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The Three Ravens College of Therapeutic Shamanism UK

Therapeutic Shamanism

 UK-based workshops and training courses on wide range of shamanic work including: shamanic journeying; core shamanism; soul retrieval; power animals; the medicine wheel; shamanic counselling and healing; healing ancestral and family patterns. The Three Ravens College of Therapeutic Shamanism.

Shamanic Therapy: course details.


There are courses explore the interface between shamanism and psychotherapy. They are cutting-edge, experimental and experiential. Although these is a theme and a plan, they also vewry much become ‘a path made by walking’ as new ideas, insights and ways of working emerge.


The Advanced (Shamanic Therapy) courses are arranged in modules. The modules can be taken in any order. However in signing up for a module, participants generally need to commit to attending all of the weekends in that module (in other words, it is not possible just to sign up for individual weekends).


It is not necessary to do all the modules - students are free to sign up for the ones they are interested in. However any student who completes four modules, plus the Practitioner Training, will be awarded Advanced Practitioner (Shamanic Therapist) status. More details to follow.


To get the most out of the modules, some additional reading will be recommended.


Course fees are as for the Foundation courses (details are here).


Please note - After a amazing few years of running them, the Advanced Courses have been put on hold whilst I assimilate all the incredible learning, new skills and practices that came out of them, and concentrate on writing them up as books. Once that is done, they will be offered again.

The Art of Being: exploring the key skills in shamanic counselling.


A module exploring...


Covering the essential and most-important skills of shamanic counselling, this module will explore the interface between shamanism and person-centred counselling work. For those of you with no person-centred background, it will give you a basis in the theory and essential core skills that form the necessary underpinning of the therapeutic relationship. For those who already have a background in the person-centred approach, the module will provide you with a unique opportunity to explore person-centredness from the perspective of shamanism. Doing this brings completely new insights and perspectives, and changes where we are coming from and how we are being.


One key difference between person-centred counselling and shamanic therapy is that in shamanic therapy there is an active, participatory presence of shamanic reality (in the form of Power Animals, Plant Spirits, Tutelage Spirits and so on). And even more than this, whereas the person-centred counsellor is there to champion the client, in addition to this the shamanic therapist is there to represent and speak for the various powers in shamanic reality (the Stone, Plant, Animal and Human Peoples; Mother Earth; the Upper World; and so on). So the shamanic therapist is occupying a different space to a person-centred counsellor. They have a different role, and so, a different way of being. To explore this and how to bring this awareness into the therapeutic relationship, on the course we will work with variations on the ‘Council of Beings’. This is where people take on the roles to represent the different Beings (the different Peoples, Mother Earth, Spirit and so on), and set up a council meeting for where the Beings can speak, be heard, and listen.

 

The course will also include:

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The Art of Tracking: uncovering, following and unpacking processes, symptoms, and meanings.

 

Exploring the interface between shamanism and various psychotherapeutic techniques, including those from Process-orientated Psychotherapy, Voice Dialogue Work, and Focusing, this module will explore how to work at depth with messages, images, metaphors and symptoms.


The course will teach you the art of noticing the hard to notice; the almost hidden hints and signals in symptoms; body-language; tone of voice; ‘coincidences’; relationship issues (including transference and counter-transference with clients); and much more, including shamanic journeys themselves. We will explore how to bring these messages into conscious awareness and work with them, using a variety of creative and dynamic techniques. This will involve things like drawing, shapeshifting and groking, movement, voice work, and more. In order to do this we will explore the different senses and channels we experience the world in. This exploration will involve both both pair and group work, but also by learning various meditation techniques, theory and practices.


From a shamanic point of view, much of this will involve journeying into the underworld. Different to the lower-world, the underworld is actually an aspect of the middle-world. It is the shadow realm of our own unawareness; of our mental constructs and thought forms, and the place where we store bits of our self that we deny and have not integrated. We will use the techniques learnt to retrieve information from the Underworld, and bring it into consciousness to unpack it. As well as journeying to the underworld, we will explore journeying into the body and body symptoms, as this is where much underworld material resides.


Needless to say, as well as learning how to work in depth with clients, the course will provide ample opportunities for deep self-work and exploration.

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The Art of Mapping: exploring models and maps of processes.

Ran in 2014.


A module exploring the links between shamanism and types of psychological terrain, including working with Reichian character analysis, and sub-personality theories (including Voice Dialogue work).

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The Art of Repatterning: working with patterns, constellations and relationships.

Ran in 2016.


Using shamanic variations on constellation work to heal: dysfunctional family patterns; groups, relationships between body organs and systems; and more.

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The Art of  Imaging: going beyond the verbal.

Ran in 2016.



A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.

