Shamanic Practice

Over the time of my career as a therapist I’ve been guided to different ways of working by my work with clients, my own needs and by developments in the profession.

There is an interesting and also unnecessary mystique about shamanism. Our culture has relegated imagination to entertainment rather than in-forming reality and being the the primary ground of thought. In The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World Ian McGilchrist explores how the right brain hemisphere is constantly producing images, stories, feelings and it's the role of the left hemisphere to consider and interpret this material. In health it functions as a good theatre producer, or a good company secretary.

Our culture has mistaken the priority of these roles, making the left hemispheres way of functioning the boss. The right hemisphere thinking in images and story can hold complexity and uncertainty, allow for emergent thought over time. The left is a superb interpreter but when it can't make sense tends to confabulate, fill in spaces with what it already knows.

Is Shamanic Practice Right For You?

Whether working shamanically is right for you takes conversation and consideration on both our parts. I have enough confidence that the imaginal world is as real as the material. If it suits you we can discover your companion spirits, and I can help you journey. It may also be I journey on your behalf.  It does happen that together we are able to re-story important aspects of the person's life.

My Learning

I apprenticed myself to Howard Brockman and John and Caitlin Matthews, I am profoundly grateful to them.

Howard’s practice of Dynamic Energetic Healing is a robust integration of Shamanic practices, energy psychotherapy and Process Work principles. ( )

John and Caitlin’s practice is rooted in Celtic Shamanism. Their publications can be found at

In addition the following have given me courage and theoretical understandings.

Arnold Mindell’s Quantum Mind: The Edge between Physics and Psychology (2000) and Birgit Heuer’s Discourse of illness or discourse of health: towards a paradigm shift in post-Jungian clinical theory in Dreaming the Myth Onwards: New directions in Jungian Therapy and Thought. (2008) Edited by Lucy Huskinson. Routledge and Healing in the Context of Quantum Research and Mysticism PhD Thesis, University Of Essex (2018) Iain McGilchrist The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World V.1&2 Perspectiva Press (2021)

Shamanic Practice and Psychoanalysis

I am blessed to have my roots in the culture of courage and open-minded curiosity established by Carl Jung.  He recognised the objective reality of the psyche, he had spirit teachers and companions with whom he would go on walks and hold conversations.

Shamanic work is, for me, a variation of psychoanalysis, each can educate the client to have a lively personal dialogue between intentions, and the autonomous creativity of the present moment. Analysis (coming from the German an lys meaning to unloosen) of the transference helps clear the debris of dysfunctional relationships and trauma that obstruct presence to imaginal reality. Referring to this as “ the unconscious” has not been helpful, all forms of psychodynamic therapy work on the premise that deeper forms of thought are happening autonomously in feelings, behaviours, sensations as well as dreams.

The theories and practices of energy psychotherapy are another variation of psychotherapeutic work that also gives direct credence to  autonomous intelligence and creativity as systemic to the whole person as well as to the interplay of physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions.

There is a consistency with which we in modernity encounter something extra-ordinary and super-natural with disbelief, or scepticism that generally displaces curiosity.  There are thresholds to the extraordinary in our every day experience, in words, conversations, dreams, prayer and meaningful coincidences.

Use What Fits

One or other different ways of working on the website may suit you more, and may emerge in the alchemy of the therapeutic relationship to nurture capacities to notice, consider and respond freshly to experience.

The different ways are not discrete, separate. For me each has been it’s own path of learning, has become assimilated, and reappears as needed.

Colleagues John Cantwell and Karen Ward wrote the following in a Winter Newsletter.

" In moments of suffering, the Shaman will say

"be where you are, but even more so".

In times of ecstasy, the shaman will say

"be where you are, but even more so".

In times between suffering and ecstasy, the shaman will say

"be where you are, but even more so".

Celtic Shamanism practice gives us a sacred space

"to be where we are, but even more so".

A place where we do not hide from our experiences in this remarkable time of pandemic. A place where we can courageously go into our experiences and crucially find the new territory to go beyond them, to breakthrough. This is the Shamanic wisdom of healing, born from the courage to go into life, but even more so and find for ourselves, break through."