by Gail Carr Feldman Ph.D.
In the following paper the author describes using past-life and spirit releasement therapies with clients who have been severely abused in childhood. Dr. Feldman refers to the work of Shengold and his concept of “soul murder” in discussing these clients and their courage in therapy; she also points out that with these clients, therapists are “called upon to be guardians of their souls.”
Judith Herman (l992) reportedly said, “No one can face trauma alone.” The therapist is called upon to bear witness to a crime. I believe that no one can face recovering from trauma alone. The therapist is also called upon to bear witness to a healing. I believe that it is a sacred experience to be a participant in the healing process. After nearly thirty years as a psychotherapist, I realize that the healing process is the process of growth and any time we facilitate someone’s growth we do so at the risk of awe. Have you ever noticed your own sense of deep respect bordering on reverence for some of your trauma clients? For what they have been through and the intensity with which they work to heal?
I think this happens because with these clients, more than with others, we know we are working with the human soul. If you remember, “psyche” actually means “soul.” In our deepest, most connected relationships with children and loved ones, we know we are being touched by souls; with our children, called upon to be guardians of their souls; with clients, helpful guides.