- Albert Camus


I was thinking of calling this course Art of Art, as it has a nice ring to it. However I didn’t want anyone to be put off by the word ‘art’, in terms of thinking they need some artistic ability to do the course. At school I was told that I was rubbish at art. So when I was told in a journey that I needed to paint my shamanic drum I signed up for an adult evening class called ‘Painting for the Terrified!’. I was indeed terrified, but I very quickly came to hugely enjoy it. However I also fairly quickly came to realise that what they told me at school, although it was harsh and not kind, was in fact pretty much true in that nearly everybody else in the class turned out to have so much more of an aptitude for painting than I did! So, you don’t need to have any artistic talent at all to do this course (in fact the likelihood is that you will have much more than I do!). The other thing (without getting bogged down in a defining what art is!) is that the course is not just about what most people would necessarily regard as art. It is about working with all images, without reference to artistic merit or validity. So the Art of Imaging it is.


So besides not needing any artistic ability, this is not a course about producing art. It is a course about getting beyond the limitations of language, and diving deeper into the right side of the brain; the hemisphere of the brain that is hard wired to experience shamanic reality. The right brain operates in metaphor; in music and in images; in paintings, sculpture and architecture. Language can get in the way as it can ‘pin things down’ too much, and drag things into the middle-world. Thought and language can also spin us away from truth, and create distortions and outright falsehoods. If language is used to describe the shamanic then it is generally pared-down and evocative rather than literal – poetry, or metaphorical stories and myths.


Many of you will already be familiar with this and experienced it yourselves by practicing Focusing, as developed by Eugine Gendlin. To drop underneath the thoughts and opinions, the endless detail of context and content, and distil a problem or issue into a single simple image is immensely powerful. With that image in mind, to then simply ask the question ‘what needs to happen’ without thinking about it or getting sucked back into detail and complex language, is often an astonishing experience in terms of the wisdom and clarity of the insights that emerge.


On this course we will be diving deeply into imagery. As usual with the Art Of courses, it will be a path made by walking together as a group. It will be an exploration, so I don't know where it will lead us. I do know though that if we trust the process, then the journey will be rich and rewarding and full of learning. As usual, we will be drawing on skills and theory from previous Art Of courses (particularly Being, Tracking and Repattering) so there will be a recap of those (an introduction for anyone new to them, and a revision for anyone else). Again though we won't spend a huge amount of time on this as it isn't the main focus of this course - maybe half a day - just enough to be able to use them, practice them and refer to them during the rest of the course.


…Hold to your own truth

at the centre of the image

you were born with…

- David Whyte


The focus of this course is to ‘hollow out’ more deeply than ever; to drop deeper into the shamanic experience, into realms that can only be described and experienced through images. Also to learn to really let go of language, concepts and of knowing, and trust in allowing deeper wisdom to emerge without getting in its way. To do that we will be learning, using and exploring various techniques and methods. In particular we will be going much, much deeper into Focusing than ever before. What we have done on previous courses with Focusing is just the tip of the iceberg. It is a deceptively simple technique, with huge applications. In a way, it can be as important and profound as shamanic journeying. We will also explore how to distil all the images of a shamanic journey into a single powerful image, and explore how to pick out the image or few images in a journey that take us deeper still (finding the deeper axis mundi within the axis mundi, and deeper still…). We will draw on lots of techniques from art therapy of course, and from psychotherapy. In particular we will use a lot of projective identification as a technique; becoming each part of an image and letting it speak. We will also look at how to use image work to explore the World Channel (the mysterious way in which external events somehow can seem to have meaning and unlock our inner processes). We look at how images reflect which hemisphere of the brain is more dominant, and how they reflect the degree of connection to the shamanic realms (with an interesting look at the Fall and the history of art). We will explore what turning an internal image into an external representation does shamanically, in terms of ‘fixing it’ and giving birth to it, and also sometimes mysteriously revealing new information. Plus we will explore how to unfixing something’s internal image from its physical form (how to see its soul, so to speak). Within the limitations of how much mess we can make in the room, as well as drawing we will explore modelling (using plasticine or fimo), maybe collage, even mask-making possibly.


I know that nothing has ever been real

without my beholding it.

All my becoming has needed me.

My looking ripens things

And they come towards me, to meet me and be met

- Rainer Maria Rilke.


We will explore ways of applying this learning to working with clients, not just in shamanic journeys, but in the pre-journey case taking, to move from content to process, and in the post-journey unpacking, to deepen the impact of the journey.


We will also explore how to do underworld work: the underworld being a part of the middle-world that resides within us - the personal and collective unconscious - material we have repressed in order to domesticate ourselves). It is usually tricky, if not impossible, to journey into using traditional shamanic means, and the Art of Imaging course will present the ideal opportunity to explore the ways of working shamanically (and psychotherapeutically) with underworld material.


As well as applying this to client work, there will be loads of opportunity to apply this to self of course, in terms of one’s own personal and shamanic development.


If at the soul’s core we are images, then we must define life as the actualisation over time…of that originating seed image, what Michelangelo called the image of the heart, and that image – not the time that actualised it – is the primary determinant of your life.

- James Hillmann.


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Testimonials about the courses