Healing Deep Trauma through Soul Retrieval and Integration

Hi everyone

I am wondering your experiences and perspective on CPTSD and other mental health issues as a spiritual journey.

I have been taking a journey into trauma healing over the last few years. In the normal worldview, I've been diagnosed with PTSD or CPTSD to be precise. I've been working with the trauma I experienced in childhood, as well as others later in my life. What I believe happens is that a part of the soul splits off during a traumatic event, and I realise how much of my life I have spent not fully in my body and disassociated. Through becoming aware of how much I am in my body in each moment, I can now literally feel when I am triggered and my soul leaving to some degree. 

I believe there is a wounded animal, the survival part of the brain that reacts and sends me into a freeze/fawn response. I've worked at bringing my awareness into these moments and becoming 'one' in it. Part of the PTSD means that I experience flashbacks, some of them very unpleasant. I can see a time when I was raped by my father for example, and of course, the survival mechanism kicks in quite strongly at these times. I have also been looking into the Shamanic perspective of mental health and can see how because of this process I became intimate with 'escaping into other realms' at a young age. My 'curse' became my 'gift' in this way. 

I have also been doing rebirthing work and have travelled into previous lives and worked with the karma. However, this karma is so very linked with my life today. I can see how there has been an ongoing thread throughout my soul's journey. During the flashbacks, I can see and feel a variety of experiences, and sometimes I am not sure whether they are from this lifetime or another, due to the protective mechanism of the brain, that 'splits' of the traumatic memory and only comes to the surface when ready.

I know that to work with it means becoming the one in it. Yet this is not always possible to do in a busy life, the images and memories are so great, I fear that I will be hospitalised! I've been walking pretty much a solo journey for four years now, so not much support in terms of dealing with this.

I know and understand that the 'trauma' is one side of the same coin. Yet, I can feel it all brewing. I have lost all recognition of who or what I am. When I close my eyes I see a bolt of lightning shattering me to the core, I feel in my sacral and root chakra the constriction of having my very survival threatened. But not just for me in this lifetime, it feels enormous, much bigger than me. 

I am waiting for space where I can go right into these 'horrific' flashbacks, and I am feeling a lot of pain in my body.

Somewhere out of all of this is my true self, who I am becoming. Yet I'm not at all sure what that is ;)

Many Thanks






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Yes I had already come to the truth and realisation of there being no safety in the world, trust etc.


When you mentioned paralysis I recall a powerful meditation some years ago, when my whole body became paralysed and I shot upwards at what seemed to be light speed. To meet a bright white light, and the most beautiful presence.

It was only by surrendering into the paralysis (which at first was terrifying) I believe this happened.


Lots to explore.


Thanks Again.




Hi Gwen,

This stands out very strongly...

It is a heightened sense of awareness in a sense. Identifying with the experience is where the suicidal feelings come from, the 'victim' who is 'powerless', the part that believes my previous statement.. 'That there is no safety in the world. No one to trust. Like I will be murdered and powerless.'

In the Openhand Approach, we consider there's a truth in every distortion - find the truth, then sit and unfold in it, and the distortion will progressively peel away.

So the truth in the distortion here (I would say), is that there is no absolute safety in the world, nor even the Universe, because you cannot control what happens - let go of any sense of control. And you cannot trust any other being but yourself absolutely - why not? Because everyone has a unique perspective on reality, and so at some point, every other will diverge from agreement with you, or being a part of your reality. What they ultimately must trust in, just like you, is their own intuition to follow their unique path, which will be different than yours (although maybe at times parallel).

What we're talking about here, I believe, is embracing the soul's innate quality of absolute vulnerability to the moment - which is the 'heightened sense of awareness' (empathic, attentive awareness). This quality, I find, softens you into the infinite potential of the moment, where literally anything can happen. For the ego, in the beginning, there's so much uncertainity that several things happen: the 'fight or flight' mode, or even paraylsis. But if you can stay in attentive empathic awareness, then from that, soul will spontaneously flow in the right way at the right time and you'll succeed in the situation.

Open Praying Emoji

I thought it was worth mentioning that the regressions happen spontaneously, something triggers externally which causes an internal regression to the feelings of the event. It is fascinating. Especially in terms of the deeper journey and meaning of 'PTSD'.

I go into what I call 'trauma head' - so I know what you mean about the mind becoming a maze with no exits.

