Creating Successful Herbal Practitioners...

The Ohlone Center of Herbal Studies - Berkeley, California > Blog > Creating Successful Herbal Practitioners for Clinical Practice

Creating Successful Herbal Practitioners for Clinical Practice

By Pam Fischer
Executive Director, OHC
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The Ohlone Center for Herbal Studies is a unique place.

We are a small school run by clinical herbalists.  Our desire is to mentor powerful budding herbalists and send them into their community with the tools they will need to navigate the various challenges that face their careers.  After students graduate, Ohlone continues to play a supportive role as in helping students actualize their dreams.  

We are proud of the successes our students are having.  Some have started their own clinics, others their own medicine lines.  Many having thriving professional practices where they help people realize their health goals — people who represent many different threads of our community, from every walk of life.  

After 15 year of educating herbalists and watching who succeeds (and who doesn’t), we have recognize that a key component to success is the time that we spend with our students on personal development and supportive dialog on the creation of their passion and a vision for it in the world.  We help them to find alignments that are supportive to their vision.   We work hard at this and the graduates over the last 4 years are a measurement for our success.

The amount of individual attention that our students receive prevents us from educating on a massive scale, so you will not find online classes or impersonal groups.  Rather our classes are small and our teachers meet frequently, directing curriculum to both achieve what is needed for professional knowledge and what is needed for each individual’s vision.   No two classes are the same.  In a very real sense, we are becoming an intentional community with a mission.

Traditionally Herbalism is a oral tradition, one studies directly with a master, often for a life time.  Our program is from 2 to 4 years.  There is no faster route.  In fact, rather than simply undergoing the one year of clinic training required for certification, students often sign up for a second year.  Our commitment is to mentor our students, to help foster their dreams, and create strategies for success.  

This involves more than just learning about plants.  It is an exploration not just in plant information, but also in our student’s internal process focusing on who they think they are and what limits they set on themselves.  To be a successful clinician or practitioner, you need to be powerful within yourself. We try to remove the barriers to this power.  

Our student clinic is one of a handful in this country.  It provides needed supervised practice when students are most vulnerable.  Directly after students receive their education they often think they can heal the world and, as a result, sometimes approach clients with a bit of cockiness or hubris rather than coming from a place of gratitude, curiosity, and humility.  

The Ohlone Clinic is a supportive place that student learn the realities of peoples lives and the difficulties that keep healing from taking place.  We practice multiple techniques and strategies and learn to shift them when they are not working.  In this way, we are able to foster in our students the mental, emotional, and spiritual grounding from which they can build a successful practice and be a force of true healing and inspiration in the world.

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