Soul loss is another phenomenon which is encountered both in Focusing and in Shamanism. The idea of soul loss in Shamanism is that sometimes, when we suffer a shock or a traumatic event, we lose a part of our soul. In fact, we can lose almost all of it, such as when we are in a coma or when we find ourselves outside our bodies at a crash site or in an operating theatre. Such phrases come to mind as: "I jumped out of my skin", or, "I was beside myself", or "I was somewhere else, I don't remember". Sometimes the soul comes back by itself but often parts of us split off and stay stuck outside our normal awareness. It is strange, though, that they can still occasionally have a dramatic effect upon us, filling us with fear and making us act in ways over which we have no control . As my Psychosynthesis trainer, Barbara Cole, used to say, "What is excluded, controls". The Shaman can journey into non-ordinary reality and bring back these soul parts, though they do come back with conditions that we change our lives in some way, otherwise they will leave again.
I believe that in Focusing we contact these same split-off parts. They remain in our bodies as a felt sense but they are out of touch with our thinking brain. When we can contact the felt sense (which is a particular phenomenon or sensation but not a feeling or an emotion) we are getting in touch with this excluded soul part. We ask it what it has to say, what it wants and how it wants to change things. Very often, in a single session, the soul part can return and be integrated into our everyday being. These parts often also demand that we change our way of life. They will not stay if we continue to live in a stressful and un-nurturing environment.