When I go into this state, which can happen anywhere or at any time, I'm becoming more able to just witness. My mind starts asking so many questions. It is a heightened sense of awareness in a sense. Identifying with the experience is where the suicidal feelings come from, the 'victim' who is 'powerless', the part that believes my previous statement.. 'That there is no safety in the world. No one to trust. Like I will be murdered and powerless.'..

Yet this is the doorway to expanding beyond to my true self.

I am just about to move to somewhere I will have a small room to meditate and feel comfortable doing so.

So that I may spend more time to directly confront this.

As I regress it is likely I will identify with the experience to some degree, but I will keep dropping into surrender.

It is a lucky thing that I find it all so fascinating and endlessly curious.

Thanks again. You have given clarity to my exploration.

Heartfelt wishes


Thank you Open for your insight and well-wishings..

Like Alice down the rabbit hole ...curiouser and curiouser... 

Fascinating indeed. 



Hi Gwen - I commend you for your courage - I know these things are not at all easy Heart

If you're regressing, then slipping temporarily into a bought of what seems like psychosis would actually likely point to the healing - because you're actually likely becoming as-one with the original experience and living temporarily within that traumatised reality filter. As you settle into it and allow it, the soul unravels itself through the situation, assuming we're not identifying with it.

I can recall a similar bought myself some years ago - it's like the mind became a maze with no exits for a while - "I" (my soul) - got stuck temporarily within. But I knew to let go into it, realising the soul would simply unravel the experience - and so it did. Fascinating!

Wishing you well with your journey

Open Praying Emoji

Hi Open

Thank you for the welcome and the insight.

Yes, it is broken trust - the feeling, the gateway. Which extends to 'do I trust in the one'. I just keep recreating the same 'story' with different people, in lesser or greater degrees. I had a pretty vivid PTSD episode last summer, something happened that triggered the memories, feelings of the rape. I would say the effects were close or very similar to a psychosis. After this event, I started getting the flashbacks as I had no recollection of it until then, as it happened at a very young age. I believe they are happening because I am ready.

It's interesting how I had 'forgotten' and only by taking a journey right into the 'story' of my childhood and other lives, feeling all of the pain, inner child work. shadow work etc. Did I then start recalling these memories and feelings. The flashbacks are more emotional flashbacks than images. Although I do get impressions.

It feels like a death. That there is no safety in the world. No one to trust. Like I will be murdered and powerless.

It is challenging this core feeling. The breathwork I have done over the last years, where I saw and felt other lives and see the connections. Its a similar thread that runs through everything.  But on the other side of the regressions, a portal into deep awareness, wisdom. 

Events in my life recently have also meant I have had to face to some degree the 'fear of death'.

I really liked the salt water analogy. 

Thank you



Hi Gwen - nice to "see" you again on the shores of Openhand Praying Emoji

I do feel for your experience, and I completely honour it. And I've seen countless people who've experienced similar, and even worse. Although each of our experiences of course is unique to us, and is particularly impactful for us. In such circumstances, one person might be more affected by the sense of betrayal, and the explosion of trust (where a parent is concerned), for example.

I've witnessed many ways in which such conditions are dealt with in society, and within the spiritual mainstream. To me, many seem like various levels of 'reframing' the circumstance, which are essentially various levels of reality avoidance, suppression or denial. To me, and in our work here at Openhand, there is only really one approach which is likely to lead to lasting healing: this is the integration of soul fragmentation that might still be stuck in the original circumstance. Which means to progressively allow yourself to regress back into the situation. But as we do so, it is essential to consider, and have awareness of, some key considerations about the nature of reality and how it is formed - who are we in relation to it? Why does reality happen the way it does?

Then the biggest question of them all: why did YOU manifest the situation? Why did YOU create it.

It becomes utterly essential to work to realise that we are the master creators of everything that happens to us - we draw all circumstances by the law of attraction. Why would we do that? What is the purpose?

This in itself is a deep, deep inquiry, that we have to be ready for, to own, and take responsibility of. Without that, we'll continue to be the victim, and maintain the perceptions that things are being 'done to us'. Then we'll remain in the cycle of trying to 'fix things' as opposed to working to realise why they happened in the first place.

Why would my soul create the situation?

Maybe for example, to come to know myself not as the victim of reality, but as the One, with reality happening within you?

