Beginner Therapeutic Tarot Counseling

From my perspective as a holistic nurse with an education in nursing, art, psychology and transpersonal studies, I suggest the beginning Tarot Counselor have the following education.

Starting with mainstream psychology and progress to transpersonal psychology. You may or may not want to get a mainstream counseling degree. I didn’t get one because I wanted to work in health psychology and there still isn’t a good mainstream track for that and so I custom designed my education to suit my bliss.

From my perspective, you are dealing with human conditions and need undergraduate classes in psychology (at least). Basic psychology 101 is an overview of psychology and will broaden your mental horizon. For instance, you will learn what the four tracks of psychology are about. They are behavioral, cognitive, humanistic and transpersonal. Then take a class/s in abnormal psychology. This is a real eye opener class. It has so much information that sometimes it is given in two classes. This will take you a long way in knowing how mainstream views dysfunction and how to see from this perspective. After that you might want to read books by Dr. Arnold Mindell. He sees the same things but frames the dysfunctions as “extreme states”. So one can get two perspectives on “dysfunction” to carry with you to your sessions. It will also serve you well to be able to recognize delusion and psychosis and choose not to work with people who display these symptoms. If you really like psychology classes, personality theory is good too.

If you can find a class on Jungian psychology (he coined the term transpersonal) that will serve you too. If you can’t find one, get a book about him. He wasn’t a good writer and his writing is hard to read. One about his methods are better. This will give you a holistic overview of psychology. Although he didn’t work with Tarot cards, he was familiar with the symbols of transformation, which is basically what you are dealing with as a tarotist.

I do interactive Tarot counseling using a projective technique. To do this type of counseling, you need to study dream interpretation on an ongoing basis. When you shuffle and layout the cards you are basically getting a dream in the form of Tarot images. Also, as you become familiar with your own symbolism, you can discuss it, as appropriate, with the client. For example, “If this was my dream symbol (or Tarot card symbol) it would mean……” Sometimes this works to jostle an insight loose for the client. I might do this after their interpretation. Or I may just offer the traditional meaning of the card.

Take a look at my personal website under biography to see how I undertook my preparation as an alternative counselor . Be well, Toni

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13 Responses to Beginner Therapeutic Tarot Counseling

  1. Anonymous says:

    It looks wonderful. I hope you have great sucess with it. I do want to let you know that I am getting worse with my SI area. I can’t walk right & if I try to work in the yard I have to have help. Its not good & I will meet with a doctor on May 5th to conference on if or what type of surgery. I can hardly drive without pain running down my right leg. Just thought I would let you know. I realy do hope this turns out to be a great sucess for you. By the way, you look great too.
    Love, Amelia

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good luck Toni!

    I’m wondering if anyone has experience with achalasia using guided imagery, or any other “complementary” intervention? Thanks, Elizabeth

  3. Anonymous says:

    Do you view astrology as a belief system?

  4. Toni Gilbert says:

    I don’t see astrology as a belief system, although I am sure some see it that way. I see it holistically, and more of a way to view the world, a perspective that is broad and inclusive. It is an art and so the information is subject to the perspective and intuition of the astrologer (and their developmental level). The archetypes of astrology have many traits that can be seen as light and shadow aspects. I see the archetypal attributes on a continuum from negative to positive. All levels of the continuum are Divine. When practiced with a broad view, astrology is a spiritual interpretive art form. For more about how I practice, read this article about the Healing Arts on my personal site

    While Sun sign astrology is a starting place, it does try to lump the individual into a certain set of traits. One has to consider the rest of the chart, the development of the individual, transits and so on. Astrology is a complicated art and takes many years of study to understand. So, if you have just started, don’t give up. Read books by Liz Greene and Robert Hand to understand the archetypes better.

    I try not to have any solid belief system because when you come to conclusions and believe in something, it closes the door to further explorations. I find astrology a fascinating study and who knows, it might even be right on. In my use of it, it has a positive effect on people in that it tells them that they are indeed a part of something grand and Divine….the entire cosmos. That is a new perspective for some.

  5. hypnosis says:

    Great blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Cheers!

    • admin says:

      All aspiring writers should work with an editor, as a mentor, in the beginning. See my article “Finding your Writer’s Voice” in my published articles section of my personal site . WordPress is one of the best for a blog. Has lots of tools that you can use. Good luck, Toni

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