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Melanie Ryan, LCSW

Melanie Ryan and her husband Andy Steigmeier have been married for 19 years. Together they have overcome many life challenges, including the sudden death of their only child, Justin, who transitioned in December 2023 at the age of 15 from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The mysterious and sudden loss of Justin has deepend Melanie's work in transforming trauma. She now includes helping others with their loss and grief as she embraces it as her greatest teacher. Melanie Ryan is a writer, spiritual psychotherapist, nature photographer and gardener. She believes in the inherent strength of the human spirit and what ancient wisdom can teach us about who we really are. 



1992- Bachelors in Psychology, University of Hartford, CT 

1995 - Dual Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work & Clinical Research, Fordham University, NYC

1995 - Certified Alcohol & Substance Abuse Specialist (CASAC)

2005 - Certified 200hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher, OM Yoga, Cyndi Lee

2007 - Buddhist Vows with Acharya Judy Lief

2010 - Certified Past Life Regression Therapist, Dr. Brian Weiss, MD

2011 - Certified Level 1 Herbalist, Karine Gordineer 

2013 to 2020 - Owner & Founder of The Center for Health & Healing

2015 - Certified Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher, LLyn Roberts & Stacey Gibbons

2017 - Authorized Buddhist Teacher, Shambhala Tradition, NYC 

2017 to 2019 Faculty Member Shamanic Reiki Worldwide

2017 to 2019 - Officer, Secretary of Olympic Mountain Earth Wisdom Circle

2019 to Present - Member of The Center of Applied Jungian Studies Mystery School 

2019 to Present - Member of the Jungian Association of Western Massachusetts 

2020 to Present - Naturopathic Apprentice, Terrain Model, Dr. Marizelle Arce, ND



To help people reconnect with the natural world and reach their full potential. To bring the soul back into psychotherapy as it was in ancient times. 




Trauma is a wound to the soul and our symptoms are messengers of the soul. Melanie Ryan’s 30-year career has been dedicated to healing trauma. She works holistically, taking into account the impact of an unhealthy lifestyle, malnutrition, consumption of toxins in processed foods, synthetic medications and supplements, and the impact of unresolved trauma. 


The golden shadow method is a complete life makeover. It is designed to purify the mind, body, heart and soul and bring one's life back into balance. Melanie Ryan guides you in rebuilding a life that is structured around purity, nature, self-care, beauty, creativity and community. 

Terrain Model Approach

Melanie addresses the destructive patterns that undermine our full potential. She has extensive training in naturopathy and the reversal of chronic diseases. What you eat, drink, and surround yourself with, impacts your physical and emotional well-being. Melanie Ryan addresses the commonly overlooked malnutrition, toxicity, and unhealed trauma that is at the root of illness.


Melanie’s Story


Melanie grew up in the suburbs of New York City during the 1970s in a middle-class family. She had very young parents who divorced when she was two years old. She experienced a chaotic, unstable childhood. Melanie suffered malnutrition, toxemia, emotional and physical trauma. She was often sick as a child then became chronically ill in her 20s and 30s, and nearly disabled with COPD. In 1999, Melanie was taken on a spiritual retreat and introduced to new ways of healing. She became a spiritual seeker and student of holistic medicine. These new but ancient ways of healing are what freed Melanie of her chronic diseases. She now shares her experiences with others and teaches how we can heal ourselves. 


Melanie formally began studying yoga, Buddhism and classical Shamanism in 2002. In 2007, she took her Buddhist vows with Acharya Judith Lief. After 12 years of training, Melanie was authorized to teach in the lineage of Shambhala founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan master from the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages. She was privately mentored for ten years by David Nichtern and Derek Kolleeny who were both direct students of Trungpa Rinpoche. Melanie has also studied with Acharya Pema Chödron, and currently studies with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a teacher of the Bön Tibetan Tradition. 


In December 2012, Melanie woke up early in the morning from a dream. She had received a Vision of a holistic health center that she would create. Melanie followed this Vision and created the largest holistic health center in the Hudson Valley of New York. It became an award winning center and brought healing to thousands of people. Melanie learned from various teachers and spiritual traditions during that time. In 2019, Melanie received Visions guiding her to close the holistic health center. She again followed these Visions and closed it right before the pandemic lockdowns in March of 2020. She then started a new business called Ancient Wisdom Today. 

The pandemic activated a passion for health and healing that led Melanie into a personal relationship and private naturopathic apprenticeship with terrain doctor, Marizelle Arce, ND. 


Melanie has traveled the globe to rural areas and sacred sites learning the ancient ways of healing from traditional people. She has studied with Mayan elders, Lakota, Apache, and Mohican natives. She has received shamanic initiations from Peruvian Q’ero shamans. Melanie continues to travel and study ancient healing, mythology, and ancestral lifestyles. She is an international retreat leader and educator.



