The Healer-Client Relationship
1. Key Concepts
• I would like to talk about the relationship between healer and client. Situations in which you are stuck; when anger, exhaustion and disappointment emerge: Because you try to help someone and hurt yourself;
• Because you only see your own wounds (burn out, individual issues/wounds).
Model of the three columns of self-worth, question of identity, Nazar e Inayat. HIK “How to treat the wounded”: 1. Encounter him/her with sympathy, 2. Give hope, 3. See the person as healed, see the potential, 4. Identify with the soul level.
1.1 Outside: sacred space – sacred time
A clear setting and time limits provide safety and dependability. Don’t hold on to the client, let him/her go. But there are also clients with a dependency problem; they introduce a meaningful or new issue or at the end of a session in order to hold on to the therapist.
Financially: how much to charge or charge at all? Different kind of exchange?
Frequency: 3,10,40 days or separate individual sessions or sessions spread over a longer period.
Provide and create safety, in which healing can take place and clients have their space. Dependability and sympathy, benevolence.
Most important: the healer should be in a good attunement, and by this feel the power; being connected with the source and the spirit of guidance; safety is transmitted in this way.
Get clear, which are the energies the client needs; be still aware of the wholeness of energies (holistic thinking):
• Five Magnetisms
• Four Immeasurables
• Four aspects of healing power (cosmic – al Hayy, transcendent – al Quddus, creative-renewing – al Muhyi and restoring – al-Muid)
• Five Elements
If one of the Immeasurables becomes dominant; for example, compassion, the other qualities have to be given attention as well, such as love, joy, indifference, unity, because otherwise you will burn out.
Tradition – a sense of belonging to the healers of all times and especially to Hazrat Inayat Khan
Healer as an archetype: do I see myself in balance with sacredness and mastery in the qualities of the healer?
HIK: Master (expressive) – Prophetess (being in equanimity) – Saint (receptive). When you identify yourself as a healer with one of the archetypes: what do I feel attracted to; which quality do I want to develop? Example Reiki (praying, being receptive, being a channel). If you clarify yourself it will provide safety both for the client and the healer.
The wounded healer
Represented for example by Chiron (Centaur) as an archetype, he was received under the influence of violence. As a mixed being ( body =horse, head=human) he was rejected by his mother. He grew up without a father, but had a mentor (Apollo). He got wounded through a spear he invented himself. In a different version: a wounded centaur who had been cured by Chiron, hurts him. Chiron has six aspects:
• The wise one who knows pain and suffering
• The prophet who knows which direction development will take
• The physician who knows about the healing power of herbs
• The teacher who knows the laws and attainments of life
• The musician who knows about breath, rhythm, attunement
• The mentor
Be clear about your own wounds.
There is a conscious and a shadow side (unconscious, pre-conscious realm). Healer and client influence each other; also in regard of the healing of wounds. The wounded healer encounters healing through the client. We can be re-wounded (vicarious traumatizing) or our attention is focused on the wound of the client and we are insufficiently aware of our own wound that is being touched in the process.
Our own woundedness needs healing and through our own healing we strengthen the healing connection with the client and her/his healing process.
The healer must take good care of her/himself and must know her/his wounds!
The concept of the three worlds like in hamanism
The healer in her/his work has to pay attention to the Three Worlds:
Lower world: suffering, pain, dark night of the soul, revenge, scorn, anxieties, unconsciousness. Emotional competence is needed, wisdom of own experiences.
Middle world: the own experience of life. The healer’s life’s experience is needed: defeats, failures, success, partnerships.
Upper world: light, spiritual experience, power of the Holy Spirit, beings of light, spirit beings
HERMES holds the space and moves between limits, guides through the lower world and through dreams, Hermes Psychopompos=Guide of the soul (with the staff of caduceus)
Wisdom of the Heart and Potential
Example for qualities in relationship:
The quality of the therapeutic relationship in psychotherapy is marked in successful therapies:
Unconditional positive regard
Mutual affirmation, a relationship of mutual respect and trust
Empathy, the client’s ability to feel understood by the helper
Encouragement of risk taking, supporting a sense of competence
2. Risks, traps and entanglements
A problem might emerge for the healer in (intimate) relationship with the client: anxieties concerning closeness and intimacy could be compensated in the healing relationship instead of being worked through seriously by the healer him/herself. To engage in satisfying relationships could be avoided. (Danger of misuse of the client through the healer!)
