Sha’ari Garfinkel is the director of Inner Listening Therapies and a specialist in the use of sound in healing, ritual and therapy. She was trained as a nationally-board certified music therapist & clinical social worker licensed in both Washington State and North Carolina (with licenses pending in Idaho and Montana). She earned a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory and got her Master's in Social Work from University of Houston. While at Oberlin, Sha'ari studied with internationally-acclaimed music therapist and author Deforia Lane and renowned hornist Robert Fries. She completed advanced training in Acutonics with founder Donna Carey at the Kairos Institute and studied The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery & Music with visionary Linda Keiser Mardis (of blessed memory) who awarded Sha'ari with the title of Fellow.
Sha'ari plays many instruments including gongs, percussion, flutes, conch shell, shofar and french horn. She has performed french horn professionally and has worked for major US orchestras and arts organizations. She has sung professionally and acted as cantor and spiritual leader, facilitating experiences and weddings for Jewish and interfaith communities and couples as a non-denominational minister. Her interests in cross-cultural healing have taken her to Bali, China, Israel, Turkey, Nepal, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Belize & Mexico in addition to indigenous communities in Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Canada.
"I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Sha'ari for a one on one music therapy session last night. The experience was AWESOME to say the least. Sha'ari has an eclectic collection of instruments and the room is filled with beautiful artwork. Sha'ari tailored the session for my specific need for centering and grounding and it was a powerful experience that left me feeling totally energized. I hope more people take advantage of this extremely talented and delightful woman who offers her gift of music therapy. The benefits are endless!"
C.A., Seattle, WA
"Emotions are pouring out of me in buckets; and when the session ends, I am inspired to write a poem. And this is only my first encounter…Some studies suggest if may promote efficient electrical activity in nerves and muscles - as well as affect the release of endorphins (the body's natural pain relievers)… and immune system substances…Many of Garfinkel's clients are seriously ill and use the therapy to speed their healing - whether it be physical, mental or spiritual."
"The Power of Music," Houston Life Magazine
"The healing gong meditation session with Sha'ari was truly amazing. I felt the vibrations moving through my body and my energy resonating with them. The session was relaxing and invigorating at the same time. I could feel a definite shift in my energy and I felt a release an opening in an area which I didn't even know was blocked. The sounds were beautiful, harmonic, and powerful. I highly recommend the experience to anyone."
A.W., Seattle, WA
"Thank you, very informative and engaging. I feel more able to justify the use of music therapy in my practice."
N.D., San Francisco, CA
"You are highly knowledgeable and have a passion for the subject."
R.L. Seattle, WA
"The best part of the program was Sha'ari's knowledge, humor, willingness to share wonder with the group and her sharing of musical instruments. Thank you!"
A.R., Seattle, WA
"This has prompted me to want to learn more about this topic and use music in my therapy session."
P.B., North Bend, WA
Sha'ari has a private practice in West Seattle and offers video therapy throughout Washington State, Idaho and North Carolina. With over 30 years experience in health care and mental health settings, she specializes in trauma and crisis work and uses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help facilitate healing. She often works with clients to find means of expression, live according to one's values and listen to one's small yet wise inner voice.
Sha'ari is grateful to Rabbi Gershon Winkler with whom she has studied Jewish Shamanic Healing and to Rabbi Sarah Etz Alon for sharing her sacred knowledge of ancient Hebraic tribal earth-based practices.
"Thank you for putting on the Gong Meditation - I found it to be pretty powerful. That night I got up at 3:45 am with all kinds of ideas running around my head about the transition I'm making. I believe the gongs helped me to see clearly. It was quite amazing."
T.Z., Seattle, WA
YOU WERE A HIT!! All I heard from patients and family is how wonderful the music was and how it changed everybody from totally stressed to happy, talking, etc., bonded with each other."
D.D., Kirkland, WA
"It was truly amazing to be a part of such a spectacular event and around so many healing people...thank you so very much. I can't ever express the beauty that each and everyone of you shared that night. anytime you need a fire dancer, let me know....I'm so there. Many blessing and much love. Namaste'."
D.R., Tacoma, WA
"Your workshop on Music Therapy at the Swedish Cancer Institute was like a breath of fresh air."
E.V., Seattle, WA
"The presenter had a warm, open style of presentation and a superb singing voice…"
S.W., Tukwila, WA
"Music therapist Sha’ari Garfinkel has created a soft, padded room for her work with gongs, flutes and other evocative instruments. Upon entering, I felt I was shedding the trappings of my keyed-up, demanding lifestyle. Under Sha’ari’s guidance and using sound-based relaxation techniques, I was able to spontaneously visualize shamans weaving a protective sheath around me to protect my frazzled nerves from further tension. When I left her womb-like space, I felt my own healing guides had helped me create a buffer zone to protect me from the onslaught of a lifestyle too often defined by cell phones and computers and deadlines."
L.L, Renton, WA
"I hope you feel the praises I’m singing about you!!! You bring so much healing to this world."
M.J., Seattle, WA