Counseling the Soul


I've never heard of 'Badass Counseling'. What is it?

Unlike psychology and most other counseling, I'm not in the business of getting you out of your problems and diseases and getting you to a state of 'normal'.

I'm in the business of getting you out of all that stuff....and getting you to a place of JOY, ecstasy about life, clarity, and inner peace -- TRUE ALIVENESS!!

-- Sven Erlandson

'Badass Counseling' is a style of high-intensity performance coaching and spiritual counseling created by Sven Erlandson, over the course of two-plus decades. Badass Counseling integrates the deep spiritual identity of each soul with the greater sense of strength, awareness, self-love, and vigor of a life lived in peace and power everyday.

It can be done by phone, in-person, Skype, and even by email/IM, or self-paced using the coursework videos offered here. There are Badass Counseling clients all around the United States and in many foreign countries.

Badass Counseling is based on one very core, simple belief: The deeper you go, the faster and more powerful the transformation. It is rooted in going into very deep questioning about the client's identity, past, and present to discern the areas of blockage and beliefs that are undermining his or her existence and, ultimately, ALINENESS and performance. Though it is 'spiritual', it is not about God-stuff, unless the client wishes to go there. It is about helping each person become who they truly are by helping them remove that which they are not.

Contrary to what the name, Badass Counseling, may seem to imply, this is not some drill sergeant-type counseling, full of yelling, hard plans, and tough love. Instead, we become our true inner badass by having the courage to look at the deepest questions and problems vexing one's soul. This may sound trivial, even trite, but true Badass work is far from it and far from easy. It's profoundly challenging and profoundly rewarding.

Badass Counseling helps you become who you really are, thereby unleashing your own inner badass.

'Badass Counseling' is based upon several fundamental beliefs.

Badass Counseling, as created and executed by Sven Erlandson:

A) Does NOT approach counseling from a medical model, as psychological counseling might. That is, the client is not viewed as sick. Badass Counseling is non-judgmental; only pushing the client to become him-/herself, not who the counselor thinks he or she 'should' be. Thus,

B) The client is viewed as disconnected from his, or her, truest self (the inner voice where the individual's voice becomes one with the voice of the Universe/God/Higher Self), which is innately good, beautiful, and strong;

C) The goal is not to treat, or remove, the depression or anxiety, but to reconnect the individual with her inner, deepest sense of self, which she may not even know exists. When that happens, anxiety and depression effortlessly melt away;

D) Is absolutely rooted in the core belief that all people seek happiness; and the truest and most universal experience of happiness is a sense, or feeling, of ALIVENESS. To be a Spiritual Badass is not a never-ending state of calm or balance, but instead an ebb and flow of peace and exuberance, joy and sorrow, intense passion and casual indifference. The goal of life is to experience it all, not just run from the pain, sorrow, and fear and try to exist in a constant state of fake-happy.

Yes, but still, just put it in the plain terms of the everyday guy: What is Badass Counseling and why the spiritual and soul thing?

Badass Counseling is based on the belief that the most powerful people -- the most vigorous, the most alive, and the most on-fire people, as well as those who are really giving something back to life -- are those who have connected to their deepest inner self and are living with the balls to be authentic and pursue courageous paths, not matter how the naysayers criticize. And that is no small thing! This is what it means to be spiritual -- to be intimately connected to, listening to, and courageously acting on one's true inner voice. This is true spirituality.

At the structural level, there is no difference between spiritual counseling and other forms of counseling or therapy you might have encountered. Almost all forms of counseling boil down to the same thing: questions and answers -- talking. Spiritual counseling, or soul counseling, is no different in it's basic structure, just far deeper, far more intense, and it moves much faster!

Spiritual counseling is founded in the belief that the core questions of life -- questions about God, existence, self, and core beliefs -- are not secondary to questions of family, money, career, and daily life, but in fact supersede and drive those subsequent, everyday life questions and issues. Address the former and the latter will fall into line. Connection to authentic self is where true power, energy, and drive come from.

Who is Badass Counseling for?

It is true that Badass Counseling has effectively changed the lives of thousands of all types of people, over the last 25 years and can effect serious big changes in your life.

But, yes, Sven Erlandson and Badass Counseling work best with a few types of people:

  1. People on the cusp of change -- that is, people who are so fed up with their lives that they absolutely ache for change. Sven brings a nearly instant clarity and insight that these types have been longing for, for years, even decades;

  2. The hard cases. People who have tried every other option and therapist, yet keep coming up empty -- people and couples for whom NOTHING seems to work. These are usually the clients who benefit most from Badass Counseling, for Sven can accomplish breakthroughs and life-changes that most therapies and therapists are utterly incapable of;

  3. Intense people. C-Suite, investors, highest-level athletes, artists/dancers, fighters, investors, execs, the edgy, inventors, square pegs everyone is trying to fit into round holes, etc. These personality types easily identify Sven as one of their own and instantly trust him, trust that he's not trying to tamp them down, but instead unleash and focus them.

