Harner Shamanic Counseling (HSC)™ is an approach to counseling based on the principles of classical shamanism. The objective of the counselor is to introduce the client to the method of the shamanic journey so the client can independently find answers to important questions by directly contacting his or her power animal or teacher.
By working with this special spiritual technique, one arrives at the roots of ancient timeless wisdom and one learns to systematically access these sources for oneself and others. Through their own personal experiences, clients realize that the true authorities of shamanism are found in non-ordinary reality. The shamanic counselor is merely a helper in ordinary reality: he or she assists the client in the process of learning the methods and their application, but has no authority with regard to the answers.
In addition to the traditional shamanic methodology, Harner introduced several innovations into this work. The most important of these is the drumming CD: this recording enables the client to enter the shamanic state of consciousness and thus into non-ordinary reality, without disturbing other people in the client’s surroundings. The second innovation is the client’s simultaneous narration of the journey as it occurs, coupled with an audio recording of this narrative on a recording device. When a client speaks aloud, many impressions become clearer and perceptions become more lucid. Moreover, the entire sequence of the journey is documented by the audio recording: one can be certain that one hasn’t forgotten any essential details. Clients can replay these recordings whenever desired and thus recapitulate past journeys. This strengthens their confidence in the method and in their own spiritual abilities. Timeless wisdom pertinent to the entirety of reality, a new feeling for life, new impulses and powerful mystical experiences are regularly observed results which ensue from contact with the authorities in non-ordinary reality.
Participants in the workshop practice the classical sequence of a Harner Shamanic Counseling process. Each participant will work both as a client and as a counselor.
A person who has successfully completed the workshop may apply to participate in the course of training leading toward certification as a Certified Shamanic Counselor® (CSC). Alongside twice attending the seminar (in a different role each time), the trainee is primarily involved in practical work with clients. The applicant must also provide evidence of relevant experience with shamanism in theory and practice. An in-depth exploration of the fundamental principles of working as a counselor rounds out the individual’s understanding. Additional and more detailed information follows in the workshop.