Shamanic Approaches and their Implications for Counseling Practice: An Autoethnography
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Shamanism is considered by some to be the first form of counselling, which first developed as a collaborative practice (MacKinnon, 2012). In this thesis I attempt to demonstrate that shamanism can inform counselling, not only in relation to the importance of including a variety of spiritual practices into counselling, but also in terms of how it can inform our attitudes about wholeness and the importance of collaborating with clients, rather than taking an expert stance. Utilizing a qualitative research methodology, specifically auto-ethnography, I explored my individual experience of shamanism vis-à-vis soul retrieval, shamanic journeying, and the birthing of a shamanic drum with a group of other people, which are all interventions within the shamanic tradition. The research findings point to the potential positive effects of different shamanic practices in the growth and development of clients. My argument is supported by the work of other shamanic counsellors such as Christa MacKinnon (2012).