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Core Shamanism

Why is a psychologist practicing Core Shamanism?!

This is a question I’ve had from family, friends, & clients.  The answer is simple.  It works!

I was drawn to Core Shamanism through my own experience of a Dark Night of the Soul.  During my Ph.D., I became increasingly discontent with the theoretical approaches to psychology I learned in grad school.  They seemed too simplistic (sorry – you can’t control your emotions by controlling your thoughts), prescriptive, and didn’t speak to my soul. 


I also experienced some traumatic and stressful events during that time, and developed severe insomnia.  I was bone tired exhausted and felt as if life had no purpose (and I was a psychologist, for goodness sake!).  All I could think was, “I want my soul back!”

Soul pulling intuitively came to me during one night of severe insomnia.  I dragged myself out of bed to make a cup of chamomile tea and maybe read, or watch tv to distract myself.  A full moon shone through my window, and as the water for my tea boiled, I gazed at the moon, wishing for sleep.  Intuitively, I started making a pulling motion with my hands – as if to bring my soul back from the moon.  It became a meditative act.  After a few minutes, I felt better, and was able to go back to sleep.  I forgot about the tea.

In the morning, I researched “soul pulling” and discovered Sandra Ingerman’s work on Soul Retrieval.  Thus began my fascination with the shamanic art of soul retrieval, and lead me down the path of Core Shamanism.  As soon as my Ph.D. was complete, I signed up for training in The Way of the Shaman with Wade Prpich, a Calgary shamanic trainer.  

I felt as if I had come home!  


I realized that I had many experiences throughout my life of connecting with nature, animals, guardian angels, and had insights that other people did not seem to experience.  Even in my graduate studies, other students described me as “mystical.”  Core Shamanism helped me make sense of my experiences, and has enhanced my life greatly.

I have completed numerous other shamanic trainings through the Institute of Shamanic Studies (Soul Retrieval, Power Animal Retrieval, Shamanic Divination, and Shamanic Extraction).  This is just the beginning!

What is Core Shamanism?

Shamanism has been used for tens of thousands of years on every inhabited continent.  Anthropologist Michael Harner is the pioneer of contemporary shamanism.  He has studied shamanic practices around the world for over 50 years, originated the practices of Core Shamanism, and created the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. 

Core Shamanism is a system of bringing authentic, powerful, and effective shamanic healing methods to contemporary society.  The training is intensive and shamanic practitioners are held to the highest of ethical standards.  Core Shamanism helps people to discover their own hidden spiritual resources and transform their lives.

How does Core Shamanism work with Psychology?

Shamanism is a non-exclusive, holistic healing method that works well in conjunction with other healing disciplines, including psychotherapy, medicine, and other alternative healing practices.  The root of the word “psychology” is “psyche”, which is the soul. 


In my experience, talk therapy is often not enough.  Talking and thinking can keep us stuck in our minds, with problems circling repeatedly.  Behavioural therapy can be empty without a deeper understanding of purpose for behaviour change.  Core Shamanism offers healing through a deeper understanding of the matters that affect the soul.  It separates essential truths from “mind chatter” and offers compassionate insights.

What is Soul Loss?

Have you ever felt disconnected or dissociated from yourself? 

In shamanic terms, this is known as “soul loss.” Sandra Ingerman describes soul loss as “whenever we experience trauma, a part of our vital essence separates from us in order to survive the experience by escaping the full impact of the pain…soul loss can be caused by whatever a person experiences as traumatic” (abuse, loss of a love one, surgery, accidents, illness, miscarriage, abortion, the stress of combat, addiction, etc.). 

Core Shamanism (specifically the practice of soul retrieval) can help to revitalize this life-energy that might otherwise remain out of reach for years.  The purpose of the shamanic practitioner is to restore wholeness by clearing the mind from previous trauma and opening oneself up to experience inner peace, vast insight, and extraordinary creativity.

How do I know if Core Shamanism is right for me?

As one client described it, this approach may not be everyone’s cup of tea.  However, if you are reading this page, you may already be drawn to this approach in the same way I was – your soul may be crying out for something more.  You may have a sense that something is missing, and talking is not enough. 

I am able to help you determine if a psychological approach or a shamanic approach will be most helpful to your situation.

Try it!  You never know what answers may come by connecting with the beat of a drum!

Are you interested in Core Shamanism? 

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