This is a two- part taped interview I had in early 2014 with a doctoral student in psychology about my ARISE method of soul-based counseling including Reiki or energy work in a counseling session. The transcript has been edited for better reading. Hope you like it!
Part 1: Why I merged counseling with Reiki and energy psychology methods
Hello! Thanks for agreeing to this interview for my doctoral research in psychology. To start off, I want to ask you what has been your experience as a Reiki Energy Healer? I will back up a little by saying I have been a counselor for many years and I worked in NYC with kids from Harlem, South Bronx and Chinatown. Counseling could not bring them where they needed to go clear enough, fast enough. We understood the issues but traditional counseling techniques really wouldn’t help them to let go of so much personal and generational trauma, so much deep poverty, to move their lives forward. So I decided I wanted to bring in something else like a mind-body approach. Then I saw an advertisement about Reiki.
I love Reiki – and I have been training people in Reiki for about twenty years now. I see it as a ‘platform energy’ for people even if they’re not interested in becoming energy healers. It is also for people to have a little more balance, healing and empowerment in their own lives.
I encourage my clients to step forward and learn at least Reiki 2 because then you can deal with mental and emotional concerns and pain from the past. You are taught to send energy back and forth through time and space with Reiki, well, with any many methods, but Reiki is the easiest platform method to do it in my opinion.
Because you don’t need to memorize, study, prepare or plan. It’s an attunement process and so with the Reiki attunement and with practice, you’re able to go back and heal a trauma in your past. It doesn’t seem to heal instantaneously, but with a little time it bubbles up to the present. It does change past realities and then you’re in a different place than you were before you sent the healing energy- almost like sci fi time travel. You can send it to your future, to an interview, or to a doctors appointment. You can send it to past, and you can also use it for yourself. So it’s very empowering. I find it’s changed my life and the lives of many many people.
What are some ways it’s changed your life?
It has helped me heal a lot of my own issues because so many of us come from our own painful backgrounds. I’ve used it a lot to heal my own private issues. All my family still live in New York so rather than just say, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that,” or get on a plane and go help every once in a while, I can send Reiki every day. And I do.
I send Reiki every day to people – to my clients, to world situations. When you read things in the news and you feel so moved – that “I wish I could help, but how can I help?”. Well, now you can help! You can send healing energies and be part of a solution, a light grid...
…not just for yourself, but for others in the same condition. Say, if you’re out of work, you can send healing energies to your job search and your finances, and you can also send to everyone who’s out of work. You can sent it to children who are hungry at home and to their parents. Things that could normally break your heart - you don’t have to feel so crushed and overwhelmed anymore. You’re able to do something. So it’s great. It’s very empowering.
Mhmm.... yeah that sounds empowering. What are... what are some things that impacted your interest in Reiki?
Definitely working with my clients - I’ve been a counselor since the early 70s. You definitely run the risk of burn out. I worked in Manhattan and it was a hard commute. I remember many days the alarm would go off in the morning and I would lay in bed and cry. That’s a hard way to start your day! So being able to use these tools really helps regenerate you. Helps you to be able to rejuvenate and recommit to your life. And I found a higher perspective was the way to do it.
Because our traditional counseling tools, techniques for self-care are, truthfully, not enough for a day-to-day counselor. To be a counselor for forty years and to carry such light, hope, to not feel in any way burdened or despairing by the stories that could just tear your heart out..
But to feel the hope, the joy, the excitement to get up every day and work with people. We don’t have the tools for that. Even with talk therapy and medications, we don’t have the tools to help people to handle the stress of this every day life, our society in these challenging times of personal and global inbalances. But when you bring in higher perspectives … Then there’s joy, there’s hope in every story. You see patterns, you see Heroes through every aspect of their lives and you’re able to work it from a whole different perspective. It’s a living, organic process.
How are you able to integrate counseling with the energy healing?
