Finding the right healing practitioner
It is often said that the first step to getting help is admitting you need it. However, the second step— determining what program, protocol or person will best guide you through that process— is where many people give up before healing even begins. This is understandable considering how challenging it can be to navigate our healthcare system, the financial costs of seeking help, and the simple act of opening up and being vulnerable with someone who is new to us. As Jung said, "we see things as we are", and if we are struggling to cope and maintain a healthy self-image, it can be insidiously easy to avoid receiving the very assistance we need to shift our way of seeing back to a more balanced viewpoint.
There are many talented healers working in the world, trained in various lineages, philosophies and systems, bringing their own unique energy to how they engage with clients. The right healer for you may not be the right healer for your friend, parent or spouse. Some, for example, may feel put off by a practitioner who brings a fiery energy to their sessions, applying pressure to clients in order to induce change. Yet for others, that approach could be just the ticket; some of us benefit from being pushed out of our comfort zone by a more commanding leader. Any healing practitioner trained in reading subtle energy knows that certain energies complement each other, while others clash.
I often hear friends who work with a traditional therapist say things like "my therapist told me to 'follow my intuition' or 'listen to my gut' about how to solve X problem; but I don't know how to do that...so I'm lost." This doesn't surprise me; in modern America we are not generally conditioned to cultivate these skills unless we're lucky enough to belong to a family and/or community that values the honing of such abilities. While traditional therapists are trained in a myriad of helpful techniques, 'intuition development' isn't one of them. Because one cannot learn how to use or listen to their intuition from simply reading books and forming an intellectual understanding about personal growth areas. As with most things in life, when it comes to forming a consistently accessible connection with one's intuition, experience is the best teacher.
This means that, beyond the teaching received from the growth experiences we accrue as we live our lives, working with the right healing/spiritual practitioner is one of the most supportive things we can do to expedite personal healing— and honoring our intuition lies at the very heart of this process. If you're taking the first step toward ousting old patterns and feel overwhelmed by the search for someone to work with, remember: credentials and certifications aside, energy doesn't lie. Do your best to get as clear a sense of the facilitator as possible in advance; their personal healing philosophy, their personality, the style in which they prefer to work with clients. And especially, the questions asked and energy felt during an opening consultation: is the exchange sparking new insights or ways of viewing the issues you're working on? Do you feel consistent eye contact, active listening and an authentic desire to help you problem-solve throughout the conversation? And when it's over, do you come away from the time feeling bolstered, uplifted, more confident about what it means to follow your own intuition?
If the answer is yes, chances are you've found a practitioner who's a solid fit. And if not? Don't settle for less. The way we approach our healing speaks volumes about the way we approach life as a whole. By taking whatever time you need to ensure you pair with a healer you feel great about collaborating with, you send an overarching message that you and your quality of life are worthy of of mindful, compassionate care. When we begin the healing process from that place, we are bound to grow and expand for the better, exponentially.