Sam Starr

I’m a transpersonal psychologist, life coach and award-winning entrepreneur with a passion for supporting creative vision and change.

I use psychosynthesis psychology to offer you a bridge between that deeper yearning to be more than you are today and the psychological factors holding you back.

I’d love to tell you some of my story.

Image of Sam Pope smiling and looking at tarot cards

Adventures, myths and images

Discovery and adventure have always been important to me. I grew up the daughter of a real-life adventurer. My dad was one of the first hot-air balloonists in the country and we would spend a lot of weekends camping and flying balloons.

My dad died when I was 18 and soon after my mum’s alcoholism got worse and she moved away. Having lost both my parents at a young age, I was left without much older generational support. I found myself drawn to tarot cards, oracles, and the I Ching – and these things became a source of wisdom and my safe place.

I also studied Classics and loved delving into the Greek myths and their meanings. I became a truth seeker and exploring what it meant to be human through ancient images and these stories helped me feel connected.

MY STORY

Chapter 1: The so-called trappings of success

In 2017, I appeared to have everything: a thriving business, a beautiful London home with a house in the countryside, two children in private education, plus nannies, cleaners and gardeners …

My husband and I had started our removals business in 2004 from the spare room of our Kilburn flat. He drove the van and I took bookings while tending to our new baby at home. The business took off and by 2006 we’d moved into a bigger flat and office with our own warehouse.

And yet, within a few years I was deeply unhappy. My kids were soon spending more time with their nannies than with me. The business was taking up all my energy and my own needs were being continually pushed aside.

Connection, community and diversity

As a young adult, I was an active part of the London rave scene of the 1990s. I remember standing on club podiums dancing, looking out at smiling people, and feeling so happy. I loved connecting with my fellow humans in all their glorious colourful diversity.

But, the experience was associated with alcohol and drugs so was ultimately distorted and unsustainable. Now, I choose to experience these values of community and inclusivity through deeper, more authentic connections – both with myself and with others. I’ve hosted safe spaces in sex-positive events and enjoy being part of conscious communities.

Chapter 2: The seeds of change

When I collapsed from an anxiety-induced seizure at work, I knew something needed to change. Seeking answers, I started meditating and devouring books on well-being.

I joined a Buddhist community to deepen my spiritual practices but left two years later after losing trust in the master’s teachings. In the midst of a spiritual crisis, I started seeing a therapist trained in psychosynthesis, a therapeutic approach that combines psychological healing with spiritual development. It felt like an ideal fit.

A vision

One busy afternoon at work, I sat back in exasperation and asked myself: ‘What do you want, Sam?’

I had a vision of me standing outside with my back to the office, in a huddle of people. I was wearing free-flowing clothes and my hair was down. I looked over my shoulder back at the ‘me’ inside the office and, with a warm smile, said: ‘Everything is going to be ok’.

That’s when I knew what I wanted. I wanted that feeling – of being connected with people and feeling light, calm and free. From that moment on, I followed that feeling even though I had no idea where it was taking me.

Chapter 3: Call to service or co-dependency?

By 2015, my marriage was on the rocks and I told my husband I needed to leave the business or go part-time. Being a parent was impossibly hard and I was working a job that I didn’t want. I desperately wanted to free myself.

Reading a book on manifestation, one question completely flummoxed me: ‘Where do you want to be in five years’ time?’ The only answer I could come up with was: ‘Whatever my husband’s dreams are, I will be at his side making them happen.’ I was so used to being the ‘back end of the horse’ that I really had no idea who I was.

By 2017, I knew I wanted to change career and become a life coach. However, I was also in a 12-step programme for co-dependency and was worried I might just be wanting to ‘caretake’ people, which was my tendency growing up around my alcoholic mum. So I enrolled on a coaching programme not only to get qualified but also to dive deeper into my own journey.

An inner voice

Years after my dad died and when my marriage was in crisis I remember sobbing into my pillow and asking out loud: ‘Will somebody help me please?’ I then heard my dad’s voice inside my head, saying: ‘Just get up in the balloon.’

