A skilled psychotherapist provides strong, non-judgmental witness to a survivor’s process of facing into the inner darkness of their history. Using a body-centered approach, the therapist helps them connect with their body as the source of the tumultuous emotions they experience during the hard work of recovery. In a personal spiritual practice, sexual trauma survivors can learn to draw on the love and power that are available to them every day from sources beyond themselves. Often the loss of these spiritual connections is the most damaging aspect of the trauma. A personal spiritual practice helps survivors tap into the support they need for both the shamanic healing they’re receiving, and the work they’re doing in therapy.
A qualified shamanic practitioner can perform the same healing practices done by shamans throughout time, walking between the worlds of ordinary and non-ordinary reality, to bring the healing power of the spirits to bear on the unique challenges faced by survivors of sexual trauma. In terms of classic shamanic healing techniques, the following are a few of the ways I work with clients.
Power Animal Retrieval - Animal spirits are a significant source of personal power and protection, and bring healing and gifts of many kinds. Power Animal Spirits are understood cross-culturally to have strong connections with us that begin at birth. In cases of neglect or disempowerment, especially in our culture where we're not taught to recognize or honor them, these crucial spiritual connections can be lost. Restoring the connections through power animal retrieval is a significant form of healing for a person's life. Animal spirits can also bring situational help and support, such as with the problematic relationship issues that survivors often face, or with maintaining sobriety in cases where survivors are leaving behind destructive coping mechanisms they have learned. And, animal spirits can provide the power a sexual trauma survivor needs, just to help them through the often arduous psychotherapy process.