HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT THERAPY/THERAPIST FOR YOU
- follow that inner voice!
by Keith Beasley
With such a huge array of complementary/alternative therapies now on offer and a growing list of therapists promoting their services, the task of choosing one can be daunting. You are, after all, about to put your life in some-ones hands!
So that's first thing to bare in mind! Any decent therapist will be interested in your past, your present and your future. They almost certainly will encourage, maybe require you to share your deepest desires and most painful memories. Indeed, it may well be that unless you are prepared to do these things then you'll never find the right therapist! For we, practitioners of whatever discipline, can do little to help you until you are willing to face the realities of life and adapt your attitudes and actions accordingly.
I'm sorry if that may sounds rather harsh . . . but few in the health or healing professions will accept total responsibility for your getting better . . . it's got to be a joint effort! Whilst miracle cures can and do happen, it's well to be wary of anybody who promises them! Many holistic therapists and healers will explain that their intent in giving a treatment is to enable the healing process 'for the greater good'. i.e. to help your mind and body work through whatever it needs to . . . but without any specific, predetermined, outcome.
This may sound a bit fatalistic, and maybe it is, but that's part of the holistic message: look for the bigger picture, allow the natural order to prevail. Fighting nature usually makes things worse! Of course, if you want to fight the natural order of things and insist on being in total control, then you'll probably find therapists who'll indulge you! But is this want you need?
Good therapists will help you rise above your wants and expectations . . . and see the higher truth of your condition, encouraging you to accept what can't be changed and work with that what can . . . be it internally (within your mind/body) or externally (in your life) . . . one tending to mirror the other!
One question to ask yourself, is the extent to which you'd like to help yourself in obtaining improved health. Increasingly therapists are running groups and workshops to teach simple techniques that you can then use on and for yourself. Many of these are even available in Adult Education classes run by local authorities. Of cause you can still have 1-to-1 therapy sessions to support this 'health self management'.
Another factor to consider, particularly if you are (of have) a carer . . . or 'significant other' in your life, is whether to seek treatment (or training) as a couple. Given the importance of support though a healing process . . . and possible influences (to your health) of key people in your life, this option may be appropriate - ask possible therapists about it.
At the other extreme, you may just want to be pampered! And why not! Again it's worth having this in mind when looking for a therapist: do you just want to lie back and have somebody make a fuss of you for an hour a month (or whatever)? This is a great way to find some relaxation . . . and of easing into the complementary/alternative therapy field.
Whether you want to be pampered or to do more for yourself, it's often not what you do (which therapy, relaxation technique, etc.) but who you do it with that matters. Getting on with your therapists or self-help teacher is probably more important than their chosen approach . . . so long as that is one that appeals to you!
The Universe and your inner/higher self, know who and what you need to help you . . . so trust them (i.e. your intuition) in making your choice! Be prepared for the unexpected and look closely at any 'coincidences' that crop up around you. If you see or hear 3 separate mentions of, say Reiki, in one day, that could just be a sign!
If a therapist hasn't fallen into your lap, so to speak, then you'll need to go out and find one. Once you get into this search, you'll find many sources of information, but to some-one new on the path some pointers might be useful. Lists of therapist and self-help teachers are often available:
In your local library . . . particularly for courses run by local colleges and adult education centres.
From health food shops, clinics and other holistic centres . . . there are often close links between sources of natural food and providers of natural health care!
At your (conventional) medical facilities . . . a growing number of doctors are supportive of complementary/alternative therapies and even if they won't give you a referral, can point you in the right direction. Do ask! The more we request holistic therapies the sooner it will be included with an integrated health care provision . . . wherever we are in the world!
On the Internet . . . which is how come you're reading this! Just allow a few key words to come to mind - say a therapy that's caught your eye in a magazine, your town or area and do a search . . . you'll probably be surprised at just what's on offer on your doorstep!
By talking to folks . . . anyone! Your post-lady or bar-man may just know the person you're looking for. Once we make a conscious commitment to something, particularly something as important to our true self and getting healthy, the Universe will use and all ways to see we get the information we need.
In Yellow Pages . . . and in various local and/or holistic directories that many areas now have
OK! So you've got a list of possible practitioners and/or teachers, all do something that, in one way or another, appeals to you. How do you choose between them?
Which one jumps out at you? Is there one from your list who's name or logo or form of words seems to be talking to you personally? Don't try to analyse it . . just go with that instinct!
Once you're down to one or a few names, phone them. Just talk to them and tell them whatever you'd like them to know about you and your case. How do they respond? Do they show genuine concern and interest? If they're not there can you leave a message do they call you back? Listen to them and see how you feel. If they sound and feel 'right', then book an introductory session . . . most therapists now will offer a chance just to meet and compare notes . . . sometimes for free. Are they in a hurry to get a booking from you? If so ask them if you've called at an inconvenient time! Practitioners are busy folks, often with families to care for too!
This is all part of building up a rapport. It works both ways! If a therapist senses a person ready and willing to listen and work at sorting things out, then they'll warm to you and do their best to help. If, on the other hand, they hear some-one wanting instant solutions, the more realistic ones will warn you that whilst miracles sometimes happen, finding our deepest sense of well-being is more usually a longer-term matter!
Keith Beasley is an holistic therapist and teacher, with a particular interest in personal self development using Reiki healing.
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