When I moved here to Oregon, I decided to ‘deinstitutionalize’ myself . I was tenured faculty in a New York city college and I teach part time in three colleges here in Oregon. But, in my own private practice, I have developed my own personal method. And I answer to a higher authority than a dean or chairperson. So I am able to follow the thread of truth without having to play office politics of any kind. I tell clients that I can do traditional counseling and I can do energy work. But, I don’t recommend either because counseling alone will give you some understanding and insight, but will not take you where you need to go and will not take you there clear enough and fast enough.
A one time energy session gives you a lift, a clearing, but because you’re not integrating it or understanding your past patterns, it can dissipate. And it can give you the false impression that I am somehow helping you rather than you are working to help yourself.
So,when you have a combination of both, then you get the insight, you get the patterning, but you get the energetic changes and shifts that can move things along. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful system. It works really well together.
It sounds like it’s an integration of mind body spirit that you were talking about.
Yeah. Alone they will bring some relief but I don’t feel it’s lasting relief. Or, they might be slightly disempowering, because they are in isolation and the client is not ‘owning’ the work. Together, guided or intuitive counseling, energy work, and training in energy work empowers a client in untold ways. And it’s good to remember we are always work in progress – not that there is something ‘wrong’ with us. Walking an empowered path is a natural path – and that means inner work.
What was it like for you when you said, “I had to deinstitutionalize myself”. Did you receive any any sort of backlash from colleagues when you started doing the energy work?
Oh, gosh, (laughter) so much! And still so much in this field today!
What I have been finding, because I’ve been doing so much research in the field, is that the interests of leading edge social scientists have a slightly different approach. Many social workers are moving more into shamanic work, indigenous wisdoms, and that’s a wonderful lineage. Many psychologists seem to be, and have been since the 60s, moving away from the cognitive behavioral fields into consciousness and ‘psy’, the psychic realm. An experimentally-based way of proving there’s more to life than we think there is, so they’re looking at it from that perspective. Counselors are starting to step up and hold more of a professional identity.
I’m looking at bringing in quantum soul based work. It’s a different window, or portal, let’s say, to accessing reality and empowerment for people, but it’s certainly not accepted yet in the field. So, for example, I have been told by professional colleagues that what I do is “gobbeldegook”.
So, I expressed myself a little bit, what I do and why I do it, and the person finally backed down somewhat, but that amount of shaming is definitely going on it in the field.
There has been tremendous judgement and humiliation, and that’s just something that you have to deal with. So deinstitutionalizing myself has helped tremendously because nobody owns me or my messaging. But there’s always cost to everything. Not working a “regular” job, leaving a tenured faculty position and starting a private practice is very different. So, for example, my father would frequently ask me after we moved, “Why can’t you go back and get a real job in a college the way you used to?” And I would say, “Daddy, I’m following my heart”. And he would respond, “You’re following your heart straight to the poor house!”
So, it is really hard to get support. And as I train clients to become energy healers, I tell them, in our society today, you cannot easily support yourself as a healer. You need to have other modalities to add.
People are looking into certifying various energy modalities but we’re at the very beginning of that. Look at chiropractors, for example. After so many decades, medical training and certifications, it still is shocking that many people and even insurance companies still think that chiropractic work is outside ‘normal’ practice. As energy healers, we might have decades and decades to go before we get certified enough to be confident within the public.
How have you been able to cope with that backlash?
Ahh (sigh). I’m kind of a warrior energy (laughter), so when this college chairperson said this to me (gobbledegook), I wrote an article about it. I didn’t mention his name and I didn’t mention the specifics, but I published an article about the insult.
When I was a young girl in the 60s, I remember reading a book about the continents looking like they fit together; the flora and fauna from south America and Africa fitting together. However, if you would talk about this at all to anybody, you would be laughed at and humiliated because there was no known mechanism that could tear continents apart. Anybody who believed in that was seen as fringe and crazy. Now we would call them conspiracy theorists. Of course, then we found subduction theory, plate tectonics, and it’s forgotten that many people were badly humiliated in the process and their professional reputations tarnished.
