The Healing Journey: A Neurobiological Shamanic Psychotherapy
The Healing Journey: A Neurobiological Shamanic Psychotherapy

Aviv Shahar with Kim Barta

May 19, 2022

Modern psychotherapy is finally catching up to the shaman. It’s been a long time coming.

The pursuit of mental health and a deeper understanding of the mysterious workings of the human mind can be traced back thousands of years, through cultures around the world. A new approach to treating trauma and mental health issues is finding success by combining the knowledge of modern neuroscience and therapy, with the insights and practices of Indigenous teachers and shaman.

Kim Barta is an internationally known psychotherapist, coach, spiritual guide, and speaker. His ground breaking techniques in healing serious trauma are based on years of research and experience with treating mental health issues in a variety of cultures and communities. His approach is grounded in the science of neurobiology and memory to help illuminate and heal the "shadows" – the unconscious mental and emotional blockages that prevent our growth and happiness.

By combining the power of symbolism to access the unconscious, as known and demonstrated by indigenous shaman, Kim has seen successful treatment outcomes in far less time than traditional psychotherapies.

In this conversation, Kim considers other mysteries and revelations on the journey to mental wellbeing, including:

  • Humanity is still recovering what we forgot that we knew hundreds even thousands of years ago
  • Personal development involves healing, and healing will lead to personal development; the two are inseparable
  • Every new technology that comes online unlocks new possibility of development and evolution at the same time
  • The scientific revolution led to a splintering of mental, physical, and soul therapy disciplines
  • The earlier tribal, shamanic way of assistance saw the healing of the mind, body, soul, and community as inseparable dimensions
  • We haven’t caught up to shamanism, but we do see warp speed growth and mental health once we integrate other frontiers of discovery, including the unconscious, spirituality, and other cultures
  • As humanity moved from hunting and gathering to agrarian societies we see the start of sexism and classism, and the powerful controlling the weak
  • We can look at a 3000-year-old Chinese text where the physicians of the day could see both physical and mental health and some of their treatments are still valid today
  • Because we have developed such catastrophic self-destructive powers, unless we can actually heal ourselves, and heal society at large, we are on a very dangerous trajectory

This conversation is part of the continuing Portals discovery into what is emerging on the frontiers of human experience in this time of profound change. Information about upcoming special events can be found on the Events page. Also visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

I was using modern psychotherapeutic techniques, but they take a long time. I started exploring and researching the confluence between shamanism, neurobiology, modern psychotherapy, and I started looking at things through different lenses. The confluence between those three led to this work, which I call shadow to spirit. I don't mean in a religious connotation; it just means what moves people from a place of trauma to a place of wonder and aliveness in the world.

Kim Barta

Kim Barta

Kim Barta

Kim Barta is an internationally recognized psychotherapist, coach, spiritual guide and speaker. His work is founded in an experiential practice that works with many different kinds of cultures and challenges. He works with the entire spectrum of human development from infants to the elderly, to severe mental illness and trauma to supporting the fullest expression of one’s humanity.

Kim conducts workshops internationally on human development and the evolution of consciousness. He focuses on practical, embedded, experiential, embodied exercises that make a real difference in people's lives, bringing the mystical to the ordinary for everyday bliss

Stages International

Aviv Shahar

Aviv Shahar

Aviv is the Founder of Aviv Consulting, helping leaders unleash strategic innovation, and is the author of Create New Futures: How Leaders Produce Breakthroughs and Transform the World Through Conversation.