic Psychotherapy. He has taught Clinical Applications of Group Process, Group Dynamics, and Human Sexuality in the Therapy Context. In 2009, Avrom received the Pacifica Graduate Institute Distinguished Service Award in 2008. In 2015, Avrom received the Pacifica Graduate Institute Award for Extraordinary Accomplishments as Soul Tender in the World.

Avrom is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, and certified Hakomi mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapist. He has been in private practice for over 40 years and supervised trainees, associates, and interns at Pacifica Pride in Santa Barbara and privately. 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.

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 was Director of Studies, teacher of the Gurdjieff Movements, and President of the Claymont Society for Continuous Education where he lived in community for ten years. Avrom has led groups and taught over 150 seminars and retreats internationally based on the Gurdjieff Work and the Gurdjieff Movements. 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 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 and became a semazen of the Mevlevi Sufi order under the guidance of sheik Julladin Loras and sheik Suleiman Dede in 1989. He knew sheik Mussafer Ozak of the Helveti order and visited him in Istanbul and the United States.

Areas of Emphasis: Hakomi Body-Centered Depth 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.