Anam Cara, A Call to Conscious Living

Anam Cara, A Call to Conscious Living


John O’Donohue, in his book Anam Cara, explains that, in the Gaelic language, there are two powerful words that serve to awaken us and assess the depth of our lives and relationships. These two words are Anam Cara. In the Celtic tradition Anam Cara means “Soul Friend”. An Anam Cara is a teacher, companion, and spiritual guide. One with whom we can reunite with our interior world, and share our deepest hidden intimacies, without judgement or criticism. With an Anam Cara we can reveal the pain, hope, joy, and fears in the deepest recesses of our mind and heart.

This Anam Cara relationship transcends the conventional understanding of any relationship previously known as well as the understanding of others. Once encountered, there is a reverence, a humility, and a wisdom that reveals a recognition, a “knowing”, with a connectedness, allowing us to discover and express our most authentic self. This relationship creates a sense of belonging and acceptance that is timeless.

All that most of us want is to be loved, regarded, and accepted, just as we are. We long to be seen and understood without pretention or performance. Most of us long to step from behind the mask and be known, welcomed, and celebrated. When this happens, we are truly at home.

The Anam Cara holds that creative tension whereby we individuate, find our voice, and having listened, hear our own wisdom. It is in this place we experience safety through our vulnerability. In this place we confess that we really “do not know” and therein become teachable. It is here we find that what we thought was so shameful or reprehensible, is the path to the divine and where we had thought we were utterly alone, we find we are with all mankind.

In this loving consciousness, where the human and divine meet, there is a depth of awareness and reverence for each other. The Anam Cara does not provide an easy way, rescue us, or tell us what we want to hear. The Anam Cara maintains boundaries, holds us accountable, confronts us, and expands our perception. The Anam Cara does not buy into our distortions but patiently waits for us to discover other perspectives, allowing us to find our own path, even at the risk of losing the relationship. Anam Cara invites us to deep, honest reflection and personal responsibility and is there for us while we agonize.

In our lives, we all need an Anam Cara. We need this “Soul Friend” and the awareness that brings healing and wholeness, for it is one of the greatest gift’s of this relationship. Having experienced this Anam Cara love and friendship, we are fundamentally changed. It is as though blind eyes are opened. We see the world differently, understand differently, and respond differently. This transformation changes our awareness and how we are in the world. We find ourselves revitalized and restored. Even more, our relationship with Aman Cara, brings us back to the familiar place from which we began our journey, only to see it, as though for the first time.

Watch for and welcome your Anam Cara, that you too may be a “Soul Friend” to another.

Warm regards,

Wayne Hulon   MDiv. ABCP



Who Are We? We are a multidisciplinary collaboration of professionals representing the fields of psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, counseling, academic leadership and integrative medicine. Who do we serve? You, the clinician. We recognize the importance for clinicians to access a supportive, growth-oriented community with enriching, sustaining, and innovative resources. The American College of Psychotherapy wishes to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth, practice development, and the latest evidence-based research and treatment modaltiities through quality education and training by the most highly regarded experts in the field. With such diverse disciplines of psychiatry, psychotherapy, nueroscience, addiction, trauma and integrative medicine, now coming together, it is truly an exciting time to be professionals in the field of Mental Health.   How do we differ from other organizations? We are not a “vanity organization”. If you are not passionate about psychotherapy, we are probably not for you. We are a “working” organization, dedicated in the development of personal and professional relationships with those who have a passion for excellence in patient care. We are continuously acquiring, inviting, and selectively engaging other organizatons to join with us in this unique endeavor. Just as our brains function optimally in relationship with others, so we believe there is a “collective wisdom” that emerges when diversity engages in dialogue. It is our intent to provide a forum in which therapists and practitioners can engage in dialogue, share support and resources, while experiencing the highest quality of evidence- based research and training. Are there financial benefits to membership? Yes, we have created the opportunity whereby through membership in the American College of Psychotherapy, your Continuing Education Credits will be applied toward American Board Certification in Psychotherapy, as well as meet the requirements of your state licensure. This doubles the value of your financial investment in your continued education and professional training. As our organization grows, we are able to negotiate with our Approved Providers, in your behalf, for discounts on workshops, conferences, symposiums, and even online courses and webinars. These savings go entirely to you and not to our organization. We add value to your educational investment by approving CEU hours, toward Board Certification, for online courses, webinars, and readings, to be later verified by testing. This is particularly valuable for those who live remotely to major metropolitan areas or those financially or physically unable to travel. We are supported solely by membership dues and advertising and do not “sell” events, courses, programs, or books. Ethically that allows us to approve or recommend these resources based on their quality and savings to you, rather than revenue generated for our organization. All savings negotiated go directly to the membership. There is “power in numbers”. Yes, by joining, you allow us to negotiate even more financial benefits to our members, that would not available  otherwise. We will continue to negotiate savings in travel, lodging, with even more valuable offerings to come. Equally important financially is the understanding and the efficacy of our practice of psychotherapy. We seek to protect, develop, and promote our profession of psychotherapy. Defining your professional identity as a member of the American College of Psychotherapy, an assurance of competance with insurance companies, managed care, hospitals, courts, and other professional organizations is solidly established. This increases confidence of patients as well as other professionals. By identifying, defining, and differentiating  the scope, function, and training of our profession, personally and professionally, we will continue to learn and grow, our practices will serve effectively, and the rich tradition of our profession will flourish. Our commitment is to facilitate cost effective training, thus endorsing and supporting psychotherapy to the general public, institutions, managed care, hospitals, business, legislative, and governmental agencies. Thereby, through these efforts, we intend to protect, promote, and provide the highest quality of excellence in psychotherapy and a secure and meaningful professional career.   Can you explain the two tracks concept? Developmentally we will travel together on two tracks. While our “task” towards excellence will be to integrate research, education and training as clinicians, the “maintenance” and desire to grow in wisdom will inevitably emerge from places of vulnerability and rich dialolgue with those our fellow travelers , as sojourner, among peers. In other words, what we would ask of our patients, we must first do for ourselves. We are deeply committed to exposing you to the brightest minds and richest wisdom, found not only through our experts, but within each of you. It is our most sincere hope you will find this platform to be one in which your voice will be heard, and your wisdom recognized. We invite you into “community” and welcome your feedback and suggestions. Warm regards, Wayne Hulon M.Div. LPC ABCP Executive Director The American College of Psychotherapy