Joanna Intara Zim is a modern day spiritual guide, psychotherapist and author of the forthcoming book CycleBreaker – When Pain Finally Changes to Freedom.
Using her own dark night of the soul experiences as slingshots into true freedom, Joanna has spent decades practicing opening, allowing, and surrender as a spiritual path. She has taught, written and guided others from these love and wisdom streams for many years – guiding & counseling people since 1986 and teaching since 1991.
Joanna holds a profound authenticity, and capacity to guide people through the depths of their suffering, into the limitless and timeless nature of their true selves. Don’t waste another day to the same old patterns that keep you stuck and unfulfilled.
I was born in Paisley, Scotland. There were lots of green hills, fog and freezing winters. I’d like to tell you that I played with the Loch Ness monster as a child, but I never did catch a glimpse of her. However, during one freezing winter, I discovered the Chronicles of Narnia. I soon began to bang on the edge of my closet walls looking for the secret passage to a land far away.
I didn’t quite land in Narnia, but somehow the Universe handed me a golden ticket when my parents announced at the age of nine that we were moving to California. I remember when Mrs. Woolfson, the head principal at my small school announced we were leaving. I felt like I’d won the lottery. Everyone was happy for my next adventure.
I had four “dark nights of the soul” before I was 17.
The first occurred just before our plane took off. One hundred members of our family gathered at the airport to see us off. Everyone was crying, including my father, which startled me. It was a massive grieving ritual, for the loss of the life we had known, and the rebirth of the life we were about to live. To grieve such loss, so deep, and so early in life catapulted me into my heart and opened compassion's love into my understanding of the world.
The second event was a near-drowning when I was pulled under by a violent rip tide in the Pacific ocean at 10 years old. The third event happened when I was 12. I witnessed a savage and violent incident that catapulted me into a deeper relationship with self-love.
These events led me at 13 years of age, to bike over to the next town and seek out a therapist to explain the deep suffering I had lived through. I began to realize that every incident was a call to wake up and become whole. By listening to the wisdom and teachings of my conditioning, I became thoroughly ignited to wake up through every obstacle, and voraciously studied psychology, yoga, and prayer, which gave me the tools to stop resisting my human challenges. Every time problems arose, they gave my soul an opportunity to grow and to return home. I went after every opportunity life gave me.
The fourth event happened when I was 17. I shattered my tailbone on the balance beam, which ended a promising career as a gymnast and dancer.
This crisis-opening led me to study Hatha, Ashtanga, and Iyengar Yoga with many of the leading teachers of our time. I also became a student of Zen, Vipassana meditation, arriving home again at the profound teachings and practices of Vajryana (Tibetan) Buddhism.
Knowing that service to total awakening and wholeness in all forms was my true life path, I began counseling peers in 1986 and working with parents and children, including those with special needs, in 1987. From then on, I completely dedicated myself to absorbing essential source wisdom from as many dimensions and teachers as possible. These included meditation, yoga, sacred prayer, ceremony, psychotherapies, our sacred mother earth, somatic healing, partnerships, trauma and many more.
I pursued specialized training in EMDR and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, advanced training in couples therapy, partnership healing crisis resolution, including Imago relationship therapy, extensive training on spirituality and psychotherapy, prayer ceremony practice and earth wisdom practices.
“My healing session with Joanna was amazing and enlightening as she really understands exactly what her clients need. Not only did she empower me to shift my perspective of my inner-self, but her work gave rebirth to positive energy in my body, and a new feeling of liveliness, calmness which provided relief from the various … Continue reading “Story 24”
“My husband and I started working with Joanna regarding issues with the struggles in our marriage. The communication between us was not good and we struggled with challenges of daily life, and my pain issues. Joanna was able to set us on a new path with her gentle nature and very knowledgeable interventions. She made … Continue reading “Story 23”
“I just want to thank you for the remarkable and transformational journey we’ve been on – you really have a gift. When I think about talking to someone on grief, it’s not just about someone who knows the five steps of grief, but someone, a great therapist, who really walks with you right in the … Continue reading “Story 22”
It is my life purpose and mission help you end your suffering. To follow the calling of your soul until you reach the other shore. You may not believe it’s there. It is, and it is calling you, always, to come home.
I bring the quality of really ‘being with’ you where you are. And due to my life experience and empathic ability, I can get inside the human challenge with you. I help you learn to tolerate the challenge, and relate to it, and then together, see where we are. Together we ask, what wants to happen next? It always takes you easily to where you need to go, allowing your intuition and natural rhythms to grow and be trusted.
I’m here to support you in making the full transition to living, relating and feeling on a much deeper realm. You can thrive in a prosperous existence that many people only dream about or have simply given up on.
I appreciate and know from first-hand experience, the depth of courage it takes to truly look very deeply within and the treasure trove of amazing discovery that awaits you from that road taken.
I’ll help you own the full value and reward of the risks you take. And your quality of life and relationships will be infinitely richer because of it.
Credentials can certainly play an important role in choosing a prospective therapist and you can see my full list of training, education, and experience here. I also welcome you to ask additional questions about my training and experience during our initial consultation.