All forms of abuse and exploitation are to be avoided, either materially, financially, narcissistically (for example a desire for reputation and power, for adoration). Mind the ethic regulations. There is a need for presence, wakefulness, consciousness about our attitude, each word that we speak, think or feel.
2.1 Relationship: clear boundaries
Before starting the treatment and during the process clarify what kind of healing is wanted and the goal you are aiming at. Honor the wound and the potential.
Loneliness develops when suffering isn’t seen.
Human beings are, from a neurobiological viewpoint, built upon cooperation and social resonance. Is the healer radiating empathy/love and care and attention pain-relief systems are activated in the client’s brain, for example our body’s own opioids. Bonding as a basic human need might in the beginning get stronger in the presence of the healer. The presence of the healer imparting practices of imagination will increase concentration and focus in the client and a desire for autonomy. Repeated good experiences and patience are needed, the client must be able and willing to practice regularly.
Dealing mindfully and consciously with projections:
Projective Identification – for example the resentful clients
The feeling of anger/resentment is placed on the other person. That is why the healer has to know her/himself extremely well. Be patient and well centered in the heart. Joy that is shown by a depressive client who is unable to feel this him/herself can be recognized in the healer.
Feelings of the client are projected onto the healer. Each feeling and sensation can be perceived by the healer in resonance. Therefore it is advisable to practice discernment. Is this mine or is it the other person’s? Deal with it mindfully.
Projection: feelings that in the past associated with the father, mother or other meaningful people are being projected onto the healer or other people.
In therapy we discern positive and negative transference like judgmental feelings or feelings of resentment or expectations and desires. The feelings of the therapist reacting to the client are called counter-transference. The healer’s transference shows itself in issues that do not emerge as a reaction onto the client. Projections and transferences onto the Pir could touch upon the question which feelings are projected, is there an idealization taking place?
As human beings we project because we have needs. In transferences and idealizations important steps of development can be taken. Introjection: all of us mutually take in psychic contents. Clients – like all of us do from parents/Pir/role models – take in the healer’s values, attunements, attitudes, gesture, movements. In further inner processing, assimilation and integration takes place. The above named is either integrated or stays as an alien element or is rejected.
2.2 Professional competence
Discernment: are we working as a counselor? Then we support the power of self-healing in the client, we don’t give advice, do not offer solutions for the client’s problems. We are focused on the client, we support him/her in his/her self-empowerment and decision-making.
Are we working as a healer? Is it a single session or a sequence and longer treatment?
The alignment is different: if the healer imparts methods of self-healing and points at the client’s strengths, then the healer fosters the client’s autonomy and ultimately makes him/herself unnecessary to the client’s healing progress. One has to be clear about the client’s needs and one’s own desires. As a healer who does his/her best to heal the client, he/she applies interventions even if these are not intervening. These interventions foster, in a different way, the client’s self-healing capacity. At the same time he/she will offer more obvious self-healing methods.
Example for counseling: a traumatized patient tells the healer that she can see beings that are invisible for others. The healer confirms and trusts the patient, honors her perception. The contact with spirit beings is taken seriously.
This single visit with the healer helped a patient in psychotherapy at Caduceus Clinic so that, when she had flashbacks, she could escape into the woods and contact her spirit beings whom she felt protected her.
2.3 Recognize a severe illness. Crisis is not an illness.
Like severe depression, personality disorder, psychosis. Be clear about a necessary medical treatment and your own competence.
3. Buddhist model: everyday consciousness and store consciousness
(“living room” upstairs, “store” downstairs)
The systemic nature of the psyche: parts or ego-states help us to adjust to inner or outer conditions. These parts can be marked verbally as emotion, as a physically felt sense, as image. Beyond these parts the Self contributes in witnessing, compassion, interest. All parts have to be acknowledged, to be honored, either “negative” or “positive” to the degree they belong to us. When we are centered in the Self our access to inner guidance is easier. Spiritual guidance occurs.
Imagine a very difficult contact with someone. Do this realistically. Imagine being disoriented, at a loss, angry.
• How does this part look like? Which form or gestalt does it have?
• Be present with this part
• How long do you know this part?
• What does this part need? In this need turn towards your inner guidance, to the spirit of guidance, to spiritual beings.