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How to Find an in-depth and Comprehensive Soul Retrieval TrainingI

From: Sandra Ingerman

Re: How to Find an In Depth and Comprehensive Soul Retrieval Training

I know that many of you visiting this website are searching for workshops on different shamanic topics. And as you search you visit many different websites.

One of my visions for all of us practicing shamanism and other spiritual practices is to work from a place of cooperation and collaboration. Sharing ideas and practices enrich the entire shamanic community.

I am finding that many people who are searching for Soul Retrieval Trainings are reaching out to me and those listed on with questions about the length and content of Soul Retrieval workshops.

I teach five-day workshops on Soul Retrieval and I ask everyone listed on to do the same. Some of the teachers listed split the training up into two weekends, as many participants cannot take an entire week off.

Also many of the teachers listed teach One Year or Two Year trainings on shamanic healing which expose participants to all the different healing methods that are part of shamanic healing. So many people only learn one or two shamanic healing methods. This creates a scenario where clients don’t always get all the healing that we need.

I did write an article titled “Abstract on Shamanism” that briefly talks about how illness is perceived from the shamanic perspective. You might read this article on to educate yourself further.

The question that is coming up for readers going to different websites is what are the benefits of taking a longer training on Soul Retrieval versus a weekend workshop on Soul Retrieval that one might see offered. Again none of the teachers listed on teach weekend Soul Retrievals, and I would like to explain why.

First I will share a bit about my history in teaching Soul Retrieval and also sharing what I feel you should look for in a Soul Retrieval Training.

Before my book Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self was published in 1991 I taught weekend Soul Retrieval workshops all over the United States, in Europe, and in Australia and New Zealand.

I found that in weekend workshops there was not the time to adequately train practitioners to deal with issues we face in a modern Western Culture. There is a lot to understand about the results of bridging the powerful and ancient method of Soul Retrieval into a modern day psychologically sophisticated culture.

A longer time frame was needed to train practitioners. In 1990 I developed the Five-Day Soul Retrieval Training. And I find as I continue teaching Soul Retrieval I keep evolving the teachings.

I am not trying to over romanticize indigenous cultures. But in indigenous cultures people from birth were supported in the gifts they were born with to share in their communities. And Soul Retrieval ceremonies were performed right after a trauma occurred in someone’s life. People in indigenous cultures were taught how to live a harmonious life and also knew what caused any disharmony resulting in illness.

Life is not so simple in the Western world. We are not always supported to live a life filled with meaning. We often cannot “connect the dots” to how our lifestyle has created the emotional and physical illnesses we are dealing with today. People lose parts of their soul at very young ages and show up to shamanic practitioners for Soul Retrieval work many years after a trauma occurred in their lives.

Shamans in indigenous cultures did not have to go back 40, 50, or 60 years looking for lost soul parts.

And shamans in indigenous cultures did not work with a psychologically sophisticated population.

I truly believe that the reason shamanism has survived over 100,000 years is the ability of the helping spirits to evolve the work to deal with the needs of people in different cultures and different times.

This is why in 1997 I added a new introduction to my book Soul Retrieval and in recent years added a new Afterword. My new Afterword was written to share some of the brilliant brain mapping that has been done for people who have suffered traumas and the latest research on how to help people heal from traumatic experiences.

When looking for a Soul Retrieval workshop I would contact the teacher of the workshop and explore what topics will be covered in the training.

The following topics will train you to perform Soul Retrievals with clients in a deep and meaningful way that create to long term healing. All the teachers listed on cover these subjects.Make sure that the workshop includes teaching the effects of performing Soul Retrieval work. You want to learn how to deal with healing crises that come up after a Soul Retrieval. You will want to help a client deepen what are the more subtle effects of a Soul Retrieval. People show up to shamanic healing sessions expecting a miraculous and instantaneous change. There are ways to help a person who does not receive an instantaneous healing. 

