Code of Practice for Spiritual Healers

For the purpose of this Code of Conduct, ‘spiritual healing’ has a specific definition involving the channelling of healing energy through the hands and/or with thought. It includes Distant or Absent Healing and Energy or Contact Healing. It does not include massage, manipulation, physiotherapy, the use of instruments, drugs or other remedies, or the practice of clairvoyance or psychic surgery. All healers are expected to behave appropriately, take responsibility for their own actions and uphold public confidence in healing. A few points below apply only to Energy/Contact healing and are identified as such.

* The certificate of completion of the Sufi Healing Order International Training Course does not qualify or authorize the certificate holder to practise Energy or Contact Healing professionally in any country: to do this they must satisfy the regulations of that country and be authorized by a state-accepted healing organization of that country.

Fundamental Requirements

i. For distant healing in the Sufi Healing Order:

• taking part in the Healing Service through membership of SHO, or
• studying the 7-Month Introductory Course
• patients’ permission

ii. For all contact and distant healing:

• attunement to the divine Source of healing
• healing prayer
• compassion and compassionate response to need
• confidentiality

iii. For professional contact healing:
• accredited course of training (see above*)
• practitioners’ insurance if required by the regulations of your country
• public liability insurance if required by the regulations of your country


1.1 Professional standards


• Never use titles or descriptions for yourself or your treatment that may mislead the public.
• Never guarantee, promise, claim or imply a cure.
• Never falsify documents or patient’s notes.


• Receiving consent of the client is essential before offering distant healing in the Healing Service or giving contact healing.
• Never give or offer any other form of treatment or therapy in association with healing unless you are qualified and insured to do so and without first making it clear to the client and obtaining the client’s specific consent.
Contact/Energy healing: Never give healing as a trainee healer unless authorised to do so by your Supervisor/ Trainer and the client agrees to receive healing from a healer under training.


• Never give healing while medically or psychologically unfit to do so.
• Never give healing when it is not safe or appropriate for the client.
• The healer has the right to refuse to give healing when concerned that this is not an appropriate healing relationship to enter into.


• Never discriminate on grounds of gender, race, religion, political persuasion, sexual preference, age or disability

Records, confidentiality, privacy

• Keep any information received from a patient confidential unless required by law or it is contrary to public interest (for example, if there is a risk that patients may cause harm to themselves, or to others, or have harm caused to them).
• Respect for privacy: invite patients to share only what they wish to share
Contact/Energy healing: Keep clear notes of healing given to patients. Ensure the notes are kept in a safe place and retained for the time required by the regulations of that country.

1.2 Ethics of the healer-client relationship

• Maintain the clear boundaries of a healer-client relationship; never confuse it with social friendship.
• Behave respectfully and courteously
• Take responsibility for the relationship you have with your clients and ensure that you honour the trust that they place in you.

Impropriety and abuse

• Guard against inappropriate intimacy.
• Never ask a patient to remove any clothing other than spectacles, coat, shoes or other incidental items.
• Never abuse or exploit a client sexually, emotionally or in any other way.
Contact/Energy healing: Never have a third party present (e.g. a trainee healer or member of the patient’s family) without the patient’s and the healer’s specific consent.

Before giving healing:

• Explain to a client on a first visit how you give healing, how it is generally experienced, and what the client may expect with regard to consultations and fees.
• Make it clear to a client with which healing organisation(s) you have trained and (if applicable) you are registered.

During healing:

• Establish and then respect the client’s wishes as to where and how they may or may not be touched.
• Respect the views and beliefs of the client.
Contact/Energy healing: Have an additional adult present when giving healing to a child under 16.

1.3 Medical ethics

• Never give a medical diagnosis to a patient.
• Ascertain, whenever necessary, that patients have sought medical advice and advise, where appropriate, that they do so.
• Be ready to co-operate with the medical profession.
• Do not interfere with the medical advice or treatment which the patient is receiving.
• Never advise or recommend that a patient undergo a particular form of treatment (e.g. an operation or course of drugs).
• Act in an appropriate manner when attending a patient in hospital or a hospice (for example, obtaining the necessary permission, respecting the responsibility of the hospital or hospice for the patients in their care, carrying identification, giving healing without fuss or interruption to ward staff and other patients, and not wearing clothing which gives the impression of being hospital staff).
• Ensure, when asked to give contact healing to an animal, that the treatment given is not construed to be ‘veterinary surgery’ i.e. diagnosis, giving advice based upon diagnosis, or medical or surgical treatment. Where there is concern about the animal’s health, the owner is to be advised to consult a veterinary surgeon. (This is a requirement in some countries eg UK)

1.4 Financial ethics

In advance of treatment, inform the client clearly whether the treatment is free or whether any financial charges or donations are involved. Make a clear agreement with the client what payment, if any, is involved.

1.5 Legal ethics

• Understand and act within the law as it relates to healing (for example, confidentiality; access to patients’ records and data protection; consent to treatment; child protection; sexually transmitted diseases; infectious diseases; dentistry; midwifery; the sale of remedies, herbs, medicines, supplements, oils etc; and the treatment of animals).
• Have appropriate insurance protection if required by the laws of your country.
• Produce details of your training and qualifications when asked by a client.


1. Your place of healing

• Maintain suitable working conditions where you give healing; ensure that these are safe and meet official regulations where required.
• Let your environment be clean, tidy, light, airy, comfortable; prepare it in advance with meditation. Perhaps use calming colours, candles, crystals, music; incense can be helpful, but be aware that some people are intolerant of incense.

2. Nurture your healing capacity

Healing practice

• Take care of your own health and self-healing
• Do regular breath and purification practices and meditation
• Pay attention to developing your intuitive faculty
• Deepen attunement to the Source of divine healing

3. Continuous development

• Improve your own knowledge and abilities through supervision and training; create a plan for continuous training
• Recognise your own limitations and seek help from those with greater skills and experience where required.

Psychological development

• Continue to explore self-knowledge and awareness, open-mindedness, mental and emotional balance and stability, humility, compassion, dedication to a spiritual way of life.
• Understand the power of suggestion to create both positive and negative effects.
• Learn about patterns of projection and transference in therapeutic relationships

NOTE: The Sufi Healing Order gratefully acknowledges that this Code of Practice is based on Hadia Little’s session for the SHO London course in 2009: Assuming a Healing Role – Requirements for Practice, and on UK Healers’ Quality Criteria Code of Conduct 2013.