Michael Schiesser’s career in the field of facilitation spans 32 years, in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He is co-founder of the not-for-profit Inner Journey Institute and of Healing Divorce LLC. Michael has created and facilitated a vast number of workshop intensives and seminars, including The Inner Journey Seminar, Inner Journey Facilitation Training, Human Experience, Essential Pilgrimage, Curriculum for Conscious Living, and the Soul of Leadership—a transformational course for organizational leaders.
Michael was raised in a small village in Bavaria, Germany, and was strongly influenced by the spirituality of his Christian mother. After five years in the Bavarian Police Force, he earned a “Magister in Social Work” in Munich, with specialization in Pastoral Counseling. He went on to receive a B.A. in philosophy from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. Later, he studied under Graf Durckheim, who brought Zen Buddhism to Germany, integrating Carl Jung’s work with Zen Buddhism, which was a profound influence on the existential spiritual approach to counseling that Michael practices today. A deep yearning to understand himself and the human condition had Michael embark on an extensive journey of inner and outer discovery across Europe, Asia, and North America.
Michael also studied under many renowned spiritual teachers, such as Osho and Sri H.L. Poonja (the last living disciple of the Indian saint, Sri Ramana Maharshi), as reflected in his own later teachings. In the ‘90s, after years of work in eastern spirituality, Michael re-embraced Christianity, and integrated Christian teachings in therapeutic and spiritual seminars—to open people to their spiritual connection through profound emotional release work and prayer. Later in the ‘90s, he lived the life of a Buddhist monk in a meditation monastery in Burma, where he deepened his Vipassana meditation practice and developed a profound understanding of the working of the human mind, as later reflected in his extensive teachings around the Superego (a.k.a. the Supreme Court). Michael went on to explore and train in therapeutic modalities of the Human Potential Movement, the transpersonal psychology aspects of Gestalt therapy, bioenergetics, rebirthing, and the healing arts. He also trained as an acupuncturist under Professor J.R. Worsley, who introduced Chinese Five Elements acupuncture to England and the U.S.
In recent years, while living in California, Michael studied under Faisal Muquaddam at the Diamond Logos Academy, the Enneagram, essential work, and other teachings around the human journey as not being about spiritualizing humanity but, rather, about humanizing spirituality—which became the core theme in his Essential Pilgrimage program. In parallel, Michael’s studies of Family Constellation Work under the famed psychotherapist, Bert Hellinger, led to the creation of the Human Experience seminar. He began facilitating his first group workshops in 1982, culminating with the creation of the Inner Journey Seminar in 1995, which blended the core elements of eastern and western philosophies, and has since assisted thousands of people in their personal, professional and spiritual transformation.
In May, 2004, Michael’s son, Kai, was born, and became the most important teacher of his life—with daily lessons on patience, endurance, joy, empathy, compassion, playfulness, and unconditional love. For more about Kai’s journey as a special needs child, go to friendsofkai.org.
In 2006, Michael’s marriage to Neelama came to an abrupt end, beginning a profound personal journey in which he confronted the deepest emotional challenges of his life. Through an intense two-year inner process for them both, his relationship with his ex-wife transformed into a loving friendship, a business partnership, and a dedication to co-parenting their son. The personal and interpersonal journey they embarked on, separately and together, became the blueprint for the creation of today’s Healing Divorce work. In 2015, Michael and Neelama co-authored a memoir of that healing journey, entitled “Divorce: a Love Story.”
Michael facilitates and coaches men, women, and couples in private practice in Woodstock, GA—in person, on the phone, or by skype.