A New Sense of Self After Shamanic Healing

A young professional from Calgary, Alberta lived with disordered eating and substance use disorder for over 10 years. She sought support from a Shamanic Practitioner after returning from her third in-patient treatment program feeling defeated.

Shamanic Healing enabled the young woman to connect with a sense of purpose, and develop a connection with something bigger than her own experience. As an outcome, she built a new relationship with food, a sense of moment-to-moment presence with her emotional experience, and a desire to engage with the world with a fresh outlook.

The Issue

After years of working to complete her university degree, Emily was ready to enter the workforce. She knew that in order to be successful, her survival skills needed to change.

Emily spent most of her youth feeling lost; both her parents were killed in a car crash when she was only 6 years-old. During her adolescence, Emily discovered the powerful sensation of control that came from controlling her nutritional intake. In high school, she realized alcohol and cocaine provided her with the adaptive mechanisms to manage the emotional roller coaster she felt confined to day-to-day. She was productive, high-functioning…and all alone.

After the completion of a third in-patient treatment program, Emily knew a traditional psychotherapeutic approach wasn’t her path out of addiction. She’d been watching videos featuring Dr Gabor Mate, who frequently talked about the benefits of shamanic healing and energy medicine. A referral brought her to my practice, where we worked together over a 12-week period. In those 12-weeks, Emily’s perspective, narrative and sense of possibility shifted.

The Plan

Emily spent most of her life looking for reprieve from the pain of loss and separation from her parents. As a young teen, she’s identified tactics that allowed her to complete high school and university, even while appearing to socialize normally with her peers.

Yet, she alone knew the depths of her addiction. She felt isolated, lonely, and stuck.

A switch flipped after a third residential recovery program. Emily realized addiction was a guiding light illuminating what she was missing from her life. With that in mind we built a gentle, compassionate healing program that supported the wounded child who grieved her parents. Over a period of 12 consecutive weeks, we met to talk, do healing work (including soul retrieval, energy extraction, guided journeys, and shamanic counselling) and listen to the unique voice that came from Emily’s heart and soul.

The Outcome

As a seasoned participant in recovery programs, Emily knew that healing takes work. Yet, she told me later, she didn’t realize that work didn’t need to feel hard.

Emily showed up to each session with a commitment to reshape her worldview. Yet, this effort never felt forced. After just 3 sessions, Emily noted that her internal narrative was changing. It was as if a skin was shedding from her eyes, mind and heart, allowing her to view her experience in a whole new way.

Emily’s experience in recovery programs emboldened her to try new things, and to talk about uncomfortable, heavy subjects. She didn’t balk at new ideas, and actively asked to experience methods she’d read about. It was this willingness to do her work in the sessions and on her own time that enabled Emily to experience a significant personal transformation in just 4 months.

By the end of our 12-weeks together, Emily wasn’t just completing a healing program: she was renewing her commitment to life. By spending time listening to her body, and listening to her soul, Emily built a new relationship with the pain that had long been her companion. She invited her pain to come on a new journey, one that honoured her physical body in a whole new way. Emily learned to converse with her soul, instead of her shadows.

Now, almost a year after completing her first series with me, Emily has built a new relationship with food and with the substances that numbed her pain. She feels the connecting between listening to and nourishing her soul – which requires sobriety and balance. While the act of recovery is an ongoing process, Emily is building new pathways that are in alignment with her soul.


Shamanic Healing
Shamanic Reiki
Ancestral Healing
Polyvagal Theory
Somatic Experiencing

“Before meeting Andrea, I didn’t know what peace felt like. I was constantly thrashing in the sea of life to keep my head above water. In just a few sessions, my recovery felt like part of a much greater journey. My soul had a venue to speak! Andrea provided a sense of validation that made my experience feel normal and inviting. No matter how deep and dark things got, I always felt supported and loved.”

Emily - Calgary, Alberta
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Curious about Shamanic Healing?

Shamanic Healing is a catalyst for change. You’ll leave sessions transformed by a connection to your soul, with renewed perspective, and with a sense of the path you wish to build to achieve your destiny. Want to know more about how it might work for you? Please get in touch!