Category: Parts Psychology

Is There such a Thing as Soul Retrieval?

Is there such a thing as soul retrieval?

Shamans, ancient and modern, have claimed that they can retrieve elements of your soul that are lost and they claim to be able to travel the universe on your behalf, looking for fractured pieces of your soul and returning those pieces to you.

When you retrieve your lost soul, you feel complete again and perhaps even develop abilities and sensitivities that you didn’t know you have.

I don’t know if Shamans can actually do this or not. I tend to believe that they can’t, that when a showman retrieves your soul, something else happens. Here’s what I think it is. The psyche is made up of various parts. This is called the parts model in psychology and it’s evident when people talk.

They say things like…

Part of me wants to go out tonight and another part of me wants to stay home.

On the one hand, I want to quit my job and start a business. On the other hand, I like the comfort of a salary.

We can all identify with the common language of parts and parts are parts can hijack our mind, suddenly like the incredible hulk or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

We can radically alter our perspective…

…and do things that are out of character, suddenly exploding or going into a rage and the shift can be dramatic. We can have a rageful part hijack our consciousness and come out and see things completely differently …and behave completely differently,

Instead of pieces of our soul being scattered about the universe needing a shaman to retrieve, it’s much more likely that parts of our personality are simply repressed. Inner child work, made popular by John Bradshaw many years ago, is an example of this.

Your inner child is a part of your psyche that has influence over your behavior. It comes out and times and places which you act childishly or feel certain ways and it’s repressed so you don’t have direct control over it.

So many parts of our personality can be repressed. The key to soul retrieval, the key to soul retrieval is to discover and welcomed back into consciousness, repressed parts of your personality. This is easier said than done, more likely that you will need coaching or training in parts

To accomplish it, and yet our parts are communicating with us all day long, every day, and it’s amazing that we don’t think to communicate back to them, so if we have a voice in our head telling us that we’re going to fail and that we’re no good, we listened to that voice.

We try to avoid that voice.

We fight against that voice. We do everything but acknowledge the voice and talk back to it. Ask it questions. Amazingly. When you do talk back to your inner voices, they respond and you can have a conversation.

That conversation can lead to change, real change in your feelings and your thoughts and your behaviors, and it’s amazing. It may be the most powerful paradigm for personal change. The parts model. It’s worth investigating.

You’re Not a Whole Person So Stop Trying to Be One

There are different parts of your personality.

We’ve all had the experience of working against ourselves. This is parts psychology in action.

• A part of me wants to live in the country and a part of me wants to live in the city.

• I’m torn. Part of me wants to seek revenge, but that’s not a good idea, I know!

• It’s like a hungry monster comes out at night and eats the entire kitchen!


You know what it’s like to feel divided. And you certainly know that critical voice inside your head that predicts failure and mayhem in your life. That’s your inner critic part.

Having parts is not a problem. It’s just what we are.

The Real Problem

The problem with having parts is believing that you don’t. When a part of you acts up, you get frustrated and annoyed or throw your hands in the air.

• Why do I think like this?

• I can’t stop this damn voice in my head!

• I wish this crap would just go away.

You want to believe that the nasty thoughts in your head and those negative feelings are foreign. You act as if they don’t belong in your mind and body. But, they do. They come from various parts of your personality that (weird as it sounds) think and feel differently than you do.

When you believe parts of you shouldn’t be there, you will never be in a position to heal those parts. More than anything, that’s what you need. Healing.

Parts. So what?

Good question. There would be less reason to believe you have different parts of yourself if believing so didn’t yield healing opportunities.

The oddest thing about the parts model is that you can communicate with your parts. And they communicate with you in return, as if the messages were coming from the ether. It’s a strange trip for someone who isn’t familiar with this kind of inner work.

If you can get your mind around communicating with your parts, you can heal. Where communication is possible, sharing of burdens and recovery of the self is possible. And you simply must experience it to believe.