  • You want to learn how to help someone who lost a piece of his or her soul as a baby or a toddler and now have a habitual life pattern that runs the life of this person. People often notice that a recurring traumatic theme occurs in life that results from soul loss at an early age. An example of this would be a repetitive pattern of someone who always finds himself/herself being betrayed in relationships. You want to find a workshop where you learn how to help a client break old patterns and create a new positive present and future different from the traumas of the past.
  • Helping a client fully integrate their soul parts so that the Soul Retrieval creates long term healing instead of short term effects that fizzle out over a short period of time is crucial material and should be covered in a training that you take.
  • You want to be taught how to share what was seen in a Soul Retrieval journey for a client in a way that inspires clients to move on with their healing process instead of re-traumatizing them and taking them back into traumas of their past. This is key as I found that so many clients were re-traumatized by shamanic practitioners’ lack of education in how to tell healing stories.
  • I have heard of practitioners who share with clients that a damaged or hurt soul part was returned. Or I have heard that a soul part that is afraid or did not want to come back was returned. Clients should never be given this type of information.
  • The definition of “soul” is “essence”. Essence can’t be harmed or hurt. When we perform a Soul Retrieval on behalf of another we return to them pure essence that brings the client to a state of healing and wholeness.
  • Every time a practitioner shares a journey with a client they are planting seeds in a person. And seeds grow into plants with deep roots.
  • People today don’t need more bad news. People today need to hear stories of hope and inspiration about the gifts, talents, and strengths that are now available to them after a Soul Retrieval which will improve the quality of their life.
  • Frankly this takes simple common sense on behalf of the practitioner to understand the impact of his or her words on another. A teacher can help you learn how to phrase your healing stories so that you bless each client with planting seeds of love, hope, and inspiration. Words can be used to bless or curse someone. 
  • Ethics is a topic that should be covered in a Soul Retrieval Training and also any course on shamanic healing.
  • It is unethical to confirm through a shamanic journey whether the client was or was not a victim of sexual abuse. This is a complex topic that also has legal ramifications. It is beyond what I can write about in these guidelines but should be covered in your training.
  • It is unethical to perform a Soul Retrieval long distance without someone’s permission. This is akin to voyeurism. There are laws about voyeurism in both the ordinary and non-ordinary realms.

These are key topics I cover in Soul Retrieval Trainings. There are more topics I cover such as charging for performing shamanic healing work, how many soul retrievals does a person need, how long do you wait to perform another soul retrieval, working with children and families, etc. What I have listed above are topics that should be part of a Soul Retrieval training so that you can truly be in service to your client.

A great teacher will encourage you to perform Soul Retrieval ceremonies in an individual way to meet clients’ unique and individual issues. This means you might need to change your work for each client that comes to see you. Every client deserves to be treated as an individual.

Soul Retrieval is not a method that creates miraculous results after one session. It does for some but this is not the norm. Soul Retrieval is a process.

I have been in touch with many veterans from both the War in Iraq and also the Vietnam War. They often talk about how disappointed they are to have worked with shamanic practitioners that were taught Soul Retrieval as a “simple” method and performed it almost in a robotic fashion. They turn to me to help them find practitioners who work in a deep and individual way.

People today are very challenged. I know for myself I only contact shamanic practitioners for help when I need healing who have a deep understanding of the work.

Personally I would only refer a veteran of a war to someone who had extensive training in Soul Retrieval. The same holds true for my precious loved ones. Clients deserve the best treatment and healing help that we would want for ourselves and those we love.

Shamans work with the same principle as all helping professionals: Do no harm.

You need to reflect on the needs you have as a student showing up to learn Soul Retrieval. And you must find the teacher who you feel will be best suited for your needs. You need to carefully explore how you can get the best training to be in service to people, all of life, and the planet.

I am proud to have been able to train those listed on All the teachers listed on do teach extensive Soul Retrieval Training workshops.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

With love and blessings! Sandra Ingerman