What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is a branch of animism, our oldest spiritual practice. For tens (maybe even hundreds) of thousands of years it is how our indigenous ancestors lived and interacted with the world around them.

Our animist ancestors experienced the world around them as being alive and conscious. Animism helped us live in right-relationship with the world around us, respectfully and in communication with the other-than-human. In forgetting, we lost that experience of interconnectedness, and lost our way. Coming back to animism can heal the sense of separation, isolation and loss that is so many people feel in their modern, present-day lives.

As well as experiencing the world in an animist way, shamans and shamanic practitioners have the ability to, at will, enter an altered state of consciousness, leave their bodies and travel to the shamanic realms where they can communicate with the other-than-human. This is known as ‘shamanic journeying’. In doing so, they can ask for healing, for themselves or for others.

Therapeutic Shamanism

....is shamanism for modern times. It is both rooted in the ancient practices of shamanism and animism, and draws on what we have learned from modern day counselling and psychotherapy. It is an integrative approach, and its psychotherapeutic influences include person-centred, process-orientated and somatic approaches. It is an effective and adaptable approach that can be tailored to the needs and wishes of each individual. It has a strong ethical basis and its core principles are to be compassionate, respectful, accepting, practical and empowering.

What Can Therapeutic Shamanism Be Useful For?

As well as used for personal and spiritual development, Therapeutic Shamanism can be for many of the things that plague us in modern-day life including: anxiety, addictions, bereavement issues, depression, dissociation, emotional problems, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), relationship problems, self-destructive patterns, stress, and more.

Soul Retrieval

A particular specialism of shamanic healing is what is known as soul retrieval. Shamans believe that part of us can become lost or trapped in the past. This can happen as a result of traumatic events. It can also happen because we end up sending part of us away (our playfulness, assertiveness, joyfulness, ability to be vulnerable, etc.) in order to survive difficult childhoods or adult situations. The symptoms of soul loss can include things like: a sense that part of us is missing, feelings of numbness or flatness, a lack of spark and drive, feeling ungrounded and not really ‘here’, addictions and other compulsive behaviours, feeling lost and directionless, unable to move on from past events and memories, feelings of grief, fear, or anger.

In cases of soul loss, during a shamanic journey, the shamanic practitioner  finds the lost soul part, gives it the healing it needs, and then brings it back to the present-day, allowing it to be reintegrated.

This is known as a soul retrieval, and over time it can restore our sense of wholeness and wellbeing.

I Offer 3 Kinds of Shamanic Work:

Shamanic Healing Sessions

This can be one-off work but is usually best done over a series of sessions. Initially we will spend some time exploring what it is that you want, and what approach is most likely to be helpful. Then I will do the shamanic journey. Initially I will do this for you, after which I will tell you what happened and help you to explore its meaning, significance and healing. The whole process usually takes between 1½ to 2 hours.

Learning to Journey

If we go on to work on a series of sessions, this can (optionally) involve my narrating the journey to you as it happens, enabling you to enter into the journey with me. Over time, this can result in you learning to do shamanic journeys for yourself, empowering your own healing, and (literally) opening up richly-rewarding and exciting new worlds to explore.

Shamanic Therapy

This involves more regular and ongoing work (similar to seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist). The sessions will be a mixture of shamanic journeying and more psychotherapeutic work (including IEMT) depending upon what it is you want to work on, and what approaches will be of most help.

How to Book a Session

At present, all the work I offer is online (through Zoom). If you wish to explore working together the first step is to contact me stating briefly what it is you would like to work on. If it is something I feel I can work with then (subject to my availability) we can book an initial exploratory 20 minute meeting. There is no fee for this and it is not a treatment session, but so that we can ‘meet’ each other and get a sense as to whether working together feels right, and if so, so that I can explain the options and the next steps in the process, including booking the first healing session.

Email: art_of_unbreaking@yahoo.com

Fees range from £50-80 per session

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