Soul Loss

Snow-BuddhaI’m sitting at my desk in the study, watching the sun descend over the mountains and lake. The light is soft and rich, a glow that persists off to the west. I’ve just come from teaching my college class; today I feel emotionally satisfied enough to put off dinner for few minutes in order to write this brief piece.

After class, a graduate student and I spoke for a while about soul retrieval and substance abuse. I explained that I often wonder exactly what is being retrieved. I imagine that we are calling back a part of self that left the body because of fright or other insult. But what part, and how are we to think about it? Continue reading

Shamanism In Psychotherapy: First Session

He speaks about the changes in his life. I listen. Having been asked to provide counseling, I’m attentive as a mental health clinician. I’m also listening to, and sensing, the activity of the spirits.

From one point of view, the life challenges he brings to therapy are very much in the realm of personal psychology. From the other, there are many players, some maybe present for many generations. Even though the person in front of me probably chose me because I have training as both a clinician and a shamanic practitioner, chances are he is more comfortable finding the source of his difficulties within himself. Continue reading