Working with an Energy Healing Practitioner: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
There are many qualified, talented and experienced energy practitioners out there. And unfortunately, there are some that are not quite up to snuff. What should you be on the watch out for?
INEXPERIENCE – THE GOOD
Many of these I will chalk up to inexperience and best intentions of a practitioner, especially a “newbie”.
INTEGRATION WITH WESTERN MEDICINE
I often encourage my clients to share with their primary care physician or therapist that s/he is working with me. It may be important to the course of the client’s course of treatment. To date, this has always been received positively often to my client’s surprise. More and more, doctors and other health care providers are open to this work.
It is generally accepted that energy work is a wonderful complimentary intervention versus alternative (i.e., as a substitute for other medical interventions that may be more appropriate). There are potential legal implications and liability issues with an alternative approach and philosophy – especially for the energy practitioner.
If your energy practitioner is advocating that you follow his/her advice and not follow your physician/therapist, beware. He/she might be subtlety “discounting” your doctors / therapists professional advice, especially if you are not happy with what the recommendation is. It is a real gray area to pay attention to. And besides, you are the one making decisions about your health – always. We are here to help empower you for your best health and for you to explore and utilize the best options for yourself.
The practitioner should not be making recommendations that are outside of his/her expertise. Again, this is a gray area, because he/she may share with you intuitive impressions. Be careful to ask the practitioner to report exactly what s/he observed and avoid the temptation to over interpret information received.
It is somewhat common for practitioners to feel attached to helping you with your problem. It is a normal rookie mistake, and often happens when someone is trying to “prove” the value of the work (been there, done that myself!). There are also some people who are helpers by nature, but it becomes an issue when they violate your boundary in the process.
It can be subtle – a bit too much follow up communication, a healing that never seems to end, an anxious request for you to return and continue working on the issue, and other subtle ways that this can come across. A more experienced practitioner is looking to empower you in solving your own health issues, not owning it for you.
ABILITY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
Does your energy practitioner look you directly in the eye and answer your questions? Does s/he feel confident? Do you feel a good rapport with this person?
Energy healing is a comprehensive, holistic and integrated experience. You want to work with someone who can “hold” a large enough space for you to explore and heal the many facets of your life. Some of the healing work happens through conversation, where the practitioner should be curious about your experience and goals for the session.
Is the healing space clean? Is it well organized and neat or do you feel like you are working in a back room storage space or crowded spare bedroom? A professional practitioner will create a space that is warm, inviting, peaceful and relaxing. The goal is that you should feel safe and secure so you can trust your energy practitioner with the work that is possible for you.
ETHICS – THE BAD
Some practitioners are not versed in good ethics of any profession, and I classify these here for that reason.
The practitioner is a business person and likely a solo entrepreneur. To that end, s/he is in the business of cultivating loyal clients and generating new business (because clients are expected to get better and drop off which is a good thing). Ideally, clients will give testimonials for the good work of the practitioner. Everyone wants to hear “evidence” to support that this is effective.
If these are not available, the practitioner might offer select situations that are sanitized. For example, “A client came in because she was suffering from plantar fasciitis. After 45 minutes of energy work, her pain went away and she was able to walk normally”. This is a generic example that conveys a simple point in an anonymous way.
Which brings us to the topic of confidentiality. The practitioner should hold a space of confidentiality for you. It is your business that you are sharing with him/her. This is very different than the practitioner “blabbing” the story with rich details, including the name of the client.
In the case of my ethics agreement for coaching, I am not ethically allowed to even share that I am working with a client. If I do agree to take on a client – for example, I work with some people who are in our social circle – I tell them upfront that I will not share this information. The reason is that it can sometimes create awkward situations for the client. And for the sake of the client, it may be best to refer them to another professional.
