Robert Strock, L.M.F.T., Founder of Humanistic Spirituality
Robert Strock has maintained a private spiritual and therapeutic counseling practice for forty years, specializing in purposeful living, relationships, and death and dying counseling. Over this time he has developed a unique approach to counseling and spiritual evolution, which he calls “Humanistic Spirituality.” This was in response to 40 years of spiritual seeking where he had both the most profound experiences of his life and the greatest disappointments. All of the approaches revered compassion, peace, kindness and the various qualities inherent in the best part of our souls, which is at the core of Humanistic Spirituality, but they also almost invariably presented a sense of “absolute knowing” in their teaching which required a level of blind faith. This led to a greater trust for not knowing when it comes to a fixed idea of what happens in life or after death, and how the universe functions.
In Robert’s desire to share this body of work with a broader audience he founded and produced this website for use with therapists, social workers, caregivers, psychology students, seekers of truth, and those wanting to understand themselves more deeply on any level.
Robert is co-founder and co-chair of Global Bridge Foundation. He is also chairperson of the Center for Authentic Living, which has distinguished itself among leading counseling practices for the southern California business and entertainment communities. During his extensive career, he has worked intensively with many foundations in facilitating communication and forging strategic guidance partnerships. He has served as an active participant of the Jenna Druck Foundation, The Earth Trust Foundation, Beyond War, and the Center for Partnership Studies.
Robert has also served as counselor and instructor of psychology at Santa Monica College, supervised Southern California’s Regional Organ Procurement Agency’s counselors (ROPA), and also cared for the terminally ill at Brotman Hospital and Southern California Hospice.
Robert created Psycho-Economics, a theory of integrating financial decisions with our higher values. He has been lead counsel of an investment and real estate consortium for more than 25 years.
Robert is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and holds Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Psychology. Robert is ordained as a minister by the Association for the Integration of the Whole Person and inspires many through his counsel, meditation, and teachings on inquiry and compassionate values.
Dave Knapp, L.M.F.T. Core Collaborator
With Robert, Dave Knapp is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the Global Bridge Foundation, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience in the non-profit, public service, psychotherapeutic and business worlds. Together they co-founded and administered a number of innovative programs in the 1970's for the treatment of schizophrenic patients and adolescents. The programs creatively used college internships as an effective training strategy for the psychotherapeutic professions.
David also counseled at Santa Monica College, worked with drug and alcohol programs, and provided hospice counseling.
During the decade he has been involved in Global Bridge Foundation, David has a specific interest in microfinance, collaboration and consultation with non-profits and in developing opportunities for Program Related Investments. He combines communication and business skills to find creative solutions for the organizations with which Global Bridge Foundation works.
Dave has been a close friend and core collaborator with Robert in the creation of the Humanistic Spirituality site. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Urban Studies, an Masters in Psychology. He has been a licensed Marriage Family Therapist since 1975.
After some years as a practicing psychotherapist, he started and currently maintains a successful real estate company that includes a specialization in commercial real estate finance. His unique gifts for conflict resolution, strategic guidance, and communications go beyond business as he is well known in the community as someone who can bring out the best nature and intelligence of the people with whom he works.
Shelley Pearce, L.M.F.T.
Director of Humanistic Spirituality
Psychotherapist and Spiritual Counselor
Shelley coordinates and oversees filming and content of the HS site. She also appears as "client" in many videos, exposing personal experiences while seeking guidance.
Shelley earned a Masters degree in the most current therapeutic modalities of postmodern psychology where she integrated into her writing and research spiritual principles and practices somewhat uncommon in the academic field of psychology. She is currently in private practice at the Center for Authentic Living in Los Angeles, and a maintains a private counseling practice in Santa Monica. She collaborates with clients to help uncover constraints and develop new ways of being and becoming, with a focus on an individual's essential nature and inherent capacity to transform. Her approach includes a rare combination of empathic listening, directive interpretration when appropriate, and sharing of her personal process of learning when beneficial to clients. Shelley has been privileged to work privately with highly esteemed Buddhist, Sufi, and Vedanta teachers, and is currently working directly with Faisal Muqaddam of Berkeley, California. She has maintained a meditation and inquiry practice for many years, which deepened while with the Ridhwan School at Union Theological Seminary, NY.
Prior to settling in southern California, Shelley was a leader in her community and worked earnestly to help expand opportunities for growth, healing, and learning through programs she directed at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, as well as through the County Cultural Council in that region. Her focus was on offering retreats, socially conscious artistic productions, and hosting renowned international teachers to help broaden community awareness of various philosophical and spiritual paths.