My dad had been a balloon pilot but we were never allowed to go up with him as children. So I took a deep breath and imagined going up in that balloon … and I was filled with a feeling – not knowing where I was going, but feeling utterly free. And I felt my entire body relax. This was such a key moment of release for me, that I wrote about it in an article published in Aerostat magazine, which you can read HERE.

Chapter 4: Following my intuitive flow

So where did all my deep-diving and truth-seeking lead me?

In 2019, the business I ran with my husband won an award for UK Domestic Mover of the Year. But by 2020 I was ready to follow my intuition and begin a new life. I left my husband and our business, gave up financial security, and started my coaching practice.

Now my focus is on being authentic and being of service. I’m always exploring how I want to show up in the world and I am happy embodying a new identity, founded on a deeper connection with my own self. 

There is more going on than what can be seen or explained. This is the realm of felt sense or intuition. My passion is listening to both the spoken and the unspoken in what my clients bring, and then holding space for them to engage in meaningful change.

A dream

I had a dream a few years back where I was shown a tarot deck that I was told I ‘wasn’t ready for yet’. From the front cover, I saw that it was a deck combining tarot with psychosynthesis. It felt important so I wrote the dream down and put it away in a drawer.

A few years later when I was thinking about what to write for my MA thesis in Psychosynthesis, I found that piece of paper and laughed out loud. I realised that I was now ready to follow that dream! This is how I discovered the tarot which became a central part of my journey back to wholeness.

What is psychosynthesis?

Psychosynthesis came after psychoanalysis. It’s a psychology which supports personal growth and change through the synthesis and integration of your personal story with your soul’s story. Psyche-synthesis = soul integration.

 What is the tarot?

The tarot is a deck of cards containing archetypal imagery. For this reason, each card is very relatable! I use the tarot as a conversation starter and to guide you to your place of intuitive flow.

I use the tarot as a technique to evoke and integrate messages from your soul.

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Sigmund Freud [founder of psychoanalysis] said he is interested in the basement of the human being. Psychosynthesis is interested in the whole building. We try to build an elevator which will allow a person access to every level of his personality. After all, a building with only a basement is very limited. We want to open up the terrace where you can sun-bathe or look at the stars.

Roberto Assagioli

Founder of Psychosynthesis
Interview with Sam Keen “Psychology Today” (1974)

TRAINING, QUALIFICATIONS & ACCREDITIONS

2023-2024: Dip. Coach (Psychosynthesis Leadership Coach), Institute Psychosynthesis

2017-2022: M.A. Psychosynthesis Psychology, Middlesex University

2017-2022: Diploma Psychosynthesis Psychology, Institute of Psychosynthesis

2021-2022 : Advanced Tarot Practitioner, Tarot Academy, Angie Banicki

2017-2020 : Dip. Coach (Psychosynthesis Life Coach), Institute of Psychosynthesis

2017-2022 : Diploma Meditation Teacher, BSY Group

2017 : Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR), Mindfulness London

2010 : Leadership and Management, Dale Carnegie Training

2004 : Stage II Certificate Montessori Teaching Training (MBE)

1995 : BSc(Hons) Psychology, with French minor

AWARDS

2019 – Domestic Remover of the Year – British Association of Removers and Storers

2019 Logistics Company of the Year – West London Business Awards

2019 Responsible Workplace Award – West London Business Awards

2019 Domestic Mover of the Year – British Association Removers Storers

2017 Best Services Company of the Year – West London Business Awards

2017 Logistics Company of the Year – West London Business Awards

MY PERSONAL JOURNEY

Throughout my journey I’ve had the privilege of working with many amazing teachers and mentors. The following individuals and organisations have been pivotal in my own personal growth.

The Artist’s Way Retreats with Julia Cameron
Eff-it Retreats with John and Gaia
Buddhism in a Nutshell with Amy Miller
Mindfulness with Ed Halliwell
Workshops with Love Life Live Now
Meditation on the Rise with Kristina Evans
Family meetings at Al-Anon
Talks and workshops at the School of Life
Lectures at Alternatives