The same thing is going on now. We say we’re in the helping professions, but I never liked that I had to learn theories based on torturing rats and animals and extrapolating from that, for the human condition...
To me, my work is an art, a sacredness, a sacred calling. To witness people’s lives, hear their stories, and help them make sense and move forward out of perhaps unbearable, horrific conditions that we ourselves couldn’t handle. And so I feel – OK, you’re going to try and humiliate me, ostracize me, marginalize me, and that’s all happened to me. But I have a lot of support from my clients, so I was willing to make this choice, to put my professional prestige to the side, and my security to the side, and follow this path of heart because it truly is a path of my heart. And I’m really convinced as I help clear the way, it will be easier for other counselors and healers who come behind me to walk this path because I’ll set it in such a way that’s going be hard to ignore.
Mhmm. Yeah it sounds...it sounds like you’re working really hard to make that path, and yet psychology as a science is such an emerging field, and they put so much pressure on evidence-based theories and research, and trying to find that evidence to show that therapy works.
I know, and it’s very hard to show it, but then this whole ‘evidence-based’ thing is a catch 22 too. It’s really, to me, an economic way of working with codes and insurance payments. Research is research is research. Who’s funding it, who’s looking at it?
And if you look at quantum research the question is – is a photon a wave or a particle? Well, if you’re observing it, then it’s shifting, it’s coalescing from wave energy to a particle. And when you’re not observing it, even a computer not observing it, then the proton manifests as a wave. So the act of observing, bearing witness, that alone changes the whole incient! So, thinking that there is an ‘objective’, ‘unbiased’ research design is going again known physics! Just the asking, framing the experiment, observing, changes the question. And we sometimes see what we believe, not believe what we see.
When I studied as young psych major, all we could learn about was behavioral, behavioral, behavioral. And behavioral therapies are from 100 years ago. It was boring and tedious. And out of touch with real world problems and clients. Quantum theory is also from 100 years ago and there’s much that can be done within quantum that has not been explored within the social sciences because up till now, mathematicians have owned it and physicists have owned it.
Physicists are the ‘metaphysicians’ of our time, but they believe, see, and discuss the quantum from a math filter. I’ve talked to a number of quantum physicists and it’s fascinating to me because what they understand of multiple dimensions, for example, are fractal mathematical patterns. But, for me, as a counselor, as a therapist, I see multiple dimensions as how can I help my client. How can I help someone shift and change their ‘reality’, how can I help them to navigate through a potential possible backdrop of different choices. Again, evidence based or what you believe is what you get?
And was that when you send the energy forward or backwards…or to the present...through the different portals?
Like parallel universes. I’ve had many interesting experiences, and here’s where the fun part, here’s the magic part that comes in. Because in my model of reality, we’re all connected, and we’re all enfolded, and we’re part of this holographic backdrop. We are connected through time and space.
For example, I had a client whose husband left her for a younger woman. He hid all their money and she was left with very little in the divorce. He re-married a much younger woman and my client had anger, bitterness, resentment and fear. We did some guided counseling, which is a higher level accessing of information for her and for the situation. And we did energy work as well. And through this holistic method we worked on releasing her resentment but doing it through a higher or soul perspective, not analytic.
As she released herself from the feelings of resentment, anger, injustice, she received her first and only letter from him. He wrote to tell her he was sorry how things ended and that he never meant to hurt her. We were sending back to the trauma of the divorce and also to release fear around her future. And ‘somehow’ he felt a change or a shift and responded immediately to her. I have many examples of this happening. It’s fascinating. Because we usually dismiss this as ‘chance’ or ‘synchronicity’. But what if the quantum theory of entanglement holds in our daily lives? Then we have much more to consider when we address our personal challenges.
To realize we are more connected than we think we are. We are not discrete just physical entities living in our own little bubble. We really are connected to each other.