“Until we make the unconscious conscious, it will direct our life and we will call it fate”. CG Jung

“To let the unconscious go it’s own way and to experience it as reality is something that exceeds the courage and capacity of the average European. He prefers simply not to understand this problem. For the spiritually weakened this is the better course, since the thing is not without its dangers.” – Carl Gustav Jung
The basic idea of Jungian psychology involves the task of making the unconscious conscious and integrating what is discovered in the unconscious as part of the conscious personality. This may seem very heady and difficult to grasp, but we must try to think of it as seeing that there are parts of ourselves that are hidden in the shadows, parts of ourselves that we would really prefer not to explore –these unconscious parts of ourselves affect our lives, they pull us into situations, they attract certain people, they actually create circumstances that, without an awareness we tend to view (these situations) as somewhat beyond our control. We tend to think of these things as something that is happening to us like fate as opposed to something we might actually be partially responsible for.  In other words; it appears that events are happening to us from the outside and we say or we think, “I can’t help it” or “it’s not my fault that this is happening to me”.  The more we become conscious of what is unconscious in us, the less we are prone to suffer the effects of what lies in the shadows of consciousness.

Note: The conscious and the unconscious are not two minds. The conscious mind is simply that part of the mind that we are aware of during our awakened states. We can’t be fully conscious of the unconscious mind because one of the brain’s primary functions is to limit or concentrate conscious awareness. However,  we can expand awareness of the unconscious intelligence through intuition-and by developing certain skills that can increase this intuition.

Samantha Matern – Counselor & Life Coach

In addition to being an expert addictions specialist, individual and family counselor – Samantha has over 20 years of life coaching experience. Samantha Matern has a Masters in Counseling Psychology, a Doctorate in Jurisprudence, and a registered Certification in Addictions Counseling. Samantha is also a Certified Addictions Educator. She has completed her training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)  and has worked extensively with all forms of neurosis and addictions as well as trauma and dual diagnosis psychiatric patients with both mental illness and chemical dependency.

Regarding Relationships; Two nonnegotiable elements

By Samantha Matern, Counselor – M.A., J.D.


The two most important, nonnegotiable elements of a healthy relationship of any kind are trust and respect. Love is not a mandatory element of a healthy relationship – only trust and respect are. How many people do you know that you love but can’t have a relationship with? In fact, if there is no trust or respect, is it even considered a relationship? There is no “relating …”

The Grappling Alternative; By Adam


Samantha Matern (AKA: Sam, Sami), has a Masters in Counseling Psychology, a Doctorate in Jurisprudence (law degree), and is registered and certified in Addictions Counseling. Samantha is also a Certified Addictions Educator and is currently teaching at Santa Barbara City College.

Professor Matern recently asked a class of her students if they would like their work published on our website, and social media channels.  Many volunteered, and I have been given the arduous task of deciding which papers to publish.  This in no means is indicative of one paper being better than the other.  I have not met any of the students, therefore it is not favoritism either. Over time, we may very well publish them all. 😁

We would like to thank the students for their honesty, vulnerability, and dedication. While we were given permission, last names will not be printed as a right to their privacy.

The Grappling Alternative; By Adam

Learning how to live and succeed as an addict in recovery can seem overwhelming. After the initial 90 days, around the time the pink cloud is starting to wear off, reality sinks in. What does the addict/alcoholic do with their spare time? By this point, habits have been changed. The addict/alcoholic cannot hang out with old using buddies or frequent the same places they once drank and used in. There are many types of recovery support programs and finding the right one can be intimidating and confusing.

From my personal experience, using a combination of positive outlets has been successful. I believe that 12-step based groups can be comforting and enrich the quality of an addict/alcoholic’s life. The 12 steps have been a major key in my road to recovery. I am also very passionate about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a form of grappling, which incorporates Judo, wrestling, and joint locks. One of the many things that I appreciate with the Jiu Jitsu is the sense of community that comes with the practice of the art. Specifically, I have been very impressed with some of the people I have met who started to train Jiu Jitsu, and have been able to remain completely abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

While I can attest to the value and utility of the 12-step program, it does some shortcoming. In particular, some of the drawbacks to the 12-step program are that an addict/alcoholic must concede to a higher power. In addition, when it comes to drug and alcohol use, the addict/alcoholic must admit that they are powerless. To remedy this situation, one must turn their lives over to a power greater than themselves. One of the positive aspects of a 12-step program is an inclusive community, everyone is welcome no matter their age, gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. As a member of a 12-step group ascends through the steps, they will clean up the wreckage of their past and understand a new freedom. Another fundamental part of a 12-step program is that the old timers must help the newcomers to sustain their own sobriety.

Adam practicing Jiu Jitsu helps in his recovery

Similar to a 12-step program, in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu everyone is welcome. Once a person starts training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they will form a very powerful communal connection with their training partners. Although there is system of belt rankings (based on experience and acquisition of skill), the brazilian Jiu Jitsu school, or academy, is an almost egalitarian gathering place. The raw honesty of Jiu Jitsu practice strips away much of the contrived hierarchal pretense found so commonly in other forms of social interaction. The sense of community leads to a level of involvement with your training partners, where people will be held accountable for showing up to train and questioned if they stop coming to the academy. Another direct correlation between Jiu Jitsu and a 12-step program is that Jiu Jitsu classes are taught by the more experienced members. In most gyms, black belts teach the techniques to the class and then help any student who might be struggling with understanding the technique. This is similar to an old timer helps a newcomer through the steps. Another benefit from training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a positive increase in self esteem. As a person becomes more involved with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they will improve their overall health and in turn, most people choose to eat a clean diet to ensure the most nutrients for their body. Lastly, as a person becomes better at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they are rewarded with a higher rank in the form of colored belts starting at white, then blue, purple, brown, and finally black. This provides a demonstrable symbol of commitment and achievement. One dissimilarity I do see between a 12-step program and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is no work on cleaning up the wreckage of one’s past and making amends to all who have been harmed. Although, the reflective practitioner of Jiu Jitsu will look back at their training and think about the way in which they could improve in the future.

