Mary Smail Psychotherapist SW2

What is Soul?

 

"It is impossible to define what soul is.  Definition is an intellectual enterprise. 

Anyway, soul prefers to imagine".

Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul.

Psychotherapy, psychoanalysis or psychosomatic are off-putting ideas to many people because in western culture attending therapy supposes something is unwell or inferior.  However, the psych(e) part of these terms literally means breath, or soul.  If we rewrite them as Soul-therapy, Soul-analysis, Soul-somatic perhaps a different perspective emerges.

The church is a place where the soul is recognised, but the emphasis within a Christian context suspects the soul, seeing it as sinful and in need of "being saved".  At SOULWORKS, soul is not understood as being guilty or disadvantaged, rather it is seen as being an invisible conveyor of what matters uniquely to each person. Rather than coming up with goals to fix things back to the old running order, a soulful take is about finding out how life problems may actually open a way to making fresh choices based on what matters most to the deeper you.

"Listen closely, for the soul often speaks in a whisper, easily drowned out in the business of daily life".  

Jill Mellick

Soul speaks through dreams, images, hunches and intuitions often breaking through into consciousness when we are at our lowest ebb.  The work in therapy is to learn to trust this voice and the new life options it brings.  Soul is counter cultural – what we hear will probably challenge anything which is rigid and which blocks our spontaneity and takes creativity away.

"There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen!"   Rumi

As Rumi the poet says, soul does not use words but prefers imagination, and metaphors to theory, chapter and verse. A first meeting with our soul may well come through an image.  I asked some people how they would recognise their soul and they said:

A puddle,

an eagle,

a glowing coal,

a shape shifter,

a black hole,

a robin,

  a shadow, 

God in me,

candles,

a colour waft deep within, the countryside and nature, 

a sense of presence, a sense of depth, presence that needs no words,

Soul-mate friendship,

true contact, meaning,

lightness and fun,

deep profundity,

something guiding me.

 

The soul wants imaginative responses that move it, delight it, deepen it ... explanatory responses just put us back in to positivism and science – or worse into delusion... that makes us believe that we know.  

James Hillman Inter Views

 

 

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site

EU Cookie Directive Plugin Information