Private Healing Sessions: 

- Jungian-Inspired Shadow Work

- Buddhist Meditation Instruction

- Shamanic Journeying & Healing

- Trigger Work with Soul Retrieval 

- Past Life Regression

- How to Live a Toxin-Free Lifestyle

- Vision Quests


Private Course Study with Melanie:


Course 1 - The Golden Shadow Method 

The 3 Pillars

1. Jung & the Shadow

2. Buddha & the Shadow

3. Shaman & the Shadow 

(Scroll for details) 


Course 2 - Secrets of the Golden Shadow

The 3 Pillars

1. Purify the Mind

2. Purify the Body

3. Purify the Soul

(Scroll down for details) 

Melanie lives in the Hudson Valley Region of New York. She works on zoom with clients worldwide. To schedule a private session, please email



24 private sessions live on Zoom with Melanie Ryan


The Golden Shadow Method is based on Jungian psychology, Eastern philosophy, and indigenous wisdom. It focuses on bringing what is hidden in the unconscious into the light of awareness. Self exploration and realization brings about transformation in your life and awakens higher states of consciousness, increases your psychic and creative abilities, and brings healing to all of humanity. 



When we integrate the unconscious,

we become loving, compassionate, creative beings,

which is the source of our true nature.


Pillar One - Jung & the Shadow (8 sessions)


  • Learn about Carl Jung’s teachings on the Shadow and the dark and golden shadows of the psyche. 

  • Understand the personal and collective unconscious.

  • Learn and practice Jung’s techniques of active imagination to discover what is hidden in the unconscious. 

  • Work with archetypes, myth, and legends to access the unconscious. 

  • Learn how repression, denial, and Shadow projection create negative patterns, illness and suffering in your life and how to reverse this.

  • Learn how to work with intense emotional activations (triggers) and the alchemical process of transmuting dark into golden light.

  • Gain a clear understanding of alchemy and what Jung called “the path of individuation,” a path of becoming whole and authentic.

  • Awaken your unconscious sources of strength, creativity and authenticity to allow a more successful and joyful life. 

Pillar Two – Buddha & the Shadow (8 sessions)


  • Learn Buddhist teachings that bring mental clarity, cut through illusions and self-deceptions, and awaken your true nature of Bodhicitta. 

  • Create a healthy lifestyle that promotes inner work and inner peace. 

  • Develop a home meditation practice with support from Melanie.

  • Learn shamantha meditation practice to develop mental strength, stability and clarity.

  • Learn a variety meditation practices for contemplation and for working with difficult emotions. 

  • Learn the Sacred Path of the Warrior Shambhala teachings of the renowned Tibetan Buddhist master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.


Pillar Three – Shaman & the Shadow (8 sessions)


  • Learn the history of shamanism, the oldest healing practice in the world.

  • Learn to safely navigate the spirit world and use protection.

  • Retrieve your power animal, plant ally, and spiritual guide and learn how to use them for healing and transformation. 

  • Connect with nature and the healing power of the Earth and all elements. 

  • Heal a past life and clear karmic debt.

  • Learn how to deal with tricksters and the Lords of the Underworld.

  • Access higher states of consciousness, develop intuition and psychic abilities. 

  • Become more creative, playful and authentic.




Triggers are energetic activations of deep, unhealed wounds to the Soul. The Transmuting Triggers method created by Melanie Ryan is used for healing complex trauma. 




mindfulness meditation 

active imagination

indigenous wisdom 

creative expression


Trauma is a wound to the Soul that creates a disconnection within ourselves. A wound so traumatic creates Soul fragmentation and/or a Soul loss. Healing means we mend the Soul, we integrate the Soul, and return to authentic wholeness.


Soul integration or Soul retrieval is an ancient practice that has been done for millennia among warrior tribes. In shamanic cultures, a holy person conducted a Soul retrieval for the wounded person. However, Melanie Ryan empowers you to learn how to heal yourself. 


Triggers are one symptom of Soul loss. 

Other symptoms including depression, anxiety, insomnia,

addiction, nightmares, negative patterns, pain, loss of interest in activities,

inability to focus or be present, chronic illness, and hopelessness.


Triggers are messengers of the unconscious. They have a very profound story to tell and you need to learn how to be a good listener. Triggers are teachers. They require that you slow down and become more reflective so you can hear their wisdom. Triggers tell us that we have work to do on ourselves. Inner work is needed and there are things from your past that need your attention. Making a commitment to working on your triggers is key to your success. 


Triggers are a map for healing and becoming whole again.

Become an alchemist and transmute your wounds and pain into wisdom,

personal growth, and spiritual awakening. 


