An essay donated by Dr. Pam Chubbuck
My Healing Journey with
John Pierrakos: Learning to Love
My Healing Journey with John Pierrakos: Learning to Love
It was 1969. I was in pastoral training program in Washington DC, young,
scared, numb, the mother of three young boys and in a bad marriage. I was
desperately trying to come alive out of my numbness. And seeking God somehow. I
was studying holistic spiritual counseling. My friends Ann and Danny, heard that
John Pierrakos, a holistic and spiritual psychiatrist, was giving a workshop in
Massachusetts. John had a reputation for seeing and doing things that others
could not Ė seeing energy for example. His work was known to be strong, deep and
to the point. We jumped into Dannyís truck and arrived late that night. Next
morning, as we sat in a circle, my heart pounded louder the closer to my turn it
was. All I remember was that I was terrified. When I spoke all I could say was Ė
"Iím scared". John was the last person to speak. He looked directly at me and
said, "Iím scared too." What a relief! The eminent psychiatrist was scared. It
must be OK for me to be afraid too.
The next time I saw John was in Phoenicia, NY, at The Center of the New Age of
Man. (Later to become The Phoenicia Pathwork Center). My pastoral training class
was there to do a training workshop with him. In the group I hesitated, fearful,
until the last moment. Finally I volunteered to work. I needed help to come
As part of the process of Bioenergetics and Core Energetics, John had me work
with my body on a mattress Ė kicking, hitting and yelling. I felt better.
Relieved. Then, near the end of my session, a moment came when John leaned over
my face and looked deeply into my eyes. I immediately and spontaneously wept. In
that instant I knew that I had never been looked at with such love by my mother.
It was both terribly painful and healing. I suddenly had hope. "Such love
exists" my heart said, "This love can heal me."
I knew then that I would continue my work with John to heal my pain and open
myself more fully to love. I did not know then that my relationship with him
would span over three decades, and transform my life. I could not have imagined
that John Pierrakos would become my therapist, mentor, colleague and most
recently my good friend.
John co-created Bioenergetics Analysis with Alexander Lowen, MD. He was just
beginning to create Core Energetics when I began to study in professional groups
with him several times a year. I continued learning in this way for ten years.
It would be many more years before Core Energetics had an official training
program. These early years was a tremendously exciting time to be involved in
this process. I knew John, before he met and married Eva. Their love and
connection expanded and unified both of their work. Evaís spiritual Pathwork and
Johnís body oriented Core Energetics integrated as their relationship unified
with each other and with God.
John used his knowledge of the human energy field and the chakras to assist him
in helping people heal. Back in the 70ís this was very innovative. John was able
to see and perceive the human energy field and the chakras. John taught us to
perceive and measure energy and to understand the psychodynamics the
measurements indicated, as he was making those discoveries himself. The medical
profession was not yet ready for his teachings, John told me one day when I
asked why he wasnít speaking about what he knew at medical meetings. It would
take another 15 years for the world to seek Johnís knowledge. At the end of his
life John had professional Core Energetics International Training programs in
Europe, South America, United States, Canada and Australia.
One could only become a patient of Johnís if he accepted you. I asked him on two
separate occasions a year apart before he agreed to work with me. I then worked
with John for ten years traveling once a month to New York from Virginia for a
two hour session. A session with John was worth months of therapy elsewhere. The
sessions consisted of deep bodywork and equally deep analysis of where I was
holding back my Life Force and why. John taught me how to work with my mask Ė
(false self) , my wounded ness Ė (my lower self), and the divine nature of my
human being, - (my higher self or Core self).
John taught me that I could not fully experience my spiritual core until I
worked to uncover the way I cheated my life force -- the way I held back my true
self. He asked me, "How do you kill your Life Force? How do you kill your loving
feelings?" By asking that he meant how did I stop my energy flow. I was the one
who stopped it now and I could not blame anyone else, past or present. John
would tell his students, "The tragedy is not what happened to you as a child,
the tragedy is that you can not give or receive love now."
John showed me that in order to experience my divine spiritual nature I must
uncover and expose my hidden wounds and express my negative feelings fully. John
taught me to look for my distortions about life; how I drew negativities to
myself, and how to work toward changing that. He taught me that I was the
creator of my own reality and that I must take 100% responsibility for my life ,
and that by doing so I would experience a most wonderful freedom. John taught me
to risk opening my heart to give love and accept love, and that I must make
moment to moment choices to keep opening to love even when the going got rough.
John taught me that I am a divine being, a women of God.
After I was certified as a Bioenergetics Therapist I continued working with
John. My life had changed dramatically for the better. I felt good most of the
time. Stronger. Healthier. I had better relationships and more love in my life.
I learned to forgive my parents for being human. No, they were not perfect, but
they were divine. I apprenticed with John for 20 years as I followed him to
workshops and classes, watching and listening. I became a Core Energetics
Therapist and later an international trainer, because I observed and came to
know, that helping people in this way was the most exciting rewarding service I
John walked his talk. He did his work and asked for help when he needed to. John
taught that in a therapeutic relationship both people are learning and neither
is better or worse than the other. John taught that working through the heart
and connecting from core to core is the best way to assist someone.
John Pierrakos was a genius with a heart. He was a pioneer in the holistic
practice of medicine and psychology. He is known worldwide for being the first
western psychiatrist to bridge psychology and spirituality. He taught me that
love is the only energy in the universe. Everything else is a distortion - a cry
for love. John taught me to surrender to my body, and to be human as well as
John taught me to stay the course, and not to believe in my demons - the ones
who want to keep me stuck, but to believe in my core, my higher self and my
spiritual longings. Most importantly he taught me that life is a spiritual
evolutionary process. That everything, (especially the most difficult
challenges), is an opportunity for me to become more conscious.
As I teach Core Energetics, I especially pray to embody Johnís basic teachings
about love and the importance of working with our bodies to gain health.
My life's work is to help people love and heal. I am grateful to John for his
teaching so that I may pass on his loving energy to others. Thank you John. God
About Dr. Pam Chubbuck:
A psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Pam Chubbuck is a
mentor for psychotherapists and an international trainer of Core Energetics
Therapists. Pam is a former midwife and college professor, having taught at the
University of the District of Columbia.
To learn about Pam, attend a workshop led by Pam, work individually with Pam
as a patient or student, or purchase any of Pamís books, DVDs or CDs, go to: