Soul retrieval has been an integral piece of shamanic practice for centuries, and at its root, it involves the recovery of lost parts of the self. Traditionally, soul retrievals have been done by highly trained shamans, working with the subtle energies of the client as they lie in a light trance state. Often, clients have no conscious awareness that they’ve experienced soul loss; instead, they seek out alternative treatment and spiritual therapies as a way to heal from depression, anxiety, grief, addiction, or other pervasive issues. It is generally a passive process for the client, requiring only their consent and desire to heal.

There are many reasons why soul loss occurs: trauma, unhealthy relationships, attachment issues, mental illness, addiction, or unresolved or repressed emotional states. It is important to note that trauma itself is subjective. On a soul level, even events that seem inconsequential or ordinary can cause soul loss, as it results from an inability of the soul to integrate a painful or emotional experience; instead, a ‘part’ chooses to split off and away from the soul. Similarly, parts can be disowned by the soul, if they are deemed too dangerous, frightening, or difficult to manage. An aspect of the self can be blamed for a negative experience or trauma, and cast off for this reason. A troubled relationship can also result in soul loss, as we are capable of holding onto energetic pieces of other people…and they are equally capable of taking parts of us with them. You have likely heard the terms “energy vampire” or “soul sucker.” When involved in interpersonal drama, it is easy to see how energies can be exchanged, given away, fractured, or stolen.

“It felt like a monster, a fog, like I’m underwater. I’m afraid of it, worried that it will become a part of me. But I was able to clear most of the fog away…to see what was hidden underneath it. I found my playful self, the part of me that will always keep trying and keep living.” –Gayle, HCH Client

In Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, the soul retrieval process is interactive, used with the participation and engagement of the client. Under the skilled facilitation of the hypnotherapist, the client is able to locate a lost soul part, purify it energetically, and bring it back home, into the body and soul. Allowing the client to find the part themselves, name it, and choose to welcome it back gives them the personal agency and empowerment they need to move forward in their healing journey. They are able to be active participants in the reclaiming and reintegration of parts that had been lost. Occasionally, clients may also choose not to welcome the part back; this choice is equally valid, as it offers the client an opening to explore what was missing, evaluate their own readiness to reclaim that part of themselves, and again, employ their own agency and empowerment in knowing when they are not ready. 

“It looks like a treasure box…my treasure. The inside is filled with bright gold light. I know that it’s a part of me. I know that it’s my power, that I gave it away so long ago, and I didn’t know…but now I know. It’s been waiting here for me to come back and get it, all along.” –Sarah, HCH Client

Soul recovery is one of the many potential outcomes and effects of offering Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy to your clients. It is a profoundly life-changing experience for clients who go through it, and an integral piece of the HCH modality.