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Further Steps Course


Shamanism, Soul Retrieval, & Parts-Of-Self Therapy

If an illness has a shamanic origin, the underlying issue is always Soul loss or Power loss. In the long-awaited course, we will uncover the root causes and symptoms of soul loss, learn powerful techniques to locate and retrieve lost soul fragments, and learn how to bring them back, negotiate their stay, and ensure their integration into the inner system of our parts-of-self, our inner tribe.

In this course, you can learn about:

  • Your “Inner Tribe. This will include (1) the shamanic understanding of the main parts-of-self – Body, Soul, Sprit and Ego, and (2) drawing on the more psychotherapeutic aspects of Therapeutic Shamanism, the many sub-parts of Ego, including fort-holders such as the protector-controller, managers, fire-fighters, pushers, pleasers, perfectionists, inner-critics, self-saboteurs, and the exiled and orphaned lost soul parts too.

  • Shamanic Soul Retrieval. Traditional shamanic techniques for identifying soul loss, finding lost soul parts, returning them, and integration into the inner parts-of-self. As well as more straight-forward soul retrievals, we will explore other practices such as “singing the souls back home”, how to retrieve lost soul parts from the middle-world (and so, how to do middle-world journeys, including looking at issues such as safety and protection), what to do when soul parts have gone into the Land of the Dead, complications that can arise from ancestral issues, and the important issue of how to heal lost soul parts before returning them. 

  • Soul Retrieval Challenges in Modern Times. For reasons we will explore in the course, soul retrieval is a much more complicated process than it once was. It’s not enough to bring lost soul parts back; we need to ensure there are no other parts-of-self objecting to their return. So, we will look at how to negotiate with fort-holder (protector) parts to ensure that soul retrieval is successful. We will also look at the crucial issue of learning to distinguish between parts-of-self, and parts that may at first appear to be self but which are, in fact, “other”; things that should not be in us (e.g. intrusions, ancestral burdens, “curses”, and possessing spirits).  

  • Shamanism and Psychotherapy. We will explore the overlaps and distinctions between the two traditions, leveraging insight and learning techniques from both to achieve a comprehensive balance of the inner tribe, and lasting well-being.

Start date: June 8th
Practical details


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YOUR INNER TRIBE: Body, Soul, ego and spirit

Most people see themselves as being a single “self”, a single “I”. The reality is much more complex. Each of us is made of several different parts of “self”, each part having their own needs, drives, agendas and stories. 

In Therapeutic Shamanism and Core Animism, we work with the four primary parts-of-self: Spirit, Soul, Middle-World Ego and Body. Each of these has its own wisdom, gifts, needs and value. Central to shamanism is to understand this and ensure that the wisdom and needs of each is valued, honoured and respected, and that they are in a healthy relationship – a healthy and high-functioning inner tribe. 

However, in modern times, in abandoning animist wisdom, this inner balance has become lost:

  • Ego. These days, we live in a culture that the author and academic Steve Taylor says is characterised what he calls “egomania”, with the majority of people identifying almost entirely with their ego part, and seeing “who they are” as the middle-world roles and identity that they have adopted and/or been given.
  • Body. Usually, the Body, an immensely wise part of us, is viewed as being nothing more than a “vehicle” we inhabit, and most people have lost any sense of how to listen to it.
  • Soul. Connection with what animists understand as Soul has been almost entirely lost, to the extent that most people live and die these days having little, or ever, no idea at all as to what their Soul is.
  • Spirit. Although some people are aware of Spirit, from an animist perspective, much of modern-day understanding of Spirit is mixed up with varying degrees of ungrounded and wonky thinking.

We are in a mess! On this course, we will look at the animist teachings, and shamanic and psychotherapy practices, to start putting this right. 

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Shamans understand that parts of our soul can leave our bodies. If, however, those parts do not return, the result is a sense of emptiness and a feeling that something is missing.

Sometimes, the lost part is stuck back in the time period and place of the trauma. Other times, the soul part drifts further, fleeing to safe places in shamanic realms. And sometimes it gravitates to places of hopelessness and despair. What they need, is to come back. 

To do that, to bring lost parts back home, in a shamanic journey, where we journey to find the missing parts and persuade them to come back, a process known as soul retrieval.

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The principal cause of soul loss in modern times is usually that we send part of our own soul away, in order to ‘fit in’.

If all our soul (or souls) had left, then we would have died. The fact that we did not die means that part of us stayed behind and carried on, ‘holding the fort’ so to speak. In childhood, this is the part (or parts) of is the ‘fort holder’ the part(s) that stayed to ‘man the fort’ and to ‘soldier on’. The part of us that learns to ‘bite our lip’ or ‘hold our tongue’; to always be ready for a fight; to not show weakness; to not speak out; to swallow our sadness; to sell ourselves out in order to fit in or survive, and countless other strategies we may have adopted to get through childhood, and in particular, to try and fit in to our dysfunctional and domesticated modern world. 

The fort-holder part of us may be ambivalent or even outright opposed to the ‘lost’ soul part returning, as it is likely to be nervous about the changes that doing a soul retrieval could (and would) bring. In fact, it is often the fort-holder part who sent the lost soul-part away in the first place, because at the time, in doing so, they were trying to protect us and help us fit in and survive. This is very common in our tamed and domesticated culture, which makes modern-day soul retrieval a much more complex issue than it once was.  

