A Shamanic Frame for Psychotherapy
There is no such thing as Mental Illness. There is no such thing as Mental Health. There are such things as lifelong developmental processes and emotional anchoring patterns that have been habitually internalized after having been learned as situational coping strategies. These naturally occurring patterns and processes can become chaotically entangled or can be harmoniously woven together in the formation and development of various personality qualities and characteristics and continually transforming aspects of consciousness; which tend to vary in their relative functionality within different life-contexts. The Source-Psychology Perspective chooses to focus on such patterns and processes, which underlie presenting-problems, or Source patterns, as primary therapeutic concerns, and to hold diagnosing and treating symptomatic complaints as secondary healing priorities. The Source-Psychology Perspective also promotes the emphasis of contemporary psychotherapists’ Archetypal roles and responsibilities as societal Shamans, or So(u)rcerers; who offer Guidance through Healing Changes in Consciousness; toward Stages & Experiences of Transpersonal, or Source, awareness.
“Magick”—A Living Definition…
Magick is defined as: “the science and art of causing change (in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will” (Kraig, 2003 p. 9 – 11). We are “not talking about stage ‘magic’… …To differentiate[,]… [the] …magick of the occult world is spelled with a final ‘k’ (Buckland, 1999 p. 155).” For the purposes of this project, I submit a paraphrase of the above definition as a useful metaphor and conceptual frame through which to understand and practice Psychotherapy… …As: a Science and Art of facilitating Changes, in Consciousness, to occur in accordance with Will (Kraig, 2003 p. 9 – 11).
Healing. . . Shamanic Style
“Healing is: a lifelong journey into wholeness, seeking harmony and balance in one’s life, in family, community, and global relations, an instant of transcendence—above and beyond the self, embracing what is most feared, opening what has been closed, softening what has been hardened into obstruction, creativity and passion and love, seeing and expressing self in its fullness; its light and shadow, its male and female, remembering what has been forgotten about connection, and unity, and interdependence among all things living and nonliving, learning to trust life (Achterberg, 1994 p.10).”
Remembering Dr. Fox (1944-2012)
- Excerpt from In Prospero’s Library (Fox-Stern, 2015); a forthcoming publication.
“Papa, do you have any spell-books in your library?” I asked as I gazed wide-eyed at the towering rows of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, which covered virtually every inch of wall-space in my father’s tiny study. I was less than five-years-old, but was already fascinated with the Western Shaman or Merlin archetype; a wise and mysterious wizard or sorcerer figure, who would bedazzle a person’s senses to offer guidance, support, and learning opportunities throughout developmental challenges and life-journeys.
My father closed his book and removed his glasses to look me square in the face over his thick graying beard; pausing for several moments to ponder just how to approach my question. He knew that, even had I shared access to his scholarly vocabulary…
“…the English language [did not] offer common words [for] describing the integrity of ‘body—mind—spirit’ (Achterberg, 1994 p.11).”
“They are all Spell-Books, Son.” He said; his blue eyes twinkling in the afternoon sunlight that cascaded through his south-facing window. “Each one has the power to help you to change your consciousness in new and exciting ways; just like magic(k)!” He continued. “This one here is about how the mind works.” The hard-bound volume that he showed me then was a colorfully illustrated text-book on psychology.