Knitting has been and continues to be a good friend to me since I was a little girl. I love choosing just the right yarn, selecting colors and pattern. I love the rhythmic click, click of my needles as I knit along the rows watching my creation grow. I love the peaceful, Zen-like state I slip into after a few minutes of knitting.  Whatever stress or worry or concern I had drifts  lazily into the background of my mind as soon as I pick up my knitting.

Not only do I enjoy the creative process, the knitting — a sweater, socks, or scarf — from a simple ball of yarn, I have discovered over the years, that knitting has helped me heal, helped me knit myself back together. When I has 10 I had a bad bicycle accident and stayed home from school laying on the couch for six weeks.  Mom bought me yarn and needles, and I made an afghan. Not only did it give me a positive project to focus on, but I remained calm and peaceful.  After a breakup of a relationship, I took up my yarn and needles to soothe and heal myself.

Last year, I had some surgery surgery.  As soon as I was able, I took to my needles.  Even though I couldn’t do much, I could watch my nephew’s sweater take shape before my eyes. The satisfaction and distraction comforted me and helped me manage my pain.

I discovered that studies show knitting has some of the same benefits as meditation; its reduces stress, depression and anxiety. It can improve motor function and reduce memory loss. So, if you don’t knit or crochet, what do you do that relaxes you; that lights you up; that gives you quiet joy; that brings you peace. I strongly you suggest you find a friendly activity like knitting.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is the author of several books and articles including Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Having been a Cal Poly Pomona, Ca, adjunct professor, she was a psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group in San Bernardino, Ca. She has a private practice using her innovative and shamanic techniques. She trains and teaches nationwide.  Visit or jillraiguel@gmail.coimage2 (2)



        Is your heart closed to love? Do you want to open up again but don’t know how? We all want more love in our lives. After a heart-breaking divorce, I definitely closed my heart center. It was just too painful to feel again.  But I’d lost my joy. I wanted to open up but I didn’t know how.

Through a caring friend, I discovered shamanism, an ancient set of techniques, that have many effective and safe uses.  With the help of a seasoned shamanic practitioner, I learned I’d had a power drain and a soul or self loss.  Be connecting me with my spiritual team, I regained the vital force I’d lost from several heart aches.  I was able to bring back lost parts of myself that had dissociated. First people call those lost parts soul loss.

Soul loss can be caused by any trauma: abuse, rape, car accident, surgery, divorce, job loss.  That soul loss can cause psychological and/or physical problems such as:  addiction, depression, phobia, anxiety, procrastination, stress, as well as stomach aches, TMJ, high blood pressure to name a few.

The results?   My depression lifted; I lost weight; I’m healthier than ever. I’ve since learned shamanic skills, so I can help others usually in one or two sessions.  Fifteen years later I done over 2000 shaman sessions.  Although results are never guaranteed, they can be life-changing.

If you have tried traditional  therapy and other modalities, and still feel stuck, shamanism may be able to help.  It may be able to create the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

Printed with permission from Abraham Peraza,

Jill Raiguel, California Marriage and Family Therapist for over 35 years, is a soul retrieval practitioner.  She is the author of several books and articles including Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery.  For a sample chapter visit  She teaches her innovative techniques throughout the country to  practitioners and individuals alike. To learn more about how shamanism and soul retrieval might help you, email

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HybiscusBE YOUR OWN VALENTINE – Jill Raiguel, MFT

Okay, I know Valentine’s Day is coming up. /Are you ready for hears and flowers? Are you wanting that heart-shaped box of candy?  I don’t know about you, but I used to feel left out on Valentine’s if I didn’t have  boyfriend. Everywhere I looked people were holding hands or buying each other flowers or sending cards… but not me.  I felt left out, inadequate, less than.  Not too long ago, I realized I could be my own Valentine. By that I mean, I could love myself, I could cherish myself whether I had a man or not.  So on February 14, I buy myself a card or flowers or get a massage or do something nice just for me.

What would you do just for you?  I don’t mean doing something destructive and necessarily expensive. It could be something very simple, like taking a long, hot bath.

JILL RAIGUEL, MFT, is the author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery as well as several books and articles. Retried from her psychotherapy practice at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group,  she has a private practice using her innovative and shamanic techniques.  Visit or

Printed with permission from Robert Simola,

You Raise Me Up- Jill Raiguel MFT

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          Songs like “You Raise Me Up” are my musical friends; you probably have songs like that too. Music that lifts you up, that inspires you; that brings back wonderful memories of whom you were dancing with  or what you are doing.

            Maybe 10 years ago now, I heard Josh Groban sing “You Raise Me Up,” and that inspired me to study voice again. I didn’t want to be a baritone like Josh, but I wanted the freedom and ease and richness that his voice has.  I have been studying ever since, and my singing has brought me great joy.

During these years, “You Raise Me Up” has become a musical friend.  I’ve sung it at my church, at two memorial services and at a wedding.   I always smile even when I sing it in the shower. But, my favorite performance of “You Raise Me Up” was for my favorite teacher of all time, Mr. Blair.

