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Applied AromaGnosis: Aromatherapy for Trauma and Addiction

2-day Advanced Certificate (CPD) Workshop with
Cathy Skipper & Dr Florian Birkmayer MD

ITHMA Principal Gabriel Mojay is delighted to present a weekend workshop with two of aromatherapy’s leading exponents of the transformative power of aromatic plants, essential oils and hydrosols. Cathy Skipper and Dr Florian Birkmayer bring together a knowledge- and skill-set that encompasses French medical aromatherapy, holistic psychiatry, spiritual alchemy and intuitive plant communication.

Addiction is the archetypal illness of modern consumer society. Why do we ‘addict’, and what is our healthy power underneath that? For many people, addiction is the first glimpse they catch of the limits of their ‘free will’ and the power of the unconscious. For many it can be a harrowing encounter with the archetype of the Shadow — a power within our psyche that we have no conscious control over.

How can aromas support us on the healing journey out of addiction and co-occurring conditions, such as trauma? Aromatherapy can be an important tool in the treatment of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. When used by trained specialists, essential oils are safe, simple and effective both in alleviating symptoms as well as in helping to increase self-awareness and to transform consciousness.

Olfaction is a powerful sensory modality and olfactory receptors have been found in nearly every tissue of the body as well as in parts of the central nervous system relevant to addiction and motivation. Essential oils are widely used to support and alleviate nervous symptom disorders such as those triggered by addiction; ie. anxiety, sleep disturbances, panic attacks, depression, stress, etc. And they can go further, and become allies on a journey from addiction and trauma to individuation and personal myth. This is the journey we will be discovering in this class.

This 2-day workshop will provide a framework for using the power of natural scent for healing addiction and trauma, and includes hands-on exercises to deepen our intuitive relationship with these powerful plant allies.

This class is for aromatherapists, addiction counsellors, medical herbalists, massage therapists, and other healers.

Recommended reading prior to the workshop:

What will you learn in this course?

• How to work with oils and the molecules of connectedness as living partners rather than tools.
• The importance of the Wounded Healer and of working on ourselves to be able to better help our clients.
• Discovering the importance of personal myth and how to use oils to awaken to our personal myth.
• Working with oils for Shadow work; ie. what is being covered up by addiction?
• The Alchemical stages of addiction and of healing, and the essential oils that help us work through each stage.
• Working with trauma - personal, family and historical - using oils.
• The importance of feeling the whole and of gaining a deeper understanding of microcosm and macrocosm, and healing our core wounds.

• We will explore some basic principles of treating addictions, including:
- The importance of building self-efficacy.
- Assisting stages of change with essential oils.
- Essential oils that address symptoms of addiction.
- Using essential oils to anchor new, healthy behaviors and new rituals.

An Institute Advanced (CPD) Certificate is issued on completion.

Cathy Skipper
Workshop Co-Facilitator

English by birth, Cathy Skipper spent her adult life in rural France, where she farmed, trained and worked as a herbalist and aromatherapist, and taught practical herbalism, botany and aromatherapy at the L’Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Medicinales in Lyon. She participated for four years in an approach to energetic healing called Life Cell, under French Kinesiologist Caroline Gupta. Her medicinal plant education in France included a two-year course with Claude Lefebvre in Plant Communication. She emigrated from France in 2015 to live and work in New Mexico with her partner, Florian Birkmayer.

Cathy’s work involves building bridges between aromatic medicine and herbalism as well as recognizing the importance of healing the healer and reconnecting with nature. In her teaching she marries theory, practical work and energetics with the intention of helping students develop an intuitive relationship between themselves, the plant/essential oil and the patient, as a poweful impetus for healing.

Cathy’s work with Florian centres round the work of Carl Jung and the psyche, aromatic molecules, and the mind. She is co-author with Patrice de Bonneval of Aromatic Medicine.

For more info about Cathy, visit:

Dr Florian Birkmayer MD
Workshop Co-Facilitator

Florian Birkmayer is a Wounded Healer and the co-developer with Cathy Skipper of AromaGnosis, which synthesizes Jungian depth psychology and aromatherapy. A holistic psychiatrist, he has an extensive background in trauma and addiction as well as Equine-Assisted Therapy. A bridge-builder between different medical worlds, Florian works closely and respectfully with a wide range of healers.

Florian received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico. He has previously served as the director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic at the University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center, and as the director of the Substance Use Disorders program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, USA.

For more info about Florian, visit:


Location: Regent's University, Regent's Park, London NW1.
Dates: Saturday & Sunday, March 17-18, 2018 (2 days).
Times: 9.30 am to 5 pm daily.
Course Fee: £250 incl VAT, payable on booking.
Please note that the course fee is in all cases non-refundable and non-transferable.
Tel: 020 7193 7383 or 0798 501 2565 for further info.

How to book
To book a place on the course, please submit your contact details and the course fee in any one of the following 3 ways:
• To book by making an online bank payment, please contact us for our bank details.
• To book by making a credit/debit card payment, please contact us for the payment info.
• To book by post, please send a cheque (payable to ITHMA Ltd) with your name, address, tel no and email address to our office address.

For overnight accommodation near Regent's University (previously Regent's College), our course venue, we recommend that students visit the following website featuring several reasonably-priced local hotels:

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