Shamanic Dimensions of Psychotherapy: Healing through the Symbolic Process

Author(s) : Robin van Loeben Sels

Shamanic Dimensions of Psychotherapy: Healing through the Symbolic Process

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In Shamanic Dimensions of Psychotherapy: Healing through the Symbolic Process, Robin van Loeben Sels uniquely and honestly recounts her personal journey towards a shamanic understanding of psychotherapy. Exploring the disruptive breakthrough of visions and dreams that occurred during her analysis, personal life and psychoanalytic training, van Loeben Sels illustrates how the phenomenology of ancient shamanism is still alive and how it is a paradigm for the emergence and maturation of the psyche in men and women today.

This original book delves into van Loeben Sels' personal experience of `the Shaman,' identifying such eruptions as a contemporary version of the archaic shaman's initiatory call to vocation. Split into two parts, the book begins by outlining `the shamanic personality' in history, recognizing this as an individual that has been called out of a collectively sanctioned identity into a creative life, and the unconscious `shaman complex' they consequently face, especially in psychotherapeutic relationships. Practical as well as theoretical, the second part outlines the `Shamanic Attributes' that underline psychotherapeutic relationships - Silence, Sound, Mask, Rhythm, Gesture, Movement and Respiration - and usefully describes how to use them as `asanas' for consciousness, or vehicles towards psychological awareness.

With clinical examples and personal stories throughout, this book's unique Jungian perspective addresses contemporary expressions of the shaman complex in our current world. Shamanic Dimensions of Psychotherapy: Healing through the Symbolic Process will be essential reading for Jungian analysts and psychotherapists in practice and in training, as well as academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies. It will be especially helpful and illuminating to those who have experienced an involuntary plunge into the depths and who seek ways to articulate their experience.

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