The Transmuting Triggers practice is designed for you to have an encounter with the unconscious. Melanie Ryan teaches you the skills and practice so you can then work independently and make progress on your own. You work with Melanie as much or as little as you feel you need. Trauma, suffering, and loss are impacting us collectively. This is a time of rapid change. Trauma carries within it a surprising awakening of consciousness and potential if we find the meaning and purpose of our experiences. The GSM teaches the alchemical process of transmuting your pain into power and your wounds into wisdom. 


No matter how complex your trauma may be, you can heal and

discover a new Self that is healthy, creative, and playful.


Becoming Whole

“The process of becoming whole is what Dr. Carl Jung, MD called individuation. It is the search and integration of all the parts of the Self. Suffering and struggles become meaningful parts of our lives when understood, and life’s hardships can initiate us into a more profound sense of being. Individuation was the centerpiece of Jung’s legacy, a path that shows us how self-knowledge not only helps us navigate the most difficult encounters with ourselves and life but also becomes the creative force behind expanding our psychic structure and attaining a fulfilled life.”

Bud Harris, Ph.D. author of Becoming Whole, A Jungian Guide to Individuation


Melanie‘s work has truly transformed my life. Her expertise and guidance facilitated my growth and evolution, gave me a roadmap to offer myself compassion, and cultivated me to be a more present and attuned therapist to my clients. Melanie’s vast knowledge on the dark shadow and golden shadow is inspiring and incredibly informative and relatable. I have referred many others to her because of how helpful and valuable her guidance has directly been for me. I feel extremely fortunate to have connected with her. My life will never be the same. I’m feeling more empowered, hopeful and fulfilled which is a direct result of my work with Melanie. She’s truly a blessing and a conduit for personal growth and development. 


Michelle Maidenberg, Ph.D., MPH, LCSW-R, CGP 

Award Winning Author of “Ace Your Life”: Unleash Your Best Self & Live the Life You Want 

When a person experiences trauma, it is “soul crushing”. They often disconnect from their body and the accompanying feelings get frozen inside. Melanie is a Master at facilitating integration of these missing parts of the wounded soul that are split off during trauma so one can feel whole and vibrant. Her trigger work and Golden Shadow work are gentle and healing of disintegrated trauma in an unequaled way. As her student and as a psychotherapist myself, I can attest to the fact that her work is transformative and gentle and reaches the inner world in a way that other kinds of talk therapy and trauma therapy cannot. I highly recommend that all therapists learn from her work. Your patients will heal more quickly and less painfully than imaginable. This work is moving, healing, meaningful and enlightening to everyone who experiences it. 

Sheri Perlman, OT, LCSW

Neuro-psychoanalytical Informed Trauma Therapist

I regard the Soul and the Self as one, as the wise "core" or "source" within. I was in my own process of integrating Soul/Self into my psychotherapy practice for some years when I found my way to Melanie's writing and course offerings. Her approach has served to deepen my own personal and professional developmental. The Golden Shadow Methods are simple, actionable, gentle and yet potent, particularly for individuals struggling with a sense of meaning, purpose and disconnection. These practices are intuitive and offer a sensitive, imaginative, and respectful way to connect with many aspects of the Soul/Self. Melanie is a skillful guide and teacher who is passionate about helping others on their healing paths. Her courses offer a safe container to practice unlocking the “doors” to the psyche for inquiry, contemplation and for learning what is necessary for continued growth, integration, and self-realization. The Golden Shadow concept offers insights and approaches that are transformative and hope inspiring. It inspires courage and the will to explore the landscapes of our “shadow” parts, sifting through and finding the gifts that live there...the golden nuggets...the Golden Shadow. Melanie’s work is invaluable in teaching therapists to do their own inner work as well as to guide others to their essence.

Andie Iatrou, LCSW-R,

Trauma-Certified Psychotherapist, C-PTSD specialist, IFS-informed

I have been studying with Melanie for several years and her work transforms lives. After years of traditional talk therapy, I was seeking something deeper. Melanie’s transmuting triggers practice did that for me, taking me into the depths of my soul. I have gone through a death and rebirth, and Melanie has been there the entire time, providing a supportive, nurturing container as I embraced the powers of my inner healer. Using the golden shadow method and transmuting triggers practices of meditation, active imagination, and shamanic journeying, I have been able to become my true self. The wounds I used to carry and the triggers I experienced regularly, are now gone. I am more present, happier and healthier. I now share these teachings in my own private practice and see the transformation happening for others. This method brings profound healing and compassion to our world. Everyone needs to learn it! 

