There was a question on the Healerzone Facebook group recently about dealing with the issue of ‘taking on’ someone else’s distress – either emotional or physical. It’s unfortunately a very common issue with many therapists and a prime (but unnecessary) source of burnout.
Recognition that it’s happening is definitely important. However, by the time you’ve noticed, and done something to clear it, you’ve already been in that state for a while. Repeated experiences of that over time adds up. Long term, you can get into the habit of being tense, having poor posture or less than healthy breathing. You can spend more time in a distressing emotional state than is necessary, and that can affect your state of mind, energy levels, and potentially your health. The key to preventing it is to know how to manage your own state and then create only healthy rapport with the person in distress.
The issue is that in rapport, ‘strongest state wins’ and someone who is sick, sad, angry or frightened are generally in an intense state. It’s natural to feel empathy as you work with them, or just spend time in their space. Many people put up energy blocks, or use a ‘bubble’, but there are downsides to that as well. You match and mirror naturally as you create connection. That involves energy, verbal and body language patterns, beliefs and much more.
Fortunately, it’s possible to do it from an intentionally strong, calm, positive place, and only match what is healthy in the person in front of you. Not only will this clarify what is yours, and what is not, the lovely thing is, when you do it well, the person you’re with is lifted up to your state, rather than you being dragged into theirs. Once you know how, it’s vital to make that process an automatic habit.
It’s a skill anyone can learn and is a big part of the Heart Centred Healing workshop (which is where the whole Healerzone community stemmed from!) I’d love to see all new therapists receiving training in these skills (medical, complementary or esoteric) I’m happy to run the workshop around England/Wales/Scotland in association with HZ members. As well as running these workshops myself I’m looking to offer skilled therapists/trainers the chance to become accredited in running the workshops themselves. Please get in touch if either of those options are of interest
Love, light and laughter, Jen Tiller Founder of Healerzone firstname.lastname@example.org +44(0)1462 624 160