Luke Adams: Author, Educator, Activist, Counselor

Luke Adams: Author, Educator, Activist, Counselor

Luke Adams

Luke Adams

Luke Adams is a psychotherapist offering one-to-one psychotherapy for adults, relationships, and groups in both brief and long-term therapeutic modalities. Luke’s therapeutic approach is intersubjective in nature, drawing from various schools of philosophy which have all had a role in the formation of his somatic, environmental, and transpersonal theoretical orientation. Luke also works closely with other practitioners where proper medication or other techniques may be helpful.

Luke believes that you have expertise in you, and seeks to meet you where you arrive and accompany you on the path to where you want to be. He brings to the table his own expertise in approaches and tools, and a style that is both caring and rigorous. Together, sometimes holding mindful space and sometimes directing the efforts, Luke works with you to help you reach your goals. Luke will offer exclusive individual and relationship sessions from offices in San Francisco and Chicago, and will additionally provide confidential video conference appointments to residents of California and Illinois.

 About “Sex and Drugs and Rock-n-roll.”

Luke is the author of the forthcoming book, Sobersexual: How to be Dirty After You’ve Gotten Clean.

Luke believes that sex is a good thing. In fact, he believes that it is a great thing. Having responsible, consensual, actualized, and fully-present sex can be one of the greatest experiences life has to offer. And drugs? People probably would not use mind-altering drugs if they did not make them feel good for a time. The difficulty is that the use of mind-altering drugs can lead to a host of problems.

A good therapist who works with the issues of drugs and/or sex helps patients get from where they are to where they want to be. Luke works with clients to develop a personal standard of sexual health and of dealing with substance use issues. Though Luke is informed in several modalities, in his own practice he does not provide any form of physical bodywork.

This kind of work together can involve coaching, homework assignments, fantasy and dream exploration, archetypal or spiritual work, behavior evaluation, risk and harm assessments, working on the stages of change and reduction of risk and harm, recovery work, and/or the more traditional, exploratory aspects of talk therapy. When appropriate, a therapist doing this work may recommend medical advice, acupuncture, yoga, massage, bodywork practitioners, or surrogates.


Luke Adams earned his Master of Arts degree in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco, and his certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a California registered psychotherapeutic intern in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is a lifetime member of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.

A longtime progressive community activist, policy organizer, and health care advocate, Adams earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Communication from Adlai E. Stevenson College of the University of California at Santa Cruz. He also served as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a progressive think-tank in Washington, DC. From IPS, he launched—at the height of the AIDS Crisis in America—an initiative for models of training for young Queer1 and Trans2 organizers and activists.

In addition to this very Western, very scientific construct, Adams has studied and worked in several areas of Energy Medicine, including hypnotherapy, sex education, Asian Bodywork Therapies, herbalism, nutrition, and the Usui School of Natural Healing. He became a Reiki Master practitioner with Jon Coleman in 2004, tracing his lineage to Dr. Mikao Usui. A medium by heredity, Adams also studied the writings of Carl G. Jung and of Joseph Campbell, spiritualist sources, and ancient rites and myths to receive his master’s degree for ordained ministry, and was granted an honorary doctorate, with the Nazoreans of Mount Carmel (a group of gnostic essenes).

Adams is a ministerial member of the International Spiritualist Federation. He was ordained to the gnostic priesthood in 2007 at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Francisco by three bishops (Neil Christensen, Kenneth Babauta, and Lou Anthony Bordisso) from several historic lineages of the apostolic succession—both “standard” and gnostic. Adams carries out this worker-priesthood within the “circle of the heart” of Bishop Rosamonde Ikshvãku Miller (Hiérophante de la Voir du Magdalene d’Aix-en-Provence, et Marashin de l’Ordre de Marie de Magdala) of the Gnostic Sanctuary (Redwood City).

Luke Adams is cofounder with Chad Tynan of the not-for-profit organization, Emerge™ —The Adams-Tynan Clinical Foundation. He conducted his psychotherapy internships in integrated medical settings with Tenderloin Health (a past Center of Excellence for impoverished people living with HIV and co-occurring issues), Bayside Marin (a multi-diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation center), San Francisco City Clinic through the Minority AIDS Initiative Targeted Capacity Expansion, and is engaged in consultations with Dossie Easton, MFT (co-author with Janet Hardy of The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures).


  1. The reclaimed word, “Queer,” refers to persons accepting of their homosexual, bisexual, polysexual, and pansexual orientation, whether by preference or practice—persons who often are also known by identifiers such as “lesbian,” “gay,” “bi,” etc. These persons align with a movement for the freedom of dissidents on “orthodox” ideas of sex and gender.
  1. The word, “Trans,” encompasses persons whose identity or expression (or both) crosses the artificial gender binary and may include those who are transvestites, transgender, transsexual, intersex, “two-spirit,” “genderqueer,” or in other ways self-identified as non-conforming to heteronormative gender notions. These persons may choose to align with a movement for the freedom of dissidents on “orthodox” ideas of sex and gender.


  • Association for Transpersonal Psychology, Lifetime Member
  • International Spiritualist Federation, Clergy
  • National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Foundation Member
  • International Association of Reiki Professionals, Master Practitioner
  • National Guild of Hypnotists, Certificate in Hypnotherapy
  • American Association for MFT, Clinical Member (also Illinois chapter)
  • NAADC: The Association for Addiction Professionals, Member
  • Gaylesta: The LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association, Member
  • Jung Society of Washington (DC), Member
  • Bay Area Open Minds (SF), Member



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The environmental, transpersonal, and somatic (holistic psychotherapy) worldview: Humans are multidimensional sentient beings comprised of spirit, mind, and body, and the human being exists within an interactive contingent reality composed of systems and environments. Humans have awareness (consciousness) about their inner lives and their outer interactions, as well as sub-awareness (a subconscious which is not operating at the level of mindfulness), and a hidden awareness (unconscious buried material that impacts cognitions/feelings and behaviors, and which has an individual locus but is also connected to a collective locus). Humans, for good or ill (depending on their superconscious formations), act to meet their five great instincts, and they generally use agency to do so in either a pro-social ("productive orientation") or anti-social ("entropic orientation") manner.

The five great instincts:

1. To be part-of
2. To have power to achieve
3. To exercise liberty of individual agency
4. To play and relax.
5. To sustain one's survival

When a person or a relationship system recognizes dysfunction and seeks to -- or is made to seek to -- fix it, the environmental, transpersonal, and somatic worldview utilizes an approach based on fourth-order cybernetics.

The following are some of the better treatment techniques for mental and emotional health function concerns (apart from specific medication and touch interventions), and they all build on each other:

1) Experiential/Symbolic Therapy (authenticity and humane rapport; relatedness even in mentorship; collaboration, playfulness)
2) Object Relations Therapy and Control-Mastery Therapy (how did we developmentally get here and how do we master the tough parts?) plus Integrative Meaning Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (existential and values approaches)
3) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Strategic Therapy (direct instruction, reality-testing, comparing internal and external logic to achieve reason, rolling with resistance, confronting irrationality)
4) Emotionally Focused Therapy (genuine and open feeling, relying on trusted team members, having healthy boundaries and attachments, more fulfilling experience of being part-of)
5) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Bowen Family Therapy, (seeing the schemes, empowering "right-sized" self-esteem, challenging the scripts, writing new ones, mindfulness, distress tolerance, self-regulating of emotional reactions, strategic and deep/honest communicating, restructuring thought and feeling and action by using countervailing behaviors)
6) Gestalt Therapy (feel it rather than simply intellectualize it, look at somatic and work on them, consciously integrate the environment, the systems, and the internal compartments).
7) Solution-Focused (envision your ideal, reduce risk and harm to personally acceptable levels, build on strengths) Therapy

A good therapist who has a theoretical orientation that is environmental, transpersonal, and somatic, will integrate tools from all of these therapeutic techniques. The therapist will not be bound to the theory behind the techniques, but will conduct an integrative therapy based from within the environmental, somatic, and transpersonal (holistic psychotherapy) theoretical worldview. The therapist will act to help patients gain not only further expertise about themselves, but also to gain effective tools to live more fulfilling lives with more fulfilling relationships.
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