Alexis McKenna, Ph.D. is an experienced counselor and educator, a natural mystic, and an innovative thinker. Her special areas of interest are symbol systems, music-generated imagery, metaphor, and story. For many years, she has studied and worked with the mystical teaching of the hermetic school of Western Mysticism. Currently, she is completing her advanced level training and certification in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. She is a member of the Association for Music and Imagery, an amateur musician, and a full-time music lover. She is uniquely skilled in helping individuals integrate spiritual insights and mystical experiences into a grounded and healthy lifestyle.
Alexis’ interest in the way that language and culture influence meaning and perception began early in life. As a youngster, she lived in Europe for two years. During that time, she traveled extensively through Western Europe. She studied abroad during her junior year in college, traveling to the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. As she was returning to the U.S. to complete her bachelor’s degree, she stopped off in the British Isles for extensive stays in England and Ireland. One of the main things she learned in her travels is that different cultures and different peoples construct the world – the ordinary everyday world and the world of spiritual reality – in entirely different ways. More importantly, each is convinced that its construction of these worlds is “right” or “correct.”
As an adult, delving deeply into esoteric studies and new research on consciousness and brain neurology, she discovered that there were many striking similarities between the practices ancient mystics used to achieve states of ecstasy in which they felt “at one” with the divine, and the practices used in modern times to achieve “altered states of consciousness.” The common element in all cases was the notion that one could learn to consciously shift one’s perception.
In consciously shifting one’s perception – whether through meditation or guided imagery or shamanic journeys – one literally experiences a different world. Choices and options previously unseen suddenly became possibilities.
More importantly, consciously shifting one’s awareness opens the doorways to the numinous -- the divine, the holy, the sacred, the mysterious and all-inspiring presence. In the presence of the numinous, everything is – or can be – known. All questions can be answered. Spontaneous healing and change can occur. Compassion, love, and acceptance flow. Unknown gifts and talents emerge. People blossom.
Alexis’ intention, in both her counseling sessions and classes, is to create experiences that provide participants with an opportunity to learn how to shift consciousness and more easily access that rich inner landscape that is the gateway to the luminous and the numinous. Years of study and experience have taught her that acquisition and use of such skills are essential to generating and sustaining a sense of well-being.
All offerings are both experiential and conversational; they focus on possibilities and alternative ways of perceiving the world. They are not intended to be therapy – nor are they a substitute for therapy.