By Paul Fugelsang

Eight years ago, I launched Open Path Psychotherapy Collective. I consider psychotherapy to be a quietly powerful discipline. I believe in its capacity to help people befriend themselves, blemishes and all. It’s still mysterious and not reducible to quantitative data, but it seems that when we can develop a positive, gentle relationship with ourselves, a myriad of health and interpersonal benefits flow.

As a clinician in private practice, I hold it as my ethical responsibility to see a few clients in my caseload at a drastically reduced fee. Prior to launching Open Path, when my low-fee slots were filled, I would become discouraged at the notion that there was no central place where people who were uninsured or underinsured could search for affordable care. Fortunately, psychotherapists and clients alike took to the idea of Open Path. To date, we’ve connected more than 56,000 clients to high-quality, affordable psychotherapeutic care.

It’s not lost on me that psychotherapy isn’t the only modality that can help people when they find themselves in emotional or physical pain. In fact, sometimes a more somatic approach is what’s needed to address the inner experience of the mind-body.

Because we’ve achieved such success with bringing affordable psychotherapy to our communities around the United States and Canada, it made sense to us to launch a Collective that deals primarily in working with the body.

This month, we’re excited to introduce Open Path Healing Arts Collective. While it will be different from Open Path in certain aspects, the fundamentals remain the same. We aim to create a Collective of altruistic healing arts professionals that can help serve the countless people who would benefit greatly from affordable care.

I did my graduate training at Naropa University, which is a Buddhist school in Boulder, Colorado. In certain schools of Buddhism, it’s believed that at our core we are fundamentally sane, whole beings with great capacity for compassion and care for ourselves and others. The trick, as the idea goes, is not to search for this inner state by adding things or learning new concepts. The way we can return to wholeness is by removing the obstacles, physical and mental, that keep ourselves from being in touch with our true nature — which is always accessible to us. One way we can do this is by growing more comfortable and at ease in our bodies and minds.

As Open Path Psychotherapy Collective enters its ninth year, I’m thrilled to be launching the Healing Arts Collective in order to make these healing modalities more readily available to communities across the U.S. and Canada.