Before Psychotherapy, there was Shamanism.
Shamanism is the oldest form of healing, which is estimated to have been practiced throughout the world for over 4,000 years. Psychotherapy has historically been known as experiencing healing through the medium of talk. The talking cure. The assumption with psychotherapy is that if the client can change their understanding of their own experience, and through the process of therapy create new insights, then they can move on from what once held them back, allowing them to heal and move forward in their lives.
Psychotherapy is the youngest of the healing modalities on the planet. Yet, it pays little to no heed to the elder healing modalities and traditions of Africa, Asia or South America. By not being inclusive of this rich wisdom, psychotherapy is limiting itself to a type of healing that can leave clients stuck and in a sense of limbo in their lives. Not incorporating other forms of healing and shamanic traditions into psychotherapy, can greatly limit therapists’ ability to heal the mind and body.
In contrast, Shamanism is the therapy of the Spirit. The Shamanic healer views suffering as an opportunity to be open to new experiences as opposed to an obstacle to happiness. For the Shamanic healer, the language of the Spirit is energy, and we connect to this energy through intention, movement, visualization and healing rituals such as journeying. In shamanic journeying, we can assist clients to visit the upper worlds, where they can receive healing from the higher self and other supportive healing spirits and allies. We can also assist clients to visit the lower worlds, where we can discover the roots of our problems and receive guidance. By embarking on a therapeutic journey, the therapist can assist the client to encounter the unknown and the mystery within themselves. Rather than run away from it, they will understand it better, and the client will be moved by their experience as this movement healing occurs. Incorporating these practices into psychotherapeutic talking, would make the experience far more enriching. Not only for the client, but for the psychotherapist as well.
Join us for our introductory day “The Emergence of the Inner Shaman” to learn more about shamanic practices and how they can enhance your psychotherapy practice.