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Many modern psychotherapies have also come to understand that we are made up of parts-of-self. The list includes therapies such as IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy), Voice Dialogue Work, Gestalt chair work, Transactional Analysis, John Rowan’s subpersonality work, and various others. In these therapies, it is understood that the issues people present with are often due to the various parts-of-self being in an unhealthy relationship with each other, with some parts having too much power, and other parts being marginalised or even excluded altogether.

Shamanism is also a parts-of-self model (in fact, probably the original parts-of-self model), and so parts-work is one area where shamanism and psychotherapy meet and overlap and an area where each can greatly benefit from learning from the other. This 10-meeting course will explore this in depth. This will include drawing on psychotherapy with its detailed understanding of how to identify parts-of-self and how to dialogue and negotiate with them, and then how to weave this into shamanic soul retrieval practices. By doing this, we can work in ways that are much more effective. And in turn, in doing this, we are following an ancient shamanic path. Namely, that shamans have always been pragmatic and adaptable. They have always taken the core principles and practices of shamanism and then adapted them to make them relevant and effective in the times and places in which they live. 


practical DETAILS

The course starts on June 8th, 2024 and consists of:

  • 12 pre-recorded video presentations, with accompanying learning resources. Each presentation is between 1 to 3 hours in length.
  • 8 live experiential and community-orientated sessions. These are on Saturdays, are 2 hours long, and start at 2pm (UK time). Recordings of these will be available (minus the break-out room discussions, for reasons of privacy) for anyone who cannot attend live.
  • A website forum and (an optional) Signal group, where students can ask questions, discuss topics, share experiences and additional resources, and get support, encouragement, and a sense of community.
  • Bonus recordings as needed. 

The video presentations will be released on or around June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 6 and 13. Then there is a six-week gap before the sessions start again on August 24, 31, September 7, 14, 21, and 28. 

The live sessions are at 2 pm (UK time), on June 15, 22, July 6 and 13, and then a six-week gap before they resume on August 24, September 7, 14, and 28.

want to work as shamanic professional?


Please note that completion of our Inner Tribe Course on soul retrieval is a prerequisite for enrolling in the Shamanic Practitioner (Professional) Course, which provides comprehensive coverage of the professional issues crucial for aspiring practitioners. Upon successful completion of the professional course, participants receive a certificate of attendance and the option to apply for membership of independent registers of practitioners, such as Indie Shamanism. We plan to run the Practitioner Training in 2025, so if you plan to join, don’t miss this opportunity to sign up for this Inner Tribe course first!

And, even if you don’t intend to become a professional practitioner, this is a big course that covers an absolutely key area of shamanism, one of its cornerstones, and which you will find invaluable in your own personal shamanic work. Don’t miss it!



  • Time and the multiverse, from a shamanic perspective.
  • Time-travelling in journeys.
  • The different parts-of-self involved on time-healing (particularly the difference between lost soul parts, fort-holder parts, and inherited burdens.
  • How to disentangle and consciously entangle with different realities and versions of self.
  • Middle-world journeying, including protection issues.
  • Parts-of-self, (and parts-of-more-than-self, and not-parts-of-self).
  • Family history and dynamics.
  • Identifying parts-of-self and not-parts-of-self.
  • What we are responsible for, and what we aren’t; what we can change, and what we can’t.
  • Recapitulation techniques.
  • The difference between Ancestors and ancestors.
  • How many ancestors we have (we are all related).
  • What happens when we die.
  • The unquiet dead and psycopomping (helping the dead find peace).
  • Ethics and permission when working with the dead.
  • Mythos and logos – what is factually true, and what is metaphor.
  • How we want to live rest of our own life.
  • Choosing the reality we end up in.
  • Death as a Guide in shamanism. Coming to terms with death.
  • Types of grief including personal griefs (such as the loss of what we have loved, the places in us that have not known love, and that we didn’t receive the things we expected or hoped for), ancestral griefs, ecological grief.
  • How grief heals us.
  • The future is a multiverse!
  • Working with future selves as m-w guides.
  • How we choose what we want, and what parts-of-self do this.
  • Making more conscious and aware choices.
  • How to fashion one’s direction and purpose in Soul and Spirit.
  • How to live a good life (a Leaf that contributes to the Tree).
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.
  • Remembering the future is a multiverse.
  • Different versions of humanity’s future.
  • Communicating with the far future.
  • Active hope, peaceful acceptance.


shamanic courses online
  • Zoom Online Sessions With Founder of Therapeutic Shamanism, Paul Francis.
  • Live Shamanic Journeying
  • Study in the Comfort of Your Own Home.
shamanism courses
  • Detailed Course Notes.
  • Video Recording of Every Class.
  • Submit Your Questions for the Next Session and Discuss with Peers.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace.
  • Meet Like-Minded People.
  • Connect Between Sessions on Website Forum and (optional Signal group).
  • Deepen the Connection in Break-Out Rooms During Live Sessions.



To attend the ‘Inner Tribe’ course, you need to have completed one of the college’s online First Steps coursesThe ‘Inner Tribe’ course consists of 12 pre-recorded theory sessions and 8 two-hour long live sessions.

The closing date for enrolment is Saturday 8th of June. The course is highly unlikely to be repeated until 2026 at the earliest, so please do take this opportunity to book (remember, once booked, you can always work through the recordings at your own pace, and with no time limits).

Payment by installments. We are committed to keeping our courses as affordable as we can, and this course is way cheaper than almost any comparable one. However, please remember that (depending on what country you are from) PayPal offers the option of spreading the payment over 3 monthly instalments. There is no fee at all for this, nor any interest incurred.

Need more information about the course?

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