Finding Wholistic, Empowering Practitioners

Wholistic and Empowering practitioners come with many titles, in different shapes, of varied forms, and with imaginative descriptions. Some do not identify themselves as “wholistic” or “empowering” at all. Some may even resist such designations. Many have developed creative titles to identify their special niches.

By “wholistic” I mean a helping professional who sees and treats you as a whole person. By “empowering” I mean one who helps you to find your own power within yourself. At any given time in your life, you may work with many different helpers, even for the same issue.

Getting Started

To start your search for a wholistic and/or empowering practitioner: turn within. That is to say, turn to your own inner wisdom. Ask, “What is my intention?” “What are my needs?” “What do I desire?” If you are unclear about your needs, look for someone who can help you clarify them! Looking for help outside yourself is an act of empowerment if you stay connected with your inner self; looking for help outside yourself is an act of disempowerment if you believe that you are less important than the practitioner.

You may find it helpful to write your intention and make a list of goals and wants and needs to facilitate your search for help outside yourself. For example, if you prefer to work with someone who listens to you, pass up story tellers who talk about themselves and others as a means of teaching you something. If you experience this or any other approach as a waste of time, you will waste your time. Remember, your intention is to find your match, not make anyone wrong.

Are you seeking a Personal Consultant? Attorney? Therapist? Chiropractor? Energy Healer? Spiritual Practitioner? Accountant? Meditation Expert? Medical Doctor? Coach? Nutritionist? Financial Advisor? Career Counselor? Real Estate Agent? Massage Therapist? Mentor? Hypnotherapist? Acupuncturist? Friend