Psychotherapist, Poet, and Dream Worker

Pioneering psychotherapist Ed Tick has revitalized ancient Greek dream incubation practices for individual and community healing. In a dream workshop with him in 2008, I had one of the most powerful dream teachings I’ve ever experienced, and it started me on the path of dreaming in an indigenous and mythical way.

Ed also understands the power of ritual and the need for the whole community to come back into balance when there has been an injury to any of its members. He’s studied extensively with Native American teachers, and uses powerful healing ceremonies to facilitate healing for war veterans suffering from PTSD. 

He facilitates “Warrior Welcome Home” ceremonies, where combat veterans who have gone through the initiatory hell of war are formally welcomed back by their community. Soldiers in their 80’s come for the ritual they never received when they needed it,finally having the spiritual status of their experience honoured.

Ed also leads pilgrimages to Vietnam, taking veterans back to the places where they killed people or watched buddies die, and working there with dreams and rituals to heal relationships with the Spirit of the deceased – with incredible results.

It’s only by understanding trauma as a soul wound, Ed says, that we can truly learn to heal it: “Spiritually based cultures affirmed that once someone participates in destruction and killing, they become different forever, their souls are affected and afflicted and they need and deserve massive degrees of tending and caring by the community and its elder warriors and spiritual leaders. In traditional cultures, not only the health professionals but also the entire society took responsibility for their warriors’ safe returns.

From the perspective of the soul, a person with PTSD is stuck in hell and awash in destruction and death. Anyone in this condition needs rebirth. Healing occurs when the wounded soul is guided to that rebirth, and world spiritual traditions teach that there is a spiritual process of initiation involved in order to finally be able to declare, like the psalmist David, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”

From Ed, I learned about the power of ritual to extend healing power back through time. When I facilitate funerals for people who died years ago, helping the survivors make spiritual sense out of the loss, I feel my connection and gratitude to Ed and his teachings.

Learn more about Ed and his work

Ed’s website:
Soldier’s Heart.

Ed’s books:
The Practice of Dream Healing: Bringing Ancient Greek Mysteries into Modern Medicine
War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

An interview in the Sun magazine:
Like Wandering Ghosts: How The U.S. Fails Its Returning Soldiers

A keynote presentation on trauma and the collective, at Oregon State University:

Ed Tick Video