22 April, 2012

Ecumenicon Presentation

This past afternoon, I had the honor of presenting at the Ecumenicon Interfaith Conference. I was presenting on Shamanism, and how it can be used to help Substance Abuse clients.

Here's the short little blip that I wrote for the website:

Shamanic Approaches to Addiction; Terrapin; Saturday, 3:00 pm; This class will give a quick overview of basic neurobiology & psychology of addiction, and introduce shamanic/spiritual theories of addiction. Students will have the opportunity to explore direct knowledge of addictions through Pathworking/Shamanic Journeys, learn about co-occurring disorders of mental illness, hear personal stories from addicts themselves, and practice skill learned in-lecture.
Sounds pretty cool, huh? Well, after brainstorming my outline, I decided that there was no possible way to fit in all of the above-mentioned things into 1.5 hours, so I had to do a bit of tweaking. I mainly focused on specific counseling techniques, how substance abuse/dependence are defined in the DSM-IV, and how to use different techniques to both determine a focus for questioning (runes, tarot, pendulum, etc.). I had a hard time defining how to use Shamanic techniques to increase a client's ability to receive and accept treatment, as it differs depending on with whom I am working.

There was excellent dialogue between the attendees and myself as presenter, and many debates ensued about the ethics of diagnosing clients without the education and/or licensing to support one's instincts.

I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had a family emergency that took up the weekend of the conference (see upcoming entry soon).

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