It isn’t very often that mainstream scientists, particularly psychotherapists, resort to the use of shamanism and power animals to cure the “incurable,” but a radical new therapy said to heal those suffering from the most profound types of trauma does just that – using ancient tools in a clinical setting to cure depression, anxiety, and deep emotional scarring.
A Departure from Traditional Psychotherapy
For those who have tried traditional talk-therapy and still suffer from debilitating depression and anxiety, a therapy called the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) has been developed by Lisa Schwarz, a licensed, 30-year veteran of psychology. Schwarz is a little a-typical in that her therapy uses spirituality, neurobiology, psychology, shamanism, and power animals.
She has taught the integrated therapy to more than 1,500 therapists around the world, all of whom have found some pretty amazing success. Therapists in Scotland are using the therapy to heal patients with deep trauma, including rape and sexual abuse. Britain’s top PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) specialist uses the therapy to run a clinic which serves more than 400,000 people – so you could say that it’s been test-driven effectively.
Most of us are familiar with the notion of traditional talk-therapy, even if we haven’t seen or talked to a behavioral therapist ourselves, and though this type of therapy is not without its own merit, it often leaves many with deeply held trauma reeling in the wind.
For many, talk therapy keeps people in their heads, and allows the trauma to keep recycling. Allowing memories of the trauma, after all, to surface, is only part of the solution. People also have a tendency to hide their deepest feelings even from psychotherapists – guilt, shame, fear, anger, etc. are left lurking in our shadow selves, unable to be freed by the light of truth. This is possibly why CRM is successful. Let’s look at what shamanism, spirituality, and power (spirit) animals can do for us to see why this therapy is offering such a unique experience for those who partake of it.
Why Shamanism Works
A shaman believes that healing must happen on the spiritual level for it to trickle down into the physical. A shaman understands that a sickness will show up in your spirit or energy body well before it manifests as physical symptoms. They also understand, as a stark contrast to most western medicine, that a cure that works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. There is no “magic pill,” because every person is dealing with their own spiritual crisis when healing is required. A shaman helps a person to unmask the spiritual ailment so that it can be healed. Physical healing is just a positive by-product of that root-level healing.
Why Power Animals Work
Power animals, or spirit animals, used by a variety of cultures from the Australian Aboriginals to the Apache and Hopi Indians associated with North America – all work by giving our highest Self a nature-inspired animal with which to guide or lower selves into healing.
A bird, a cat, a bear, or some other spiritual animal is a helping archetype that the soul needs to face its most challenging inner pain. They act as protector, way-shower, or a cuddly, furry place to lay our heads and cry when we are finally ready to let go of the trauma we have experienced in our past.
Shamans often use spirit animals in their healing rituals and will tell their patients that most of us have a primary spiritual helper in the form of an animal with us throughout most of our lives.
Why Spirituality Works
Spirituality, when used productively in the healing journey, helps us to acknowledge the soul. If we are physically sick, it usually means our soul is sick. Poet Maya Angelou says that when our spirits are in balance, we flow like a river. The opposite is also true. When our souls are not balanced, it can feel like we are trying to traverse through life on white water without a raft.
With the help of spiritual tools like meditation, prayer, yoga, and like-minded individuals, we can put our spirit back on top. We can allow our Highest Self to make our choices, instead of being driven by the shadow self or ego. This inevitably leads to profound healing because we are no longer trying to paddle upstream.
Though the spiritual side of healing is often dismissed by science as having no proof, it is often simply a lack of sufficient scientific tools to prove that spiritual tools do indeed work. It is only in very recent years that scientists were able to measure, let alone give importance to the energy body, yet ancient spiritualists knew of its presence for thousands of years.
Schwarz’s CRM may just be the latest version of science (in this case psychotherapy) catching up to ancient wisdom. If modern tools for healing haven’t been working it is likely because they have failed to see the spiritual, energetic aspect of our Selves which needs the deepest healing.