Considerations in Finding the Right Practitioner
Most alternative or wholistic practitioners are not regulated or licensed like other professions such as medical doctors, psychologists, social workers or nurses. However, they should, at minimum, be trained and certified in whatever modality or treatment they offer.
Because of the nature of wholistic practices, there usually are no governing bodies, no regulatory agencies and no government or insurance qualifications, and this can be a double-edged sword. Many practitioners develop their expertise in various ways, including workshops, training and mentoring, apprenticing with a teacher, studying with a master, life experience and the like.
While many practitioners are very knowledgeable and proficient in their field, they may never have had a class in communication or bedside manner. In addition, there are no classes or oaths regarding ethics for wholistic practitioners and regrettably (like in all professions), there is a wide variety of situations that arise because of this.
So how do we find the right practitioner for us? Recommendations from trusted friends and family? Gut instinct? Our mind can get in the way, so don’t let the mind lead to second guessing. However, taking into account what the mind tells us can be important, too. It’s paradoxical.
Remember that a practitioner that resonates with a good friend or family member won’t necessarily be the right practitioner for everyone. As much as we love our “peeps”, we are all singular individuals and our life experiences are uniquely our own.
Here are some guidelines and questions to ask when objectively reviewing a practitioner to work with:
• What is their history, how much experience do they have and what about references?
• Are they trained, certified and bring a full body of knowledge to what they offer?
• Do they walk the talk—live what they “preach”? Meaning, do they eat well, exercise, have a spiritual practice, get enough sleep and take good care of their body?
• Are they mindful of thought, speech and action?
• Have they engaged in their “work”? They have dived into their shadow and worked on self-realization, which means healing personal issues, having good relationships with family and friends, being mindful of their own triggers and issues and being able to communicate from a centered mature self. By the way,
this takes time—many years, usually decades for most of us—and is an ongoing process.
• Beware of those who, when situations get difficult, respond with euphemisms to immediately shift away from the uncomfortable and just focus on goodness and light. This is called “spiritual bypass” and is becoming more and more common in our culture.
• Are they aware of their impact on creating relationships both in the present and through time into future and past?
• Do they engage with us in a way that is empowering for us? Do they recognize the wholeness inherent in every person, group and circumstance that comes for treatment?
• Do they honor whatever reality the client resides within?
• Do they work with compassion and non- judgment?
• Is maintaining clients’ privacy guaranteed? Be aware if they talk about other friends or clients with you, as chances are they may then speak about you with others.
These guidelines are offered as a place to start. We should all take what works for us, disregard what doesn’t and above all—be kind to ourselves and others in this journey we call human life.
Danielle L. Dvorak is a Certified End of Life Mentor, Certified Vibrational Healing Sound Practitioner, E-RYT200 Yoga Teacher, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Aromatherapist and Akashic Records Guide. Connect at 847-323-9188, Replevyn.com or EndOfLifeMentor.com.