  4. Young adults/teens who are stuck or unmotivated. Parents are held accountable and kids are unleashed to become the real, vigorous beings they were meant to be. Everything changes!

What about Badass Counseling for couples and marriages?

The goal of Sven's marriage counseling is not to save the marriage. The goal is to save two individuals and take them beyond 'saving' and surviving to a state of thriving, as individuals. Only after each has begun to hear their own voice and thrive, as an individual living his/her truest self, can they then answer the question, Is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with?

Nearly all marriage problems pre-date the marriage. If the marriage is saved at the expense of the individuals, which is generally what leads to significant marriage problems in the first place, there will never be peace or joy. The foundation of the marriage is the relationship two individuals have with their own selves.

But does Badass Counseling really get better results?

Yes, yes, and yes!!

Often, the simplest way to determine the effectiveness of any counseling method is simply whether clients report experiencing greater happiness and greater energy. Badass Counseling clients, again and again, report increases in all these metrics. (See Testimonials page)

A second way to determine the caliber of counseling results is whether the client feels the need and/or desire to get more counseling/therapy. Badass Counseling clients regularly report that they don't feel the need for more and more and more counseling. The goal of Badass Counseling is to quickly wean the client off the counselor -- to help the client possess the courage and abilities to stand on one's own as a fully in-tune and truth-living person. Occasional 'check-ups' are common among Badass Counseling clients, particularly when new or significant roadblocks or hardships are encountered. But quickly the ship gets righted and the client is on his or her way, doing great. Excellence Unleashed! Greatness on fire!

Many Badass Counseling clients experience significant change in the very first session. For many others, significant change comes in the second or third week.

What is your rate?

Because Badass Counseling goes very deep and moves very quickly, in most cases the overall amount of money spent on Badass Counseling is radically lower than that spent on normal counseling with a mainstream therapist.

An hour means an hour. Session time is a full hour, not just 50 minutes, which is what most therapists offer. So, because sessions are ten minutes longer, that means that basically every sixth session YOU ARE GETTING ANOTHER FULL SESSION FOR FREE!

All first sessions are a mandatory minimum three hours, up to a maximum six hours. The 3-hour first session is required (4-6 hours is strongly recommended, but not required) simply because it is usually at the end of the first hour or two that the client finally gets in a groove and things start to really click.

Core rate is $250/hour. No insurance accepted. Occasional liding scale to $200/hour for those seriously struggling financially and for war veterans.

Additionally, Sven is the only counselor to require every client to submit a full autobiography before the first session. As part of working with Sven the client gets a counselor who walks into the first session with full fluency in his or her life story, rather than a therapist who spends 8-10 sessions learning the client's story...and all the while the therapist charges the client. There is no charge for Sven Erlandson reading and learning the autobiography before the first session (must be submitted 72 hours before first session; autobio is waived in certain rare cases where client privacy is paramount).

Clients desiring a full-day intensive (eight hours) must schedule for a weekend; this is also true for 3-day intensives, which generally run 20-25 hours, depending on circumstances.

It is also strongly recommended (though not required) that subsequent sessions be two-hour sessions, rather than just one hour long.

*Insurance not accepted.

You do house calls and phone counseling, really?


In fact, a high percentage of Sven's clients are not located in Manhattan (main office) or Greenwich/Stamford, or even the greater NY Tri-State Area. Because of a vast readership of his spiritual- and counseling-related books, as well as strong word-of-mouth, over the years, Sven has a client base that extends from China to Great Britain and South Africa to Vietnam.

Completely contrary to common thinking, Sven has found phone counseling to often be more effective than in-person counseling, in no small part because the client can communicate from the comfort and security of familiar surroundings.

What do I most need to know about Badass Counseling or working with Sven Erlandson?

The effectiveness of any counseling is rooted squarely in the client's trust of the counselor. Fact. After that trust, effectiveness is determined not just by a therapist's knowledge or even years of experience, but ultimately in their cultivated ability to look inside, see the cancer afflicting that person's spirit, excise the spiritual tumor, and then create new infrastructure and courage for that person to engage life in a new way.

What makes Sven Erlandson qualitatively different from most therapists, pastors, and counselors is that clients innately trust him. Further, Sven is just really, really good at what he does. His questions take a client to places they have never been or never thought of. His wisdom is compelling. And his ability to truly grasp a person and his or her life situation is unparalleled.

Change will not occur until the pain gets bad enough.
— Sven Erlandson, American Writer (1967 - Present)