Therapy – If therapy is understood broadly as equivalent to healing, the term is certainly applicable to much of what shamans do. This is illustrated in the common preference for terms related to doctors and medicine in indigenous references to shamans and their work. However, therapy often suggests a more psychological approach to the mental health of an individual’s mind or psyche. In this sense, the term is most applicable to neo-shamanic practices that privilege individual interiority, especially under the influence of Carl Jung and his heirs. A good example of this is Sylvia Perera’s representation of the Descent to the Goddess (see Descent of Inanna) as a shamanic initiation narrative that may then provide a model for those seeking self-knowledge and personal growth. Visualization and self-reflection play the role of underworld journeying in the service of individuation.


Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007


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