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Meet Neil Schierholz of Angeles Psychology Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neil Schierholz.

Neil, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was introduced to psychospiritual concepts in my late teens. These concepts resonated with me and just felt right. Ever since then I have been on a path to grow and develop and to understand my place in the universe. I have always been a seeker. At a point in my career when I was working as a corporate consultant, I attended a week-long retreat at Esalen in Big Sur. There, I was exposed to orgonomic (Reichian) therapy.

That experience introduced me to aspects of myself that had remained hidden and that I really did not want to look at. I was blown away and it compelled me to engage in that kind of therapy from then on. Like most of us, I found I just didn’t want to look at my own psychological baggage.

Orgonomic therapy held my feet to the fire and forced me to really look at it and deal with it. During one of the retreats at Esalen, I had a profound vision to return to my home state of California and pursue becoming a psychologist and getting the training needed to provide orgonomic therapy myself.

Has it been a smooth road?
I would say that the road to where I am was nothing but struggles, punctuated by moments of smoothness! But the fact that I feel this is my calling is what kept me going.

I left global consulting, moving away from a plush and lucrative career because I felt this calling. I knew deep inside, when I made contact with myself, that this is what I was meant to do. It entailed getting a second masters degree and a doctorate in clinical psychology followed by accruing post-doctoral hours, and studying for and passing national and state licensing exams. The whole thing took nine years from start to finish. It wasn’t an easy journey.

If I ask myself what the biggest struggle was, I would say it was moving from the pinnacle of a high profile career back into student mode, not making any real significant money, living on student loans, and finding myself at the bottom of the ladder again, starting over.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Angeles Psychology Group story. Tell us more about the business.
Angeles Psychology Group offers a new kind of therapy for those seeking real holistic healing and wellness. I’ll start with a question that I am frequently asked: What exactly is orgonomic (Reichian) therapy?

Orgonomic therapy consists of two main components: character analysis and bodywork. Character analysis is a verbal process of using talk therapy to uncover habitual and automatic ways of reacting that help you to cope and get by in the world, but also diminish your ability to experience pleasure, to achieve what you really want, and to simply feel.

Bodywork includes direct, hands-on work by me on your muscles, assistance with your breathing, and exercises to express emotions. Together, this is a fully integrated and holistic approach that helps you to literally break through your armor, restore your natural flow of life energy, and regain the full expression of your true self including healthy, potent sexual functioning.

The other core piece of our practice, which is in alignment with the holistic nature of orgonomic therapy, is our commitment to treating the whole person, not the mind and body separately. This includes fully integrated wrap-around holistic therapies like acupuncture, bodywork, yoga therapy, sound healing, and other relevant practices.

Our approach is truly effective for those who have tried traditional talk therapy but haven’t achieved the results they’ve wanted, or are on medication and beginning to grow weary of the side effects. Really, it’s for anyone who’s wondering if there’s another way.

What are you known for?
I’m known for working holistically and somatically, especially with those who are dissatisfied with talk therapy alone or have tried medication and it hasn’t worked or they’re sick of it. As I already mentioned, this includes hands-on work on the patient’s body armor to provide true, lasting, sustained freedom and liberation from emotional blockages.

Patients seek me out because I tell it like it is, I’m real, direct, and engaged.

What are you most proud of?
I am very proud of my bachelors in chemical engineering. It provided me with a foundation to think in a scientific, reductionistic way that allows me to critically examine the field of psychology. What I’m most proud of right now is building an enterprise in which people really love to work, grow, collaborate, and flourish, while developing themselves personally and professionally. As a group, we are building something that is not only amazing for patients, but also for those of us who work at Angeles Psychology Group.

What sets you apart?
The first thing that sets us apart is that we have an intense, abiding, fervent interest and commitment to cultural competence in all the ways it manifests. We’re especially focused on competence across the sexual spectrum as well as race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and all the other diversity dimensions you could possibly imagine.

Something more recent that dramatically sets us apart from, as far as I can tell, all other mental health practices is that we have rolled out a membership subscription. The concept is very simple: Members pay a flat fee that allows them to tailor their treatment sessions as needed. This eliminates the financial constraints and restrictions imposed by insurance companies including the number of visits allowed and length of each session. This was spawned, in part, when I began realizing that the current healthcare model really isn’t working.

Psychotherapy is a labor-intensive process that insurance companies don’t like to pay for and tend to restrict resulting in poorer patient care and outcomes. I think this is just unacceptable. At Angeles Psychology Group, we want to give even more people, especially those in a middle-income bracket who tend to slip through the cracks, access to high-quality mental health treatment.

What is the proudest moment of your career?
I’m really happy that I’ve created opportunities for clinicians who I have supervised to do their best work in a way that they are excited about and love.

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