About Deborah Bowman

Deborah Bowman, Ph.D., is a psychologist, photographer, author and Professor at Naropa University where she founded the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Program and the Wilderness Therapy program. For 27 years she has worked as a Gestalt and Jungian psychotherapist Boulder, CO. Buddhist practice and passion for Guanyin guided her travels in Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Japan, China, Myanmar and Cambodia. She is the author of The Luminous Buddha: Image and Word, When Your Spouse Comes Out: A Straight Mate’s Recovery Guide and soon to be published The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love.

Journey of the Feminine: Creativity, Community & Compassionate Action

The feminine is understood as healing and embracing the whole; the whole our ourselves, our community and our planet. We invite you to join our small circle of creative healing so that you may bring your whole self into healing the larger circles of our world.   

Click here to learn more this workshop!


Together we will create a container of safety and discovery to re-member the inherent gifts of the feminine in our lives.  Your guides will facilitate sharing, guided meditations, sacred ritual and expressive exercises.

Join Sue Wallingford and Deborah Bowman in Costa Rica for this workshop! December 8 – 14, 2019

Deborah Bowman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, certified Gestalt therapist and has been in private practice for 32 years.  She is a retired Naropa University professor where she founded Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Wilderness Therapy and the Naropa Community Counseling center.  She was a founding member of the Boulder Friends of Jung and facilitates the dream-painting process. Deborah is author of several books including The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love. She enjoys hiking, birdwatching, photography and haiku.

Sue Wallingford, MA, LPC, ATR is licensed professional counselor, registered art therapist and associate professor in the Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling Program, in the Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University. She founded Boulder Art Therapy Collective and Naropa’s Community Art Studio-International, most recently known as Partners for Social Justice, where the aim is to collaborate with other socially minded organizations to inspire creativity, healing and compassionate action in the world. Sue is an artist and lover of the outdoors and nature. She is a part time resident of Tamarindo.

Click here to learn more about this workshop!



Client Access Fund – Naropa Community Counseling

You can help someone in need by sharing and/or giving to the Client Access Fund at the Naropa Community counseling center.

Click on this link – NCC Client Access Fund – to find out how a small donation can make the difference in someone’s life by giving them access to counseling sessions that they could not afford.

Share this link – NCC Client Access Fund – with your friends and contacts to help spread the word.

Currently all donations are doubled by a matching grant.  Because of this match each donation of $15 offers someone an additional psychotherapy session that could help them complete therapy.

Be a Boddhisattva Now!


Year of the Earth Pig 2019 – Completing a Cycle

I love Mommy Mystic’s yearly commentary on the lunar cycle. This year it is the Earth Pig. She references mythology from around the world as well as children’s stories!

Mommy Mystic

Feb 5 2019 through through Jan 24 2020 is the year of the earth pig

Welcome to the year of the Earth Pig! Conventional interpretations of pig years within Eastern astrological systems are mostly very positive – pig years are considered to be times of abundance and good fortune (which we could all use.) Individuals born in the year of the pig are generally considered responsible, fortunate, and friendly. Of course, there are subtler messages to be gleaned within this general reading, so here is my annual intuitive exploration, using the pig as it is represented across many different cultures as a guide. Enjoy!

Tibetan astrology cycle – although the animal symbols are not all the same as the Chinese system, the pig/boar is the last of the 12 year cycle in both

The pig is the last of the 12 signs in the Eastern astrological systems that adhere…

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Deborah Bowman: Naropa’s Transpersonal Therapy Program

Share more history at Naropa, Passing the Torch, June 2 event!

The Pilot Light


The newest episode of our university podcast, ‘Mindful U at Naropa University,’ is out on iTunes, Stitcher, and Fireside now! We are excited to announce this week’s episode features Naropa faculty Deborah Bowman, Dean of the Graduate School of Counseling and Psychologyand founder of theTranspersonal Counseling Psychology and theWilderness Therapyprograms at Naropa.

play-icon Episode 28: Deborah Bowman: Naropa’s Transpersonal Therapy Program

“The work of Carl Jung and of Stanislav Grof – as well as many others – have been under an umbrella of “transpersonal psychology,” a field that was developed in the ’50s as an extension of humanistic psychology. Abraham Maslow first developed humanistic psychology – a framework around many other professionals who were developing that branch of psychology, such as Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers, but Maslow defined the field. However, when Maslow studied individuals who were exceptional, he found that they all…

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Naropa Introduces 2-Year Hybrid Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Program

This hybrid program makes it possible to stay in your community, keep your job and earn a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree in a Mindfulness-based Transpersonal oriented program.