Imagine you take a glass of fresh mountain water and fill it half full. Then you fill the rest with salt. It would taste pretty foul and be difficult to drink. But now I take the same amount of salt, and throw it into the lake from where the water originally came. I let it dissolve and then drink from the lake - you wouldn't notice the salt at all. 

As the One, everything is happening within you - whole planetary systems come and go, whole civilisations begin and end. And every single experience is but a transient passage of time - an illusion of reality.

When I allow myself to become the One, who I truly am, then any experience becomes possible to tolerate, to allow. 

Now here's the thing - to get to that state, I'm going to need to challenge all the labels, conditions and judgments that fix me into the small "I" victim identity. And the only way to do that, is to turn into them and confront them. The ego will not want to do this. The identity might have owned the victim state for example and be gaining attention from it - a replacement of the perceived lack of love. But at some point, I must come to the realisation and acceptance of the journey back to the One, where everything is me, and of me, and which is the only thing truly going on. Then I become able to deal with anything that shows up - anything that I manifest.

So the key is to allow oneself to turn into all experience, and through surrender, to master it, by complete acceptance of it. But this is not just an intellectual acceptance - it has to be something I realise by allowing myself to regress into the situation and fully feel through it - it's only then that I explode the story about it that I hang onto - the one that continues to feed my ego.

So we have to be sure we're truly ready to go there - to be ready to move beyond the small "I" identity.

Wishing you well.

Open Praying Emoji

Gwen, thank you too for the connection. Yes, I can feel that you have been doing some deep work in the way you share your journey. Great wisdom emanates from this. A synchronicity that in your photo you look like a shaman :)

I am deeply exploring some shamanic ways of beingness and one of them is following the oracle of life through signs and synchronicities. Openhand has been very influential with this and I am currently finding myself exploring further like for example the work of Carl Jung and other contemporaries. Fascinating! I am saying this because it felt relevant to your comment "I am sure something will come". It sure will :)


Hi Aspasia

Thank you for your insightful reply. Yes, I agree that somatic experiencing is very useful. I found a shamanic psychotherapist a few years ago and we did some very useful releasing journeys this way. It takes a lot of courage to revisit the feelings and emotions this way. But it has been worth it. I've also been doing shadow work that's been great with working with deep shame, anger etc.

The 'mental health condition' has been my most useful tool for self-discovery. I wouldn't change it if I had that choice. Thank you for the video sharing, I shall look forward to watching it.

I really like that in indigenous shamanic communities people who have these experiences are mentored through it, by those who have gone before them. 

I am sure something will come. 

It has been encouraging to hear your words. Thank you.




Gwen hi,

This is such a powerful sharing - thank you. I have been working within the mental health sector for a few years now but my approach is 'out of the box'. Kind of like the vibe I feel you are emanating when you talk about your relationship and exploration to the trauma/s you have experienced.

Yes, I feel the same when you say:

What I believe happens is that a part of the soul splits off during a traumatic event, and I realise how much of my life I have spent not fully in my body and disassociated. Through becoming aware of how much I am in my body in each moment, I can now literally feel when I am triggered and my soul leaving to some degree. 

There is also some very good Somatic Experiencing related research on trauma that supports this, which is a blessing considering the stereotypic medical systems we find ourselves in.

Your exploration into the Shamanic way to mental health reminded me of the very recent film called CrazyWise. Here is the link and I would highly recommend it if you havent watched it yet. It really speaks to the way you are living your exploration and it certainly speaks to millions of people who find themselves confused with these experiences and the ignorant dominant medical system we are part of.


I feel there is a lot of awareness in encountering your karmic journey, which is a great advantage. There is clarity in the processes and a willingness to meet this journey in a way that will create Freedom. For me, this is to be valued and cultivated. It is also these Soul qualities that point towards who you are. May I encourage you to 'see' these qualities in you and recognise that they do point towards who you are - right now and every moment. So when the space is created for you to step forth to 'become one with the 'actual' experiences' - not in the mind (memory) but in the body/sense/energetics - the determination, clarity and deep understanding will hold you steady and safe. I have also found from personal experiences that the safety of group and 121 retreats for deeper inner work is very important.

I like what you say that the trauma is the one side of the coin. The other side is liberation, the emergence of the Soul.  They go together indeed. This means that you are Already and Always your True self, nothing and no-one can take this away - its a birthright!  You/we just need to remember it, and the traumas in our lives are the gateways. Gateways to re-discovering Love, Freedom and Truth and fully express them despite and because/through the pain.

Sending heartfelt love Heart