When a person is subjected to undue stress or trauma, be it physical, emotional, or psychological, a part or parts of her or his spirit may break away and become separated from that person’s larger soul.
This separation serves to protect those parts which otherwise might experience severe injury or even destruction, and is best viewed as a useful short-term coping mechanism in extreme cases, even a survival mechanism — during trying times. It is a gift of love that a Self gives to itself. In the long term, however, if the soul parts do not return to the person, problems may ensue. It is as if you were trying to play a game of cards, but a couple of the cards in your hand had slipped to the floor. Even if your remaining cards are all aces and kings, and the missing cards are only deuces and trays, and even if ordinarily you are a superb player, you will not be able to play the game as effectively as if you were holding all the cards you were dealt. Similarly people with soul loss, no matter how well they function in certain specific areas, may be challenged in the overall effective living of their lives.
A shaman works to remedy this by journeying into the spirit world to discover those missing parts, and by then escorting those parts back to their earthly home within an individual, thereby restoring that person’s soul to wholeness.
The possible effects of soul retrieval are many and comprise a long continuum of responses, some dramatic, some subtle. Each person’s response is unique, and it is impossible to predict how a given individual will be affected. These effects (among others) might or might not include: relief from depression, anxiety or fear, the removal of long-standing blockages towards achievement, the return of forgotten memories, the restoration of atrophied skills or abilities, the acquiring of new skills or abilities, or a renewal of self-love.
If you think that you or someone you care about might be suffering from soul loss, I encourage you to take a look at Sandra Ingerman’s book, Soul Retrieval. It has a wealth of information and will answer many of your questions about this large and complex field.