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Meet Clark Elliott of Clark Elliott Ph.D. Psychotherapy in Santa Barbara

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clark Elliott.

Dr. Elliott, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My initial plunge into the mental health field was in 1972 with a two-year internship at Camarillo State Mental Hospital Children’s Unit. I had just prior to this completed a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology so I entered into the world of the mentally ill with a very keen interest in primitive art and a budding background in Jungian analysis. My life has always been guided by chance meetings with remarkable people and one of these people was a Jungian analyst at the hospital, an analyst who had a sand tray playroom. This was a room filled with countless small toys that children could use to construct scenes and generally play out their internal processes demonstrating fine shades of meaning with the toys. There was a fascination for me not only in the joy and intensity of the children’s’ processes but also in their creations. I ended up doing my master’s thesis on the sand tray; some of the original research in that area. At that point, working with children of many different levels of psychological impairment, I was imprinted with the value of creativity; how it could bring the psyche alive and enrich it.

Years passed with training in Jungian analysis and later, Eriksonian hypnosis (hypnosis being the subject of my doctoral dissertation). This training has helped me immensely in my understanding of the artist and of the creative process. Of most importance in this area is knowing the techniques that help unblock the creative mind; i.e. how to move beyond the ego into that awesome artistic sphere

In the mid 90’s I met another remarkable person, a woman who, years prior, had an experience of enlightenment and was in the circle of pioneers of the consciousness movement at Escalon Inst. She introduced me to neurofeedback; another tool I could use to help move people into states of mind that are more alive and productive. With neurofeedback I can work much faster and can help provide experiences that can be coined as Spiritual – experiences that can open one up to the panorama of the creative unconscious.

Today I have a thriving practice with a large clientele of artists: visual artists, writers, musicians, and actors. I do woodwork but I consider my art as psychotherapy. I am in my mid 70’s now and am far too excited to ever consider retirement.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No. It has not been a smooth road and though I could blame many of the problems on external obstacles the main issues have always been with my own shadow. The struggles I help my clients with are usually personally familiar to me.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Perhaps you have already gained some understanding from what I have already written but let me add, if I may indulge in a little inner conceit, that I am very proud that I have committed a great deal to my work, and love what I do. I’m proud that I have avoided the trappings of so-called normal American life and have faithfully followed my promptings. My business is straightforward and as uncomplicated as possible. I do very little advertising, have a very modest website and I avoid as much paperwork as I can.

What were you like growing up?
I was the oldest of four boys living the first seven years of my life in Aberdeen WA. The rain capital of the U.S.A. From there to L.A. My father was a self-employed builder with whom I started working at a young age. With a large family and a varying income, there was always stress in the air and I felt angry most of the time. I went through school with such a bad case of ADD that I graduated close to the bottom in my high school class. Fortunately, I was a decent athlete and so was encouraged to go on to college. It took me years to overcome my ADD and I would say a big help with that was a meditation practice I started developing while in the military, my main academic strength was creative writing.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 923 Laguna St. Ste
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101
    923 Laguna St. Ste. B
    Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101
  • Website: SBNeurofeedbackCenter.com
  • Phone: (805) 679-3500
  • Email: neurosantabarbara@gmail.com

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