How to Choose a Healer or Practitioner – 10 Things to Consider
Years ago, I struggled with an undiagnosed illness, one that baffled my multitude of doctors. When they were not able to offer answers or cures, I had no choice but to look elsewhere. I turned to a spiritual healer who helped tremendously, and my success in healing then prompted an obsession with healers – I began trying any treatment and every healer that crossed my path. That was almost 12 years ago, and since then, there has been a significant shift in society when it comes to working with healers, alternative modalities, and complementary medicine. “Wellness” is booming! While this excites me, it also concerns me; over my years of being a healing “guinea pig,” I discovered that while some healers were great, others were not. During my experimentation with countless healers, I had both amazing transformational experiences and dark ones.
A great healer can clear your cobwebs, provide clarity, set you back on track, speed up recovery, release toxic emotions and get you to do work on yourself (the true key to feeling, getting and being better!). But not all healers result in these benefits – which is why choosing carefully is paramount. How do you choose a healer or a practitioner? How do you decide, particularly when so much of what happens in healing is hard to quantify and is seemingly intangible? I’ve read countless lists on the top ten reasons why you should or should not try “X” treatment, but I’ve yet to find guidance on deciding who to work with.
Choosing takes discernment and understanding what is right for you. It’s a life lesson that I learned the hard way. This is why I am sharing my list of ten things to consider when choosing who to work with – who to open yourself up to in the most vulnerable way. My checklist is based on what works for me. My hope is that it will help you to discover who or what might work best for you and give you guidance on how to trust yourself when making decisions for and about you.
When choosing a new healer/practitioner, or deciding whether or not to continue with someone you already work with, here are 10 things to consider:
Avoid healers/practitioners with big egos.
If the first thing they tell you is that they treat the Dalai Lama, run away (I’ve actually encountered three people that introduced themselves with this claim!). Their need to let you know that they are ‘important’ is a red flag. It’s also a red flag if they focus on boosting your ego. Telling you in a heartfelt way that you are kind and have a good heart or are a beautiful being is one thing, but be conscious of the difference between providing love and promoting grandeur to win you over.
Trust your gut.
We all get a feeling when we walk into a room or when we meet someone. If the pit in your stomach surfaces, take notice.
Take a good look at the people who are raving about the practitioner.
Where are they in their journeys? Have they come a long way, or are they spinning in circles like they’re locked in a house of mirrors? Do they talk the talk, but not walk the walk? Is the friend referring you a “healer chaser”? Is the person giving the rave reviews someone who is looking for someone else to do all the work for them or make them insta-better?
Back away from anyone that bad-mouths others.
Does the practitioner speak in a judgmental way? If you share something negative about another person, do they respond by attacking the person and/or saying derogatory things? If you ask about a healing device or mecca that isn’t on their list, do they tell you it’s crap? Someone who is coming from a truly light-filled place will give a factually detached answer, not a sour, judgemental one, even if they disagree or have something better to suggest. They might say, for example, “We would caution you from using that,” or, “That may not be your best option.” A light-filled or highly conscious healer will respond from a space of compassion or love and will offer honest assessments in a neutral way.
Do some homework.
Search the internet. Look for testimonials. Are the testimonials only found on the practitioner’s site? Practitioners, even good ones, tend to curate only positive reviews on their own websites – see if you can find a review on a third party site. Do not be shy about contacting the reviewer by posting a comment or reaching out via their blog/social media.
Take promises of instant success with a grain of salt.
Do they claim they can heal you in one session or very quickly? (Take double caution if they say this before even meeting you!) Feeling, getting and being better is a process. It takes time. There are so many layers of emotion and pain to attend to. And there is usually no single set outcome. Evolution has no end. Complete resolution is hard to come by.
Don’t confuse status with credibility.
When a healer has a big name or celebrity status, this may negate credibility instead of enhancing it. Being on a path to stardom often detracts from one’s own personal growth. When you open yourself and your energy field to a healer, you want to make sure they are doing work on themselves too, so they do not infect you with their unresolved “stuff.” Be conscious of whether there is a greater emphasis on building a brand versus working with patients or clients. The most committed and effective practitioners might be the ones with no fanfare or website.
Be wary of an attempt to control.
Do they preach? Is it their way or no way? Are they dictatorial in their approach? Do they insist on booking multiple sessions at once? Or are they territorial, scaring you away from working with others? Having too many practitioners working on you at once is not advised, but in choosing, choose the healers who heed control to you. Never delegate your health or well being to anyone. A good healer will respect that.
Ask for credentials.
Regardless of whether you are working with an MD, certified practitioner, or someone using their innate gifts to heal, take time to understand their background. Where did they train? Who were their teachers? How long have they been practicing? Experience and training matter, even with intuitive gifts/skills. Fine tuning one’s practice takes time.
Explore what fuels their passion.
Why are they a healer or a practitioner? Why do they do what they do? What is their story/journey? Take the time to inquire, as more often than not, practitioners have experienced their own healing crisis or have had a pivotal moment that marks their commitment to wellness. Personal healing stories are powerful indicators of a genuine desire to help others – that the practice is more than an income or a job. Understanding the personal influences of a practitioner can be just as important as an impressive resume. It speaks volumes of their passion, compassion, and sincerity.