This book brings the wisdom of the ancient healing practice of shamanism together with the insights of contemporary psychology to provide an integrated approach to the treatment of traumatic symptoms.
The psychological context of this book is Psychosynthesis: The two concepts, Self and Soul, the one deeply hidden and the other unavoidably manifest, are what links contemporary psychotherapeutic practice with the ancient practice of shamanism. Self and Soul are the contextual axis around which this book turns.
Soulfulness has two historic shamanic roots:
- The Shamanic Journey and Soul Retrieval, as practised in traditional societies throughout the world.
- Mayan and Native American psychology a psychology of Self as expressed in the many aspects of the Medicine Wheel.
In the shamanic context, the term medicine means wholeness and energy for life.
This book presents the ancient wisdom of shamanic theory and practice in a form which is fit for use within the mainstream of twenty-first century psychotherapeutic endeavour, including an extensive explanation of Shamanic Psychology and a practical description of the ceremonies of the Shamanic Journey and Soul Retrieval.
The book reflects on key aspects of contemporary psychological thinking infant and adult attachment patterns, developmental trauma, the survival personality, imagination and dreams, the inner child, the spiritual dimension in psychotherapy and counselling and in extended discussion relates these subjects to the maps and models of Shamanic Psychology, the practice of Shamanic Journey and Soul Retrieval ceremonies, and the psychotherapeutic application of both.
The book brings everything together by offering a practical approach to the integration of psychotherapy and counselling practice with a present-day form of shamanic practice, when working with clients developmental trauma. The resulting marriage of shamanic and contemporary psychology and practice is called Soulfulness.
A counterpoint to the main text is a reflection on a Russian folktale The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth, and the Water of Life, which both implicitly reflects the shamanic landscape and has a powerful psychological resonance.