From the fertile ground of psychology and the historic matrix of shamanism comes this daring and pioneering template for healing. This book will be of interest to anyone invested in healing–from seekers to practitioners. Included are case examples illustrating the psychotherapeutics of journeying.
Chapter 1 presents the nature and history of shamanism and psychology. Chapter 2 describes shared methodologies and healing tenets.
Chapters 3 and 4 explore the effects of infant and early childhood experiences on adult behavior. Herein lies the heart of the book where shamanic healing is applied to developmental wounding that results from inadequate bonding with parental figures, including outright neglect or abuse. Chapter 3 shows how this is the root cause of dysfunction and flagrant displays of aggression that so diminish our society. Case examples portray how shamanic journeying activates bonding activities and helps repair these developmental gaps. Chapter 4 specifically highlights the role of aggression, the nature-versus-nurture dilemma, the impact of learning on behavior, and the modeling of violence across generations. Here a dramatic client journey reveals not only the intensity of anger that can be repressed during childhood illness and combat in Vietnam, but also the transformation of repressed rage through the containing activity of shamanic beings. Chapter 5 explores containment as furnished both by the journey and the psychotherapeutic process. It goes on to address alchemy, the activation of archetypal healing energy, and the archetypal shadow—repository of both individual and collective dysfunction. Deep within this shadow lies a bridge spanning the worlds of shamanism and psychology.
Chapter 6 sheds new light on the ego’s maturation vis-à-vis the alchemy of shamanic healing. On the one hand, psychology becomes enriched by the infusion of spirit, and on the other, shamanism gains from theoretical possibilities. Collectively, they accelerate the healing of societal wounds.