Also be careful if close family or friends are also seeing the same practitioner. The practitioner should be mature enough to hold healthy boundaries around each client and session. In some professions this is actively discouraged according to the ethical guidelines. Again, there are situations where it might be best to refer to another trusted professional, which I have done on several occasions in the best interests of the client.
So why are the above examples important? These situations will help build a positive reputation for the practitioner, but even more important is the energetic relationship that is developed. Energy work requires healthy boundaries, strong integrity, honesty, ethics, and primary consideration for the client’s needs for it to be most effective.
In the absence of these characteristics and values, there are energetic blocks that develop in the relationship between the practitioner and the client. As the practitioner, it is the responsibility of the practitioner to develop a clear energetic space and deeper contact so the energy work can be effective. Practitioners should be working with a professional supervisor, coach or mentor to identify and work with these subtle dynamics.
ULTERIOR MOTIVES – THE UGLY
It may be desperation, manipulation, egocentric – any of these motives can easily trap a practitioner if the practitioner is not also practicing good personal development and using the services of a professional supervisor, coach or mentor. Each of these different tactics is a subtle way to manipulate and control you.
PRESSURE TO COMMIT TO MULTIPLE SESSIONS
As I mentioned, energy practitioners are in business and trying to make a living. However, there is a line that is crossed between offering additional sessions (and sometimes at a package discount) and pressuring a prospective client to commit and prepay for additional sessions – especially with a sense of urgency (“right now or the deal expires”).
It is normal to ask for prepayment for long distance services. In-person clients pay after the session. Beware of practitioners that demand payment up front. Many of my clients pay for one session at a time, and return when they feel that they need my services.
Energy healing is about empowering the client to make his/her own choices. This is actually part of the healing process. It is important to allow the client to make decisions in a timeframe that works for them: their healing process, their desire for change, their budget, their ability to commit time to the process, etc.
If it is that important to “seal the deal” – now – then you might wonder whose needs are being met: yours or the practitioners?
Some practitioners may make comments that allude to serious conditions, scary dark forces that are attached to you, serious issues in your energy field or your physical condition. This is usually followed with a suggestion to pay more money for the practitioner to “fix” you.
If your intuition is telling you to leave, do so. If you are hearing this and feel yourself getting pulled in, sit back, take a deep breath and seek a second opinion.
Some practitioners may claim that they can cure you of your illnesses. It has been my experience that clients have been treated by many specialists with no cures. A few have been told “There is nothing more that we can do for you.”
Remember, ultimately the healer is you. It is the culmination of your thoughts, beliefs, faith, habits, past history, nutrition, physical state of health and exposure to the environment that has brought you to this state of health, in this moment. It is your faith, dedication, discipline, openness to different solutions and willingness to change that will be the engine of your recovery.
The energy practitioner is the catalyst for this change. The practitioner will help balance, stabilize and repair your field to strengthen your healing process. Beware of practitioners who claim that they have the power to heal – they are trying to rob you of your own healing path.
DOOMSDAY SCENARIOS AND PERSONAL POLITICS
Some people are tuned into information that suggests that there are dark forces that are controlling us or extraterrestrials that are here to destroy the world, etc., etc. I am not advocating that you believe them or not. I do advocate that you make wise choices for yourself. You may be opening a new world of information that you want to explore, or you may not want to hear it.
The point is this: the political and world views of the practitioner belong to him/her. Do question if it is helpful to bring that into a session, or it is a “stage” for the practitioner to bring you around to his/her point of view?
There are a lot of New Age points of view that are in the media. As consumers of this information, we need to be aware of what is helpful for our own growth and personal purpose. In centuries past, people would dedicate lifetimes to studying some of the mysteries that are now in the common information systems like the Internet. There are subtleties and depth to many things that get a light treatment in social media, articles and sometimes books.
The Bottom Line: Follow your own inner authority for what is right for you, your own path of healing and your own destiny. It is the most important element of your healing journey.
Written by: Marijo Puleo, PhD. To find out more, visit www.marijopuleo.com