I’m going to be honest with you, there is no set formula for bridging energy healing with psychotherapy. A lot of my own experience has been a balance of trial and error. Almost every therapist I know will not bring any touch into their therapy practice, and I get it. There are risks to consider and sometimes there are licensing boards that flat-out dis-allow it. I am fortunate that I have a professional College that while it doesn’t encourage touch, it also doesn’t deny touch either.
Before I started my private practice, I knew I wanted to blend energy healing with psychotherapy. I found that my own healing journey had benefited from both. I often wondered how energy healing might’ve helped the teens with serious mental health issues that I had worked with for years. Through my years in mental health I watched as one psychotherapy got replaced with another, that in essence was the same as the first, but brought in different language and slight variations of technique. But touch was never allowed.
I recently read Michelle Obama’s book, The Light We Carry. In it she talked about an interaction she had with kids at the White House. One kid asked her for a hug and she said yes. Then the domino effect was all the kids asking for a hug. She shares a photo of her hugging two of them. She didn’t say – “Sorry, I don’t have consent to hug you.” She just hugged them. She then goes on to talk about the power of a hug versus a conversation.
It is very rare for me to meet another psychotherapist who is comfortable bringing in touch. Usually the conversation of touch is talked about in hushed tones – do you hug your clients? Do you not? The advance of online therapy has removed the option of touch all together.
One of my values as a psychotherapist, is that psychotherapists are excellent people to bring touch into the world of our clients in a very safe & consensual way. Talking about touch is so important. If you are not allowed to have any touch, talk about this with those clients who so very much want a hug from you. If you do hug your clients – have you talked about touch & consent?
When I work with clients I have a very clear consent that is written & verbal. I clarify what energy healing entails and I always give the option of touch or working above the body instead. Sometimes I have clients whose words say yes, but their bodies say no and I respect that and we can bring that experience into psychotherapy.
I love that as a psychotherapist I have the skill to help clients process their experience with touch or experiences that might occur during an energy healing.
I have a few questions for you today
- Does your College or regulatory body allow touch?
- What are your values around touch?
- Do you have conversations about touch with your clients?
- Has any body-practitioner you worked with (such as chiropractor, massage, osteo, energy healing etc.) had conversations with you about touch?
- When you’ve received energy healings – what is your preference – having touch or no touch?
The wonderful thing about Energy Healing is that it doesn’t HAVE to have touch at all. At the same time, it’s an important thing to reflect on and talk about. I’d love to hear any of your thoughts on this topic, as it’s a hot one.