San Francisco State M.A. Integral Counseling Psychology
California Institute of Integral Studies
L.M.F.T. Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist – December 2001
(3000 hour supervised training followed by passing a rigorous written and oral exam)
I feel so lucky to have lived in places of breathtaking beauty: from the mystical lands of foggy Scotland, the desert and mountains here in California, the fresh juiciness and vibrancy of San Francisco, the rolling hills of west Marin and and now the earthy majesty of West Sonoma County.
I am listening to the heartbeat of the earth during this time, and I hear the call for greater awareness, care and respect for the precious gift of living here in a human body in this world I call home.
I’m here to help us all come home together in a living connection of heart, care and fresh appreciation of all that is.
I respect that the earth is a powerful mirror for us all and that we can know things in nature as a portal and perfect lead-in to deepening our understanding of our inner nature.
I aspire to manifest the greater change to come, through myself and through my work.
I welcome all who share my affinity for transformation to join me in tuning into these realms of information and explore these channels of enlightenment together. While other, more traditional therapists may not be aligned to those realms, I welcome and embrace those wishing to speak from that deep place and will give you full recognition for who and what you truly are.
For 30 years I have worked with many different teachers who walk these ancient ways in modern times and recognize how their teachings never fail to bring a further dimension of awakening and wisdom to whatever work or process wants to unfold. I have also found that clients from all backgrounds appreciate the common sense, non-heady and non-intellectual approach offered by these traditions.
I listen to what’s happening during these challenging human times, and I gratefully receive new fresh archetypes particularly relevant for the healing of our challenges, especially now. Cyclebreaker is an example of a new archetype that was born to help people quickly break cycles of suffering once and for all. And it useful for couples, women, and opening your heart.
During the past twenty years, I have been pioneering the development of accessible and fresh awakening tools to help end the karmic cycles of suffering that afflict us all. These tools allow natural and effortless opening to our limitless true nature. Some call it pure being or True Self. Sometimes I call it 'only love.'
Spirituality is the hot new buzzword in relationships, social circles and the workplace. Everyone is talking about meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and enlightenment. It’s the new main attraction and this is fantastic news if you’re called to this path yourself.
The focus on spirituality tells us that there is a hunger for deeper meaning in life beyond therapy. Clearly, it’s time for spiritual guidance work to take a more prominent place in our lives.
Many times my clients come to clear and heal a huge piece of their psychological work which is an amazing and courageous feat. There comes a point for many people where the intensity and the issues addressed in psychotherapy just don’t emerge in the same gripping way as they once did.
Psychological work requires looking deeply into one’s thoughts and emotional patterns, clearing out and completing family of origin wounding or trauma, and the deep of work attending to the world of story, mood, past, relationships and all that goes with that.
Stories about wounds or trauma seem to slow or cease. Mood and emotion become more manageable. Anxieties and depressions slow or resolve, and relationships improve. Therapy isn’t as compelling as it once was, but you know this doesn’t mean the personal development work ends here.
You have a sense that there is more, that there is a new zone of aliveness, waiting to pour amazing goodness into the deep well of experience that makes up your daily life.
Welcome to the place where spiritual growth work begins. You now have the opportunity to work more directly with the many amazing faces of spirit; the jewel qualities of presence, compassion, awareness, love and grace.
And, you have the key to open to a deeper level of your own wisdom and compassion, through the many different practices that I offer you in spiritual guidance, as you journey ever deeper into the essential ground of who you really are.
Sessions are usually 50 minutes long and once a week, however I also offer longer sessions and more frequent meetings as needed or desired.
Please feel free to call me so we can discuss my current fee. Hourly fees are for a 50 minute hour for individuals and a 60 minute hour for couples work.
Additional time is pro-rated based upon the hourly fee or packaged hourly rate or as per agreement. I have a few slots for a sliding scale that may be available from time to time. Please ask me about a lower fee if there is a need.
Depending on the program you’ve chosen or wish to create, Immersions usually require a minimum of 5 hours and can often require longer. Some programs may even extend to a few days or up to a week, depending on the depth and desired evolutionary goals at hand. Please contact me for further details and to get started.
Due to recent changes in the healthcare insurance system, I am no longer an “in-network provider” on insurance panels. However, your insurance company may allow you to utilize your mental health benefits with me as an “out-of network provider.” Please contact your benefits administrator for further information on your coverage.
Other options to defer the cost of psychotherapy may include: HSAs – Health Savings Accounts FSAs – Flexible Savings Accounts – these allow you to set aside a certain amount of money through your employer or health insurance company to use for health related expenses, such as psychotherapy, or other treatment that regular medical insurance may not cover. Consult with your employer or insurance plan administrator for more information.
Upon request, I provide invoice receipts for clients able to submit to their insurance company for reimbursement at their mental health plan rate. The same invoice can be used for obtaining reimbursement from Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Savings Accounts. I do not bill insurance directly.
Please understand that coaching or spiritual development work, and psychotherapy are different endeavors and will be treated as such. Psychotherapy involves looking at the underlying mental and emotional cause of challenges and can often involve looking into the past. Spiritual development work is right for those ready to go beyond the stories of the personality and psyche, deep into the discovery and embodiment of your true nature.
Unsure of what’s best for you? Let’s get on a call together to discuss your needs and see what’s wanted and needed at this time.
You can call me at (707) 781-9231 in Sonoma County. You can email me directly at email@example.com.