At Inner Fire, we meet each individual as a human being, acknowledging the body, soul and spirit of each person. We recognize that life is complicated. We honor and admire this complexity and view it as the key to healing. We are not machines. And there are no magic bullets. Healing takes a respectful, loving and safe, supportive environment, time, and holistic therapies and approaches that address the root cause of one’s life challenges. The Inner Fire program is comprehensive and serves the whole, striving human being.
Inner Fire helps our Seekers digest trauma and integrate life’s challenges by engaging in will-based and practical activities, by unleashing the Creator within through creative and artistic therapies, and through movement and breathwork therapies. The days are full. In the mornings, our Seekers serve the community in the garden, kitchen and house cleaning; in the afternoon, they look inward and engage with these complementary and holistic therapies.
Typically, trauma has led to individuals being disconnected from essential parts of their Self, which may have been eclipsed or denied. No one is ill. No one is broken. We meet the whole person and recognize healing happens when the Seekers stretch to discover different parts of themself. We meet the Seeker as the Creator he/she is, instead of a victim of his/her biology, chemistry or life circumstances.
Inner Fire works with a local physician to safely, and slowly taper medications. Seekers have choice at Inner Fire: the choice to avoid medication, and the choice to taper medication to a level which works for them. We partner with a local doctor with experience deprescribing psychotropic medications. Our doctor slowly and carefully tapers our Seekers to levels that are acceptable to the Seeker. But this can be hard work and it takes courage and time. Our schedule is purposefully robust to support the Seeker as they taper and strengthen themselves on a deeper, soul spiritual level while working with the life challenges which naturally surface.
Inner Fire engages our Seekers in complementary and alternative therapies which can be referred to as the Soul Gym. Typically, the Soul has been traumatized and with therapeutic support can begin to breathe again. Hauschka Artistic Therapy awakens the Creator within while exploring the dynamic feeling dimension of the Soul. Eurythmy offers healing support through movements that help adjust and align people’s relationships to themselves and the world. Breathwork helps the body relax into a deep, natural breathing routine to assist with the bodily processing of emotions. These three therapies, among many others that we offer, subtly help to digest trauma and life challenges. Talk based therapies, psychosynthesis, and biographical counseling help the Seeker to more consciously encounter and process life’s challenges and opportunities.
Inner Fire offers practical and will-based work. Healing occurs when individuals get out of their heads and engage their will, which can indirectly yet proactively address their challenging issues. At Inner Fire we believe that strengthening the will — regardless of how one may feel in the moment — offers a path to overcoming life’s obstacles. Whether working in our biodynamic garden, splitting wood or felling trees, our Seekers will push themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically to places that they may not have encountered in the past. It is in these moments of discomfort that Seekers may discover new parts of themselves and experience inner growth.
Inner Fire is a safe, therapeutic community in the foothills of Southern Vermont. Nature and beauty are healing. And, so is Community. By engaging in healing and tapering within a loving community, Seekers are offered support not only from Therapists and Guides, but also from other Seekers. Seekers who have successfully tapered can serve as powerful examples of what is possible and offer peer coaching to those going through the horrendous, withdrawal symptoms of the mind-altering, psychotropic medications. In Community, there is also joy, laughter – and tears~healing tears. These are key ingredients to healing, along with singing, dancing, poetry, listening and sharing, all of which occur during our evening program.
Lifestyle changes are an important part of the healing process. Learning to live independently and healthily after taking psychotropic medications for many years can be a challenge. We offer coaching in nutrition and cooking with our Whole Foods Chef, where Seekers learn directly each week how to make wholesome, nutritious organic foods. Abstinence from technology reveals to the Seeker the impacts of the bombardment of cell phones, internet and TV has on the psyche/soul of the individual. They awaken to the choice, after they leave, whether to engage in these mediums in a healthier, more conscious way.
We help to build the foundation for the rest of a Seeker’s life. At Inner Fire, we believe in the resiliency of the human spirit which exists within each Seeker, no matter their history or how they were formerly labeled. Once the tapering of psychotropic medications is complete, trauma digested and well integrated, and the Seeker has developed their will, along with other key social skills and coping mechanisms, the Seeker is in the position to start a new life chapter. Healing is an everyday choice. This is why we offer the skills and tools necessary to help the Seeker flourish upon graduating from the Inner Fire program.
This is just the beginning. Inner Fire is a movement – a movement to change how society treats individuals who are struggling in this materialistic, consumerist society that leaves many people behind. Everyone deserves love, and everyone deserves to heal. This is a birthright.
Unfortunately, within our current medical model, Inner Fire is financially out of reach for most people. While we have had success with partial insurance reimbursement for a Seeker’s stay, there’s much work to be done to ensure anyone who would like to attend Inner Fire can, regardless of his/her financial circumstance. We fundraise for our Support a Seeker Fund and have offered partial and full scholarships to striving individuals. We work with our state politicians aiming to receive state funding for individuals longing to engage in the year program. Healing is a right and should not be a privilege. This is only ethical.
But this is just part of the story. Our current capacity is 12 Seekers. Our vision is to expand our campus and the amount of people we can help. Suicidal psychiatrists and health care practitioners need opportunities to experience and understanding that there are legitimate alternatives to the prescribing of psychotropics, which simply disconnect and “maintain” people. We aim to provide expertise and training to doctors and other professionals eager to learn how to safely taper people from their medications, strengthen themselves on a deep soul spiritual level, and reclaim their lives.
And this is just the first Inner Fire location. We have received many inquiries to open Inner Fire Programs in the United States and abroad. The Inner Fire model is a catalyst for change and sets an example of what’s needed for deep and lasting healing. It is a model that can be accessed and applied in many environments by others who recognize the human being as having a body, soul and spirit and are, therefore, committed to deep healing and profound work. It is a journey, which leads to birth. We aim to have locations throughout the world. It is essential to ensure that all people can be surrounded by love and can experience deep, lasting healing, and ultimately, joy and meaning.