About Robert Fertman
For most of my life, I have been interested in personal transformation. Growing up, much of this came to me through living as a teenager in the mind-expanding era of the 1970s. I was a hippie wannabe, and over many years my adolescent fascinations matured into a real-life quest. In the late 1970’s I took an experiential course in group dynamics at a college that broke open my youthful shyness and insecurity with people. A few years later, I did Werner Erhard’s est training. This introduced me to new ideas about personal responsibility, and a realization of my self-observer being active in my life. In the late 1980’s I trained in NLP. By the time I was 30 I was already on this path for self-development, but unaware of its impact on my future.
Of course, I went to college and graduate school and worked in many jobs. Notably, I was a manufacturers representative, and later a stockbroker. I still work as an independent investment advisor, a business that has supported me for many years. All along the way, while engaged in professional life, I’ve continued this passion for self-development. During this time, in the early 1990s, I lived in a yoga community, and participated in various personal growth training programs, and for the better part of 16 years until around 2012, I was discretely participating in a fourth-way mystery school.
By my mid 50’s I began to feel the necessity of change. Call it a mid-life reflection on what really is important to me. After a few years of re-immersion in the transformational education of Landmark Education, I went to Chile for a workshop in Cultural Biology and formulated a plan to become a life coach as a sideline to my existing business. In 2014 I was certified by Newfield Network in Ontological Coaching, and credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation.
Until then, I had focused on a language-based approach to transformation and the esoteric fourth-way mysticism that had formed my world view. However, Ontological Coaching and Cultural Biology brought together the practical realization that body, emotion, and thought are all united in a single unified embodiment. I began to further explore somatic transformation. First with the study of breath and emotion in an acting method called Alba Emoting. This led me to study acting and to immerse myself for a time in both the Meisner and Yat Malmgren acting methods. During this time, I stepped away from coaching to gain actual experiences and train in these ideas and methods about acting.
In 2017 I was confronted by my father’s not unexpected passing. What I didn’t realize at first was the deep impact of the loss on my life. At age 60. I stopped all my acting activities while grieving this loss. Then with renewed urgency, I recovered my original impulse for transformational work. Now, the body has become the center of gravity for me. In 2018 I was trained in De-armoring in Europe and did a year of study in the body-mind ideas of Wilhelm Reich with a psychologist from San Francisco. Based on the realizations of these experiences, I moved into a study of Shiatsu, a body-mind orientated somatic work based on traditional Asian healing methods as the primary modality for my practice. I found in my work that when coaching is combined with body work it produces profound transformations in my clients.