A diverse background early on in her career as a financial advisor and then as a university director provided grounded exposure to counseling individuals of all ages with regard to educational and artistic pursuits, financial, and practical life challenges. As an ordained minister and a licensed marriage family therapist, she offers a synthesized psychological and nonsectarian spiritual approach to pursuing a more meaningful and balanced path.
Justin Strock, L.M.F.T., Humanistic Spirituality Counselor
Justin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, families, and love relationships. He uses a heart-centered approach and has been training in Humanistic Spirituality for many years. He has an unusual gift of establishing trust through his capacity for tenderness, presence and connection.
Justin has a diverse clinical training history and has worked with adolescents and their families in a variety of settings including community mental health, probation departments, and as a seasoned group counseling leader at Malibu High School. This included six years leading groups for 8th, 9th, and 12th graders, with themes such as self-esteem, social skills, drug issues, peer pressure, family dynamics, and leadership skills. Justin’s unique sub-specialty also incorporates teen athletics into his therapy practice when appropriate.
In addition to his clinical work, Justin teaches a Human Relationships class at UCLA extension PATHWAY Program and leads two social skills groups for students with developmental disabilities. Justin worked with Global Bridge Foundation to coordinate a conference of 250 hand selected high school students with the theme “Being the Difference that makes the Difference,” at UCLA. He designed and led groups on developing meaningful friendships and transitioning to college. He also helped create a basketball summer camp program at UCLA that taught leadership, communication, and cooperation to inner-city kids in association with the foundation.
Justin has a dedicated contemplative practice and encourages clients to integrate meditation into their lives when appropriate. He currently maintains private practices in West Los Angeles and Westlake Village.
Jodi Strock, L.M.F.T., Humanistic Spirituality Counselor
Jodi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, couples and families. She has been trained in the Humanistic Spirituality approach and has a private practice in West Los Angeles. Her background as a family systems therapist incorporates many modalities including mindfulness, meditation and inquiry.
Jodi has extensive experience in working with body consciousness, addiction, eating order recovery, anxiety and depression. Her approach combines traditional forms of psychotherapy with Buddhist teachings and yoga practices as well. She collaborates with clients in unique ways to help them awaken to self-compassion in their own healing as a critical aspect of the work. She created and runs the Body Image and Self Compassion workshop in Santa Monica, which focuses on skills that help individuals feel more connected to and accepting of one's body. With a background in and dedicated yoga practice of seventeen years, she has been a strong advocate for the positive body movement and is a community partner with the Yoga Body Image Coalition.
Jodi has spoken at educational institutions throughout the United States, educating students, teachers, parents and professionals about body image and eating disorder recovery. In her private practice, she founded and runs a group for new mothers--Mindful Mamas. The guidance is dominantly focused on finding ways to become more connected to and attuned with our children. Jodi previously worked as a family therapist for Echo Treatment Center in Malibu, and has also worked with Monte Nido Treatment Center, A New Journey, and California Family Counseling Center before moving into private practice.
Jodi graduated from Philips Graduate Institute in 2007 with a master’s in Psychology and from Elon University in 2003 with a B.S. in Exercise Sports Science. Among others, she has been inspired by the work of Brene Brown, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Janet Lansbury, Tara Brach, and Sharon Salzberg. She currently resides in Santa Monica with her husband, Justin Strock, and their two children. She is a yoga practitioner who strongly believes that continuation of her own personal and spiritual work is the optimum way she can continue on the path of helping others.
Patricia Bisch, MA. L.M.F.T., Humanistic Spiritual Counselor, E.M.D.R. specialist, and Author of Freedom From Food: a quantum weight loss approach
Patricia is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist with a practice in Beverly Hills and Sherman Oaks. Specializing in post traumatic stress work, Patricia applies practical wisdom and heart centered therapy with all those who she works with. Having lived the painful life of an overeater from her teen years to well into early adulthood she credits Humanistic Spirituality practices to helping her find the self love she needed to fill the emotional void from her childhood.
About 30 years ago, in her spiritual studies of the Mind/Body connection she discovered the secret to regaining her power over food-- not through deprivation, but as a way to enjoy eating and to lose weight anyway. She proceeded to innovate and models the principles she writes about in her book Freedom From Food.
In addition to mastering proficiency in various energetic healing methods and maintaining a private practice in psychotherapy, Patricia lectures, conducts media appearances, leads classes and workshops on weight loss, and is currently involved in a documentary. She lives, writes, and creates her audio CDs in southern California where she is a healthy, vibrant, living advertisement for the benefits of gaining Freedom From Food.
Patricia can be contacted at [email protected] or FreedomFromFood.net
Special Thanks to our Production Team
Designer: Alta Tseng
Editors: Jose Marcelino Ortiz , Ali Assili, Michael Ingrasci