I have met many people through training who say Jiu Jitsu saved their life. Two men that come to mind were both former gang members as well as heroin addicts. One of these men has been clean and sober for 15 years now and is no longer an active gang member. In addition, he has achieved the rank of black belt. The second man has been sober for 5 years. He is excelling through the belt system and is no longer an active gang member. Both of these men have respectable jobs and are positive members of society. This is very encouraging for their peers and the younger generation. In conclusion, I want to make it clear that I am not saying that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is better than a 12-step program. For me, a combination of both has been extremely beneficial. I do believe that the similarities between the two might be some indication as to why people can remain abstinent and better their lives through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


Clarity; Our Experiences Are Not Mistakes

Author, Marianne Williamson

I think for this entry from Marianne Williamson’s Language of Letting Go, it really depends on your value system or your belief system. This entry talks a lot about God, a lot about there being a “plan”. For some people this might sound like fatalistic destiny or magical mystical stuff. From a more rational, logical, neurobiological standpoint, I’d like to look at what she is saying as ‘having clarity for a plan’ meaning, that if I am centered, peaceful, and not acting out of a place of fear, then there really is not much confusion going on in my life. Confusion is really just thinking I shouldn’t be confused when in fact I am. Clarity means being willing to sit back, and practice patience and see if I can watch this ‘plan’ (creation) unfold.     ♥ Samantha  
By Marianne Williamson

When we are in the midst of an experience, it is easy to forget that there is a Plan. Sometimes, all we can see is today. If we were to watch only two minutes of the middle of a television program, it would make little sense. It would be a disconnected event.
If we were to watch a weaver sewing a tapestry for only a few moments and focused on only a small piece of the work, it would not look beautiful. It would look like a few peculiar threads randomly placed. How often we use that same, limited perspective to look at our life—especially when we are going through a difficult time. [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] 

We can learn to have perspective when we are going through those confusing, difficult learning times. When we are being pelleted by events that make us feel, think, and question, we are in the midst of learning something important.
We can trust that something valuable is being worked out in us—even when things are difficult, even when we cannot get our bearings. Insight and clarity do not come until we have mastered our lesson.

Faith is like a muscle. It must be exercised to grow strong. Repeated experiences of having to trust what we can’t see and repeated experiences of learning to trust that things will work out are what make our faith muscles grow strong.

Today, I will trust that the events in my life are not random. My experiences are not a mistake. The Universe, my Higher Power, and life are not picking on me. I am going through what I need to go through to learn something valuable, something that will prepare me for the joy and love I am seeking.

Samantha Matern: I love the example she gives of coming in halfway through to view a tapestry. Halfway through anything looks like something is unfinished -when in fact, it is unfinished! I like to see this another way -I don’t have the ability to look around corners so sometimes I have to trust that I’m making the right decision because I making the decision from a place of peace not a place of fear, making decisions from a place of fear can often cause us to use dishonesty neediness obsession… Or some other form of physical or spiritual starvation that is actually the cause of us making this decision. Desperation is never a good tool to use when trying to make a decision and trying to gain balance and clarity.

Having a Life Coach or a Counselor can often help a person become clear on what they do or do not want.  Please contact me if I can help.    ♥ Samantha 


Holding Your Own; Trust What YOU know

It can be difficult to trust ourselves, to return and re-align with our natural given intuition and instincts. After years of avoiding, neglecting, or allowing others to dominate or oppress us, we can finally discover just how far away we have moved from our true self. When we find a coach or teacher that can show us the way back to ourselves, we need never doubt ourselves again – we can think, move, feel, and make choices with complete confidence and certainty. It is an amazing way to live! ♥ Samantha Matern – sam@unityholisticlifecoach.com



From the Language of Letting Go:

“Trust yourself. Trust what you know.

Sometimes, it is hard to stand in our own truth and trust what we know, especially when others would try to convince us otherwise.

In these cases, others may be dealing with issues of guilt and shame. They may have their own agenda. They may be immersed in denial. They would like us to believe that we do not know what we know; they would like us not to trust ourselves; they would prefer to engage us in their nonsense. We don’t have to forfeit our truth or our power to others. That is codependency. Believing lies is dangerous. When we stop trusting our truth, when we repress our instincts, when we tell ourselves there must be something wrong with us for feeling what we feel or believing what we believe, we deal a deadly blow to our self and our health. When we discount that important part of ourselves that knows what is the truth, we cut ourselves off from our center. We feel crazy. We get into shame, fear, and confusion. We can’t get our bearings when we allow someone to pull the rug from under us. This does not mean that we are never wrong. But we are not always wrong. Be open. Stand in our truth. Trust what you know. And refuse to buy into denial, nonsense, bullying, or coercion that would like to take you off course.Ask to be shown the truth, clearly—not by the person trying to manipulate or convince you, but by yourself, your Higher Power, and the Universe.

Today, I will trust my truth, my instincts, and my ability to ground myself in reality. I will not allow myself to be swayed by bullying, manipulating, games, dishonesty, or people with peculiar agendas.”

If you’re struggling, please get in touch. I’ve provided my email address (above), and a contact form below. My phone number is listed at the top of my website. If you’re not an existing client, the 15-minute consultation is free of charge.