Arvick Baghramian - Psychotherapy & shamanic counseling
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Shamanism is humanity’s oldest spiritual practice and healing tradition. We all share a shamanic heritage and as human beings, we all have the ability to work shamanically and to journey to the spirit worlds to meet our spirit teachers.

In traditional societies, the shaman journeys to the spirit worlds to ask for help or healing on behalf of members of his community. This is achieved by going into an altered state of consciousness, normally induced by the monotonous sound of the drum or rattle.

While contemporary shamanic counseling techniques draw on many indigenous shamanic principles, the practice also differs from shamanism as it is practiced in traditional societies. For one thing, in shamanic counseling, rather than relying on the shaman or the therapist, it is the person who is in need of help that does most of the journeying and shamanic work, directly contacting their own spirit teachers. By journeying and coming into direct contact with our spirit teachers, we are able to transcend the boundaries of our ego, judgments and resistance, and bring true wisdom and love back into our lives. This ancient practice that has survived for thousands of years throughout the world is one of the most effective and powerful healing technique ever to have been practiced in the history of humanity.

Beginners and advanced courses in shamanism are offered year-long in Barcelona, Israel, and California.

Beginner courses

Shamanism for beginnersShamanism for Beginners

Shamanism is humanity's oldest spiritual practice and healing tradition. Its roots stretch back to the furthest times in human history. The shaman is considered by many to be the ancient predecessor of the modern doctor and psychotherapist. Although many associate shamanic practice with Native America or other exotic cultures, shamanism is, in fact, a worldwide phenomenon. Shamanic practices are known to have existed throughout the globe. We all share a shamanic heritage and as human beings, we all have the ability to work shamanically.

During this course, participants will be introduced to some of the basic principles and techniques of shamanic practice, and in particular to the shamanic journey. We will learn how to shift our state of consciousness and enter the non-ordinary reality of the spirit worlds. It is in that reality that we can learn how to connect with our power, wisdom and creativity, to help ourselves and others. We will share and explore our journeys in the circle and learn how to understand them more fully and integrate them into our lives.

Although basic shamanic healing will be taught, this course is not centered on working with others, but rather aims at our own personal growth. We will have the opportunity to be guided by spirits and learn how to empower ourselves, live our lives more fully and more joyously.

Advanced courses

Shamanic counselingShamanic Counseling: Foundation Course

Shamanic counseling is a unique method of counseling, whereby the role of the counselor is more that of a mediator than a therapist. The true counselors in shamanic practice are always the spirit teachers. Thus, the skill of the shamanic counselor is in assisting their client to come into direct contact with his or her own spirit teachers and deepen their relationship with them. Another important role of the counselor is to teach the client how to formulate effective journey missions, and come to understand the language of their spirit teachers. Since the leading principle of shamanic counseling is first and foremost self-empowerment, the counselor does not interpret the messages of the spirit teachers for the client, but rather helps them to gain their own understanding of the messages.

On this five-day intensive course, the ethics and basic techniques of shamanic counseling are covered in depth. All participants will have the opportunity to experience being counselors as well as clients. We will learn how to understand the meaning and teachings of our journeys and to connect with the wisdom and power of the messages. On this course we also learn how to create the safe environment necessary for working with the life-changing issues presented by clients. Finally, and most importantly, we will learn how to encourage both our clients and ourselves to introduce the spirits messages into our daily lives, or, as the shaman says, walk the talk.

The course is both for people who wish to work shamanically with others as well as for people who only wish to deepen their own personal practice of shamanism. Prerequisite for participation in the course is having attended the shamanic course for beginners.

Shamanic Counseling: Advanced Course

This course is a continuation, a deepening and an expansion of the basic shamanic counseling course. The advanced shamanic counseling course aims at both deepening the theoretical understanding of shamanism as a spiritual practice, as well as expanding and developing our skills as effective counselors and journeyers. In this course we will acquire more advanced and creative ways of working with clients, significantly deepen and develop our relationship with our spirit teachers and gain a deeper understanding of the magic of shamanic counseling and the spirit worlds. During the course, participants will also have the opportunity to observe each other while working, thus further enriching their own listening and counseling skills.

The course is not only for people who are working shamanically with others. Although it is centered on shamanic work with clients, it is aimed, first and foremost, at participants own personal growth.

This is a five day residential course. Prerequisite to attending the course: having attended the shamanic course for beginners and the basic shamanic counseling course. The number of participants is limited to 12.

Shamanic Extraction Healing Training

Participants are initiated into the extraction method of healing, including how to see, sense, and remove localized illness and pain connected to spiritual factors. This is an important part of the shamanic healing training, and a counterpart to the healing work of soul retrieval. The shamanic work of extraction works to remove spiritual blockages that we accumulate in our soul-body. While soul retrieval serves to bring back dissociated parts of ourselves, extraction healing is performed to remove intrusions from our soul-body, which may negatively affect our well-being on spiritual, mental and physical levels. Note that while extraction work is a necessary tool in each shamanic practitioner‘s healing practice, no previous experience or knowledge of soul retrieval healing is required of participants.

The Extraction Healing Training workshop is designed for people who want to bring shamanic healing work into their practice with others. This four day training is also designed for people looking for personal healing and deep exploration of their own state of mental and physical health. The students will be initiated to the most advanced techniques of self discovery and self healing.

Prerequisite: Beginners workshop in shamanism.

Soul Retrieval: Working With Soul-Loss

In traditional shamanic cultures, most physical and psychological problems are considered to emanate from soul-loss or loss of power. Often people speak of feeling incomplete or alienated from themselves or their environment. Shamans believe that traumatic experiences in our lives may cause us to lose parts of our soul, thus diminishing our power and making us vulnerable. Most shamanic healing practices are focused primarily on the preservation, protection and nurturing of the soul. In a case where a soul part has been lost, the shaman journeys to the spirit world to retrieve the missing part. The soul retrieval helps the person to become more whole, and be able to deal with debilitating situations in his or her life, coming from a more empowered state.

On this course, the subject of soul loss in relation to our lives is fully explored. Participants will be trained to work with issues of soul loss, explore the experience of partial soul loss resulting from personal trauma and illness, and will learn how to track a person's soul and return lost essence to that individual. The course also focuses on life after soul retrieval and how to create a healthier life after healing has taken place. Individuals attending the training will perform and receive soul retrieval during the course of the week, and are given extensive instruction on how to work with clients after soul retrieval through the use of shamanic journeying, ritual and ceremony. This work results in creating long term healing.

Prerequisites for attending the course are having attended the shamanic course for beginners. Participants have to be experienced in journeying and to have an established relationship with their spirit teachers.

Shamanism, Death and Life

Death is one of the few universal experiences of human existence. However, in our society, death has been shunned and separated, both physically and philosophically, from living. We have made death the shadow of life, instead of accepting it as a natural part of it. The encounter with death, however, is an inevitable part of the shaman's healing work as well as her own spiritual path.

On this course we will look at death from a shamanic perspective. We will learn how to live more fully by encountering our own mortality and learning to use death as an advisor rather than treat it as a foe. Our ability to confront and understand death inevitably enriches our shamanic practice as well as all aspects of our lives. On this course, we will explore the realms to which we travel after death. We will also learn how to safely help souls which have not crossed over, and guide them to the Other Side, using traditional shamanic techniques. This course is aimed at people who wish to gain a deeper understanding of death from a shamanic perspective as well as for those who are working shamanically with dying people and their families.

‘Death and Life’ is a five day residential course. Prerequisite to attending the course: having attended the shamanic course for beginners and at least one of the advanced courses. Participants should also have established a good relationship with their spirit teachers.

Shamanism and Art

Many modern-day therapies, such as music, dance or art therapy, have roots in the ancient practice of shamanism. This course brings us into contact with the creative part of us, the poet and the artist within us, helping us to go deeper into ourselves, to heal, understand ourselves and connect with our inner power through our creativity.

On this course we will deepen our practice of shamanism and learn how to introduce it into our daily lives, strengthening our relationship with our spirit helpers and particularly with our own guardian spirit. During the course we will explore in depth the art of working with the rattle for various purposes and create our own rattle, as well as other power objects for shamanic use. Participants will learn how to listen with compassion to themselves and others, in order to discover their own strengths and power sources. On this course we will explore different healing techniques and develop our journeying skills, while setting free the creative artist within us, bringing color and creativity back into our lives. During the course participants will paint, draw, carve and create art inspired by their encounter with their spirit helpers.

This is a five day residential course. Prerequisites for attending the course is having done the shamanic course for beginners. Participants should be able to journey easily and have a good relationship with their spirit helpers. No previous knowledge of art is required. All the materials are provided on the course.

Relationships and Shamanism: Looking at Relationships Through the Eyes of the Spirits

Relationship is our life. We are constantly relating to everything and everyone around us. On this advanced workshop, participants will learn the magic of relating, loving and living joyously, by exploring their relationships with themselves and the world around them.

Although intimate relationships are focused on, this workshop will be looking at relationships on every level of our lives (this may be with our parents, friends, children, boss, and most importantly with ourselves). By the help and wisdom of the spirits, participants will have the opportunity to clarify what it is they really want from a relationship, as well as gain deeper knowledge of themselves, their understandings and expectations.

This workshop will take participants on a journey back to where they first learned their messages about relationships and the reasons they create or dont create them. By journeying to our spirit teachers, we will learn about our limiting belief systems that may prevent us from creating relationships, discover how to enrich our existing relationships and learn how we may be miscommunicating our love and good intentions with others.

This is a three day residential course. Prerequisites for attending the course is having done the shamanic course for beginners.

Shamanic healingShamanic Healing and the Spirits of Nature

The most important role fulfilled by the shaman is that of healing illness and helping others to maintain good health. This is achieved by either the retrieval of lost power or the extraction of harming power intrusions. On her quest for healing, the shaman would at times also call upon the help of the spirits of nature.

The course is centered on the healing arts of the shaman and her intimate relationship with nature two elements of the shaman's world which are closely intertwined. On this course we will explore the basic worldviews of both shamanic and Western health-care practices regarding illness, health and healing. We will learn to identify and remove the spiritual causes of illness and pain as well as how to communicate with the spirits of nature in search for healing. Participants on the course will also be introduced to different shamanic diagnostic and healing techniques and will learn how to use power objects and power places in their healing work. A substantial part of the course will be spent in nature, and participants will have the opportunity to sit out alone with the spirits for a whole night.

‘Shamanic Healing and the Spirit of Nature’ is a five day residential course. Prerequisite to attending the course is having attended the shamanic course for beginners. Participants should be able to journey easily and have a good relationship with their spirit helpers.

Shamanic Divination Training

The art of shamanic divination through the use of objects is 10,000 years old. One of the classic tasks of the shaman is to journey into nonordinary reality in order to obtain answers to questions, both at the request of others and for oneself. Participants in the workshop have the opportunity to engage in divination (diagnostic) journeys and learn a variety of time-tested shamanic diagnostic tools and techniques to help for each other as well as for themselves. In the shamanic search to become persons of knowledge, they learn, as shamans have since ancient time, how to converse with plant and animal spirits, how to learn about the use of quartz crystals, and how to seek and receive revelatory knowledge from visionary sources.

Living with Abundance

How can we create in our lives everything that we desire? What are the spiritual, psychological, and emotional mechanisms that prevent us or allow us to bring forth into existence our innermost dreams and desires?

By discovering and healing our inner most core beliefs and learning directly from our spirit teachers about such issues as money, love, health, self satisfaction or any other issues we wish to delve into, this course will help participants to develop a true “Abundance Consciousness”, enabling them to fully manifest in their lives all that their hearts desires.

In this powerful 4½-day residential course, we will be discovering and healing our innermost core beliefs about wealth and abundance in every aspect of our lives. Learning directly from our spirit teachers, we will be transforming our relationship with love, health, money, or any other elements in our lives we desire to bring into fuller realization. Going beyond popular ideas about manifesting or creating one’s reality – ideas that have proven to be ineffective for many – in this course we will be journeying to the spirit worlds to delve deeper and understand those elements in our inner lives that block us from realizing our dreams, starting on the path of developing a true “abundance consciousness”. In addition to intensive shamanic journeying, participants will work with a variety of tools and techniques, including visualization and artwork.

The number of participants on the course is limited to 12. Participants must have done the shamanic course for beginners.