Deborah Bowman | 303-546-3559

Professor | Former School Dean, Graduate School of Counseling and Psychology
Core Faculty


MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling - Core Faculty


PhD Clinical Psychology, Union Institute and University
Certificate Gestalt Therapy, Gestalt Institute of the Rockies
BA Speech Commununications and Human Relations, Kansas University

Deborah is the founder of the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and the Wilderness Therapy programs at Naropa University. She is a licensed psychologist and certified Gestalt therapist and also a trainer with the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute, offering post graduate education and supervision. Deborah has served as president of Boulder Graduate School, worked for Boulder County Hospice and Boulder County Social Services, and instructed with the National Outdoor Leadership School. She is a meditation instructor with Nalandabodhi Boulder.

Deborah is author of The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love, The Luminous Buddha: Images and Words and co-author of When Your Spouse Comes Out, published by the GLBT Family Series with Haworth Press.

See for more information about her writing and presentations. 

Areas of Specialization

  • Transpersonal Counseling
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Jungian Psychology
  • Dreams and Art
  • Nonviolent Communication

From the heart

In 25 years of teaching at Naropa I never fail to fall in love with the learning I receive in sharing a classroom with our counseling students.  Their openness, intelligence, humor and spontenaity remind me why I continue to return to the challenge of a contemplative learning community dedicated to healing and transformation.  Witnessing their tremendous service and leadership in the world I am honored to be among their ranks as a professional in the field. 


  • Naropa: Teacher Award for Exemplary Service to the Educational Vision (1991)
  • Naropa: President’s Award for Exemplary Service (2013)

Recent performances/publications/activity

  • 2014 TEDx Boulder – Falling into Grace (below)

Courses taught

  • Gestalt Awareness I
  • Gestalt Experiment II
  • Professional Orientation
  • Ethics I & II

What book do you find yourself regularly pressing into the hands of students?

Victor Frankel, Man’s Search for Meaning
Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child
Lotus Moon: The Poetry of Buddhist Nun Rengetsu

Describe a moment when you helped a student reach an “ah ha” or transformational moment.

In a Gestalt course I taught a number of years ago I facilitated a therapy demonstration with a Deaf student. As part of the outcome of her work she declared the beauty of her silent world and and then helped everyone in our class to understand her profound experience.

She and I later published an article about our mutual discoveries in that class in the Gestalt Review entitled: The Power of Gestalt Therapy in Accessing the Transpersonal: Working with Physical Difference and Disability.

Students in subsequent classes describe how deeply they are moved and how much they learn about working with diversity and the transcendent experience when they read our article.