The Pilot Light


Transform Yourself While Keeping Your Zip Code

The master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling is a 60-credit hour program that offers theoretical grounding in transpersonal psychology along with rigorous clinical and mindfulness training.

Start in June and study through a combination of online coursework, and on-campus and retreat intensives. Complete the degree in two years.

Learn more about the 2-year Hybrid Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling concentration.

As a student in Naropa University’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling concentration—part of the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program—you will not only explore human mental and emotional health, but you will also delve into mindfulness, meditation, Gestalt awareness as well as different states of consciousness, and the nature of creativity to help clients—and yourself—live the most joyous life possible. Through academic course work, deep introspection, including your own psychotherapy and mindfulness training, you will come to a greater…

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KGNU Interview with Sue Wallingford

Sue’s work is such an excellent example of service learning providing outreach to an important population in need, children and adults who have been victims of the sex trade.

Naropa Community Art Studio-International

Art Therapy to help sex trafficking victims

Posted: February 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm by KGNU, in Breaking News, Featured, Morning Magazine

“(it’s) a way to make some sort of meaning to what feels completely incomprehensible.”

Sue Wallingford, Associate Professor in the graduate school of psychology at Naropa University in Boulder has been working alongside a group of her students to bring art therapy to women and children who have been trafficked in the sex industry in Cambodia.

“There’s a high risk of sex trade in South East Asia, particularly in Cambodia and its bordering countries of Thailand Laos and Vietnam because that’s where victims are usually trafficked to and from.” Cambodia is on the State Departments tier 2 trafficking watch list which means that the country has a significant number of trafficking victims. It is estimated that 1/3 of sex trafficking victims are below the age…

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On the Future of Hope

This is a thoughtful article on this tricky mental and heart space of hope.

The Pilot Light


By Douglas Dupler, Environmental Studies Professor 

Abstract: The concept of hope is rich in context, and working with it from different angles can enhance inner resources.  Framing hope as a process offers tools for sustainability educators: subjective exploration, empathy development, critical thinking, and civic engagement.

The Future of Hope

The poet Shelley, in the final stanza of his visionary work, Prometheus Unbound, wrote of hope and of actions to overcome defeat: “To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite…To hope, till hope creates from its own wreck the thing it contemplates.” Hope, in these lines, contains endurance and the transcendence of the failure of hope.

Perhaps we should be precautionary about hope, as it can be merely the idea of a future that has not yet occurred. Attaching a mental concept to the future can diminish or confuse the present moment and complicate the possibilities for both peace of mind…

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Compassionate Acceptance is Like Being in Love


Practicing compassionate acceptance

is like being in love

and seeing the face of the beloved

in every moment

as if for the first time.

Cheri Huber

Zen Teacher, Cheri Huber, reminds us that every time we practice compassionate acceptance we open our hearts and fall in love with the person before us.  Compassion is not a sacrifice we make for the other, it is a celebration of our interdependence and the love that expands our world.

We often recoil in fear, afraid to reach out, and imagine the “other” may intrude on our space.  We forget that compassion does not oblige us, but rather enhances our liveliness and depth of experience.

Compassionate acceptance begins with ourselves.  Notice how you may treat yourself as “other”, speaking down to yourself as if you were another person.  Collapse the inner divide by taking a breath and letting go of the internal chatter….again and again.  This is an act of radical acceptance and love.

In your outer life challenge yourself to engage in the world freshly, even in the smallest of ways. Appreciate your housemate’s contributions to your life, learn about opportunities in your community to contribute to a cause or open a book that enriches your understanding of people who are suffering or in need.

Children naturally open to world with curiosity and caring, accepting sorrow as well as delight.  As adults, we need to actively remember that this compassionate acceptance is our fundamental nature and an opportunity to connect deeply in “every moment as if for the first time.”

China: Sacred Sites of the Divine Feminine


Putuoshan Island is dedicated to the goddess of compassion, Guanyin. Above she is depicted on the central altar in Puji temple with a smaller statue of Tara below her.  Practitioners come in droves to pray for her mercy and offering gratitude for her blessings. Her large countenance creates a sense of awe when you enter the temple and there is a hushed quiet in the movement of men and women circumambulating her altar.

In September I will be returning to Putuoshan and other sacred sites in of Guanyin to guide a 12 day pilgrimage sponsored by True Nature Journeys.  Please check out: Sacred China and consider joining us!