About the Guest
Dr. Chris Walling, PsyD, SEP, C-IAYT has been an active leader in healthcare for nearly two decades. His work integrates the developmental, biological, and somatic aspects of the lifespan. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry. He is a Clinical Research Fellow in the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at the Kinsey Institute located at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Dr. Walling is the current President of the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy, the hub of somatic psychology. His clinical focus in the behavioral sciences has examined the intersections of neuropsychotherapy, affect regulation, and somatic psychotherapy. Dr. Walling is the former Executive Administrator for the UCLA Longevity Center and Division of Geriatric Psychiatry. He currently serves as the Vice President of Education at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation where cutting-edge research is conducted in geriatric integrative medicine. Dr. Walling is also a member of the Somatic Experiencing Research Committee at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Walling is a clinical associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, California.
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I’m not convinced my yoga is better than your yoga because I am not in your body or your life or your circumstances or family constellation. I do not know where you come from or what makes you tick. I do not know what your body “needs”.
I started attending classes because I had reached a place in my studies where I needed personal feedback about the experiences I was having. I took group classes for about one year before being approached to teach. I was completely ignorant of the culture of yoga building in the West and its historical context in the East. I was only interested in the practice as a psychology… as a way of spotting and shifting patterns of thought and behavior.
Yet materialism, which has dominated our intellectual culture since the Victorian age, covers fewer and fewer bases of life in the twenty-first century. The natural sciences are increasingly defined by quantum data, interdimensional formulas, and fields like neuroplasticity, which uses brain scans to demonstrate the capacity of thought to alter neural matter. Our ordinary reference points of life are in greater flux today than at any time since Darwinism upended what it meant to be human in the Victorian era.
Christi Myers is the Founder and CEO of Flow Integrative, a ketamine psychotherapy practice that helps clients deal with mood disorders and substance abuse.