I auditioned for his church choir, and presented the choir director with my idea: I told him Mr. Blair was my fifth grade teacher who become a wonderful family friend. I’d like to sing this song and dedicate it to him.  The choir director loved the idea! So, on the appointed Sunday, he hid me behind the piano until my solo.  Then, I stood up and sang.  Mr. Blair was so surprised.  One month later he died quite suddenly. His family, friends and thousands of former students were shocked and so was I.  But I am so glad I had let him know that he had raised me up.

So, I invite you to let a person that is important to you, that has raised you up,… let him or her know the difference he or she has made in your life.  And, if you have not heard the song, give yourself a treat and listen to Josh Groban on YouTube sing it.  It has raised me up.

JILL RAIGUEL, MFT, is the author of several books and articles including her latest, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery.  A retired psychotherapist from Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group, she has a private practice using her alternative and shamanic techniques.

Artwork by Robert Simola

Visit or




030714 02 pc.pngTREASURE MAPPING – Jill Raiguel, MFT

Wow! It’s January, 2016, the time when many of us write New Year’s Resolutions. So, it’s the perfect time to blog about setting goals, a chapter from my book; and treasure mapping, a fun and visual way to set your goals and dreams on paper.

When my sister and I were little girls, mom would say, “We’re going to take a road trip this summer. Let’s get out the maps.” We’d plan our route: how long each day would take, how we’d pack the car, snacks we’d take, songs we’d sing. She even had each of us clean out a dresser drawer — the trip drawer.  For weeks, she’d buy items for the trip–they went in the trip drawer.  Things like a new tooth brush, new tennis shoes.

Looking back, I appreciate that she was teaching us far more than planning a vacation. She was teaching us the fun of setting a goal, making a plan, anticipating the journey and taking steps to make it reality. She built in the joy of planning our vacation. As an adult, my sister plans huge events and manages sophisticated accounts professionally; I write books, teach and plan courses and workshops.  We’re both invigorated and get great satisfaction from planning and actualizing goals.

But, I want to focus on one fun particularly planning tool, treasure mapping. By treasure mapping or vision boarding, I mean making a visual collage of your goals and dreams. You could make a vision board of your future job, or the relationship you want. I made one of the new home I wanted; and I have everything I put on the board. Use a file folder, or opened paper bag or piece of tag board.  Find magazine pictures that represent your goals.  Cut them out and paste them onto your board.  Take your time assembling the collage.

Put the collage where you can see it daily, so those images get into your brain. Barbara Laporte’s book, Goal Achievement Through Treasure Mapping, gives you more details. Once you’ve reviewed your collage, see if you want to change anything. Many folks I know who’ve done this process have found they get what they put on the collage, so be careful what you ask for.  And, have FUN!!

Jill Raiguel, MFT, has retired from as a psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric medical Group in San Bernardino, Ca., and she has a private practice using her shamanic tools. The author of several books, her latest, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery for the Genius  has other fun and easy life skills lessons. She has a shamanic soul retrieval practice at To read a sample chapter see

Printed with permission from CBFractals.



        Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken for the Soul, said, “Let joy be your GPS.”

With the recent shootings in San Bernardino, California, we can easily get over-focused on fear.  Some may start to worry too much; and some may even get hyper-vigilant.  That means the terrorists have won; they’ve intimidated us.  And, it’s so easy to fall victim to our fears when violent news clips are plastered all over the TV and social media all day long.

Well, I choose not to be afraid and intimidated.  But as a therapist, I know I have to substitute something positive in its place.  I need to distract myself with positive images and positive messages.

Then, I happened to listen to Jack Canfield being interviewed on OWN’s Super Soul Sunday. Jack said, “Let joy be your GPS.” That was just what I needed; I choose to focus on joy. That doesn’t mean I don’t care or have compassion for victims and their families; it means I can’t get stuck on the violence and horrors.  And, as a highly sensitive person, I can do that easily.

What gives me joy?  Singing my favorite Christmas carols; visiting friends; seeing holiday lights; looking at a flower.  And, my little two-year-old neighbor saying, “Hi, Jill,” as best she can.  What gives you joy?

But Jack has a bigger message than just what brings you joy.  He means use joy as your inner guidance system.  If what I’m doing brings me joy, its right. That tells me I to keep it in my life.  If not, it’s not right. What a simply, but powerful message!

What gives you joy? What drains you of joy and energy?  What are you doing based on “shoulds?” So, this season I choose joy over fear.  I will be alert but not afraid.  I’ll focus on the light, and not the dark. And,  I’ll put  a sticky note on my computer that says:  LET JOY BE MY GPS.  Thanks, Jack.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is the author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, psychotherapist and shamanic soul retrieval practitioner.  Visit for more or

Photo printed with permission from Abraham Peraza, www.abrahamperaza




        The holidays! Too busy? Too much food? Too much money?  Getting stressed just thinking about all you have to do?  Here’s a terrific antidote my family has done for years: The Guess-A-Present Game.  It’s no calories, under $10, and guaranteed to make you laugh.

Our family started this game almost 50 years ago. My dad or I would search all year long for a wild, wacky, and very silly item that we’d wrap and pass around the Christmas eve dinner table.  Each person gets a yes or no question, like: Is it a household item? Is it a food? Is it a toy? Does it have a useful function?

Over the years the guess-a-present has been such crazy things as camel nose plugs, antique hair curlers, marinated shark jerky, Japanese baby shampoo hat.  And, this year it was a yodeling pickle.  Yes, that’s right.  A plastic toy pickle. You press a button and it yodels.  A must-have item.  And, we all had a great laugh. The person who guesses correctly gets to keep the item, and needs to find the next guess-a-present.

A couple of years ago, one cousin lamented that, since she only came to visit at Thanksgiving time, she never got to play this game.  So, now we play at Thanksgiving and at Christmas eve.

I share this simple game we invented because we all need some light-hearted laughs this season.  And, some of you may actually be brave and bold and silly enough to try it at your holiday table. If you do I’d love to hear how it went.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, former psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group, and shamanic soul retrieval practitioner.  Visit or

Printed with permission from Rosemary Goodell.  See



        With the horrible shootings in San Bernardino, California, we have had 355 shooting with four or more injuries in this country just this year.  Isn’t that enough to STOP the sale of automatic weapons? Isn’t that enough to pass reasonable gun control laws.

At his recent news conference, President Obama said, “We have a no-fly list, but those same people can by guns.”  What’s wrong with that picture? Let’s put a stop to this now!

Jill Raiguel, MFT, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Visit or

Printed with permission of Abraham Peraza. See


neurofeedbackWHAT IS NEUROFEEDBACK? – Jill Raiguel, MFT


Recently, I was discussing Neurofeedback with my colleague Catherine Boyer, LCSW. Below she describes what it is and how it might be helpful.

Your brain is the most complex system on Earth. It possesses an amazing ability to organize itself. Neurofeedback works with the electrical activity of that system and gives your brain the opportunity to use that amazing ability to regulate itself in the way that’s right for you.

By pauses in a sound stream that are precisely timed to state shifts in your brain, NeurOptimal® neurofeedback gives your brain information on what it’s doing. Your brain then uses that information to re-normalize itself.

How this will manifest in your life is up to your CNS – the Central Nervous System, your brain and spinal cord. It will use the information it’s getting in the way that’s right for you. That makes NeurOptimal® very side effect free.

I’m writing specifically about NeurOptimal® because I believe it’s the state of the art in neurofeedback. Traditional protocol-based neurofeedback encourages the brain to move in specific, pre-determined directions. It can be very helpful, but it’s also side effect prone. NeurOptimal®, because it empowers your CNS to make the changes that are right for you, is virtually side effect free.


Neurofeedback is not new. It has been around for about half a century, gradually becoming more and more comprehensive and sophisticated. If you want to perform at your best or improve your sleep or concentration; or if there is something you want less of, perhaps anxiety, loss of focus, depression, anger, sleep problems or headaches, it is likely that neurofeedback can help you.

To read more, visit my colleague Catherine Boyer’s New York Neurofeedback website.

Link for New York Neurofeedback:



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Printed with permission from CBeyondFractals

Beating the Holiday Blues – Jill Raiguel, MFT

Do you dread the holidays?  Are you afraid of slipping into negative habits: Do you feel pressured to spend time with people you don’t like?  Do you feel out of control?

            Applying some holiday Life Skills lessons, you can begin to create a meaningful, fun and nurturing holiday for you and your family whatever holiday you celebrate.

Susan told me last year, I wish it were over; I just want to fast-forward to January 1st and be done with the holidays.” This powerful businesswoman already felt overwhelmed and disappointed before Thanksgiving. Susan and her children were going to the obligatory dinner with relations who drank too much.  She disliked their negative attitude about life and the bad example they set for her kids. And, she certainly didn’t feel like buying them presents.

Then I offered, “What if you didn’t go?  Or, what if you went for 30 minutes and then created just what you and your kids wanted to do? What would that be?  What would be nurturing and festive for each person?  Listen to everyone and create a plan together. Make your own family tradition that meets your needs.”

Susan did just that.  She didn’t want to cook, her son wanted to see a new movie, and her daughter wanted to do a puzzle. She and her kids stopped by the relatives and left quickly, then had their own holiday.  Susan told me it was the best holiday they’d had in years.  Susan took back her power, set her boundaries, and created what she needed.  And, she modeled all that for her kids.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do I need?
  2. What’s meaningful to me?
  3. What fun for me?
  4. Am I overextending?

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Beating the Holiday Blues is taken from her book.  She is formerly an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona, Calif, and formerly psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group. She has a private practice and trains people in her work.