Mary-Kay Kallergis, MA, LMSW

Educator & Psychotherapist


My outdoor shamanic session with Melanie took place at a beautiful park on the river which felt harmonious, synchronous and healing. Our session started with Melanie guiding me through a water ceremony on the banks of the river, which was followed by other mindfulness activities that helped me to connect with the land and water. It is evident to me that Melanie has attuned her life to the spirits of nature and she has chosen sacred outdoor spaces that carry higher vibrations to conduct her shamanic work, which creates a powerful healing environment. When I "stepped into" the session I felt supported by both Melanie and the beneficial spirits of nature. There also seemed to be messages of wisdom and support everywhere I turned (including from the flock of geese!). I also appreciate how Melanie empowered me as a client to discover answers I needed and how I can heal myself. This was a beautiful healing experience for me.

John Parssinen

Social Worker / Healer

I stepped into Melanie’s office after years of talk therapy. I was tired, overweight, feeling stuck, and chronically sick. I was looking for something different and Melanie introduced me to the process of transmutation by working with the spirit of the wounded self. I became aware of many wounded versions of myself who were holding feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and fear. I learned how to love and integrate these lost and wounded parts of my soul. As a result, I have lost 114 pounds, been promoted at my job, and become happy, creative, playful, grounded and clear. I used to be triggered all the time and now I am not. Now I feel free to manifest my dreams. I am so grateful for Melanie and her transformational process!


Mary-Kay Kallergis

Educator & Psychotherapist 

"Working with Melanie’s Golden Shadow Method and Transmuting Triggers protocol has given me access to multi-dimensional layers of my soul that I once feared were gone forever. I have suffered with symptoms of C-PTSD, severe depression and anxiety since I was a child due to repeated personal trauma, but since I began working with Melanie and the spirits of my wounded Self, healing and integrating those lost soul parts, my entire world has shifted from dark and gray to a brilliant spectrum of colorful light. Not only have I been able to welcome home those versions of myself from this lifetime, but from previous lives as well, which has allowed me to unlock creative gifts and talents that have been asleep for what feels like ages. Healing no longer feels burdensome and hopeless to me, rather it has become both a powerful liberation and joyful celebration. I am eternally grateful for Melanie and her expertise as this work has enlivened my spirit in ways I can’t explain, ways that I once believed could only be experienced by others. I finally feel like I’m becoming whole again!"


Dena M. Daigle 

Spiritual Alchemist

This is a self-actualizing, life empowerment method where Melanie provides a safe and loving way for us to travel into our own shadow. She makes it so natural for us all to have hidden parts - both positive and negative. It is full of exercises and techniques that quickly helped me gain more insight and wisdom. I feel energized and inspired with clarity and vision for what I’d like to manifest. Thank you Melanie!!!!

Catherine Fraise

Melanie’s Golden Shadow Method offers a deep dive into the treasures we have hidden away in our Shadow...those positive and negative qualities which we deem too powerful or too dark to reveal to the world- and even to ourselves! Her 3-pillared Method showed me how to access these places and how to explore them safely. Melanie has created a way in and a way out - and I am still going in... and exiting with treasures I had locked away in my unconscious so I wouldn't feel uncomfortable or vulnerable. This Method showed me how to navigate that discomfort with hope and a warrior's spirit! I am deeply grateful to Melanie Ryan for sharing this Method. 


Colleen Harris

Melanie Ryan has developed an amazing shadow work method. It is about how to reach your full potential in life, heal your deepest fears, and discover a deeper level of happiness and joy that is available to us all. She helped me get unstuck, leading me on a magical journey through the world of meditation, shamanism and discovering my own inner wisdom. I highly recommend this method to everyone, she changed my life in the most amazing ways and she can change yours too!!!


Saylor Pace

I would highly recommend this if you are feeling stuck in your life, repeating the same relationship with different people, have a need for purpose and understanding, and want to realize who and what you really are. 


Edward Darby

The Golden Shadow Method is a multi-faceted approach to the discovery and re-discovery of one's hidden and forgotten treasures and abilities. It's messy and exciting work and the thing I like best about Melanie's approach is she gifts you with the ability to examine the dark shadow without shame or blame, discovering long-buried talents in the process! I am currently enrolled in the Jung & the Shadow three month online immersion program with Melanie. It is powerful to have her guidance and mentor calls as we apply her techniques individually and as a group.

Michelle Pacher

Retired High School Principal

Melanie's program Jung & the Shadow continues to allow me to open "doors" to myself I didn't know existed long after its completion!

Karen Carroll

Physical Therapist

In the midst of great change and chaos on our planet, Melanie provides an anchor to the turbulent waters above our heads. She confidently leads you to find your own truths using modern and ancient techniques that strengthen authenticity with oneself.

Tiffany Walker

Massage Therapist & Permaculture Educator 

I have come to understand my Dark Shadow as a source of wisdom and compassion that lead me to embrace all my gifts and love in my Golden Shadow. Jung & the Shadow helped me to peel away the confusion and create a beautiful, peaceful life. It changes the way you see yourself and the world!


Joan Biggs


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