The Difference Between Shamanism and Psychological Counseling?
Shamanism connects people directly with their spiritual center or heart for wisdom, guidance, and healing. There is no intermediary: no doctor, therapist, priest, minister or spiritual guru. The teacher and doctor is the heart, and the shamanic practitioner acts only as a facilitator or “hollow bone” (Old Fools Crow) for the guidance of Great Spirit.
Indigenous people understood the heart as the real crux of life. In the shamanic view, everything has a sacred center or heart and is a manifestation of the Creator. To find the heart in oneself is to harness the power of the Great Spirit itself for personal healing, change and transformation. This a teachable skill that can be learned and trusted, so the seeker can discern between the authentic callings of the Sacred, and our passing emotions, impulses, and libido.
This approach is different from standard psychological approaches. In standard psychological counseling the therapist acts as a doctor who examines and then diagnoses the patient as sick from various categories of mental illness. Clients can then spend weeks, months, even years digging into their past to explore the unconscious psyche, taking medications, and trying to gain insight about why they are unhappy.
In shamanism, illness and unhappiness is understood primarily as soul loss: loss of vital energy, joy, purpose and power. Thus the treatment for anxiety or depression is not to go to therapy or take an antidepressant: it's to get your soul back.
Shamanism is very practical. You know you are getting better not when a doctor or therapist diagnoses you as better or finished with therapy, but when you feel the vitality return to your body and your life. When your life-vision is restored, your passion, your joy, your strength and your power. When you begin to shape and move your life in new directions of your own choosing.
Shamanism is not an ideology, a new age metaphysics, a religion or philosophy. It’s an ancient, experience-based methodology for healing, visioning and way-finding. And it works.
“It seems like weeks since I saw you and it was only five days ago. I am well! I can’t tell you how ecstatically happy I am! Where the hell did that come from?! I have also asked myself questions that never occurred to me before. Whose voice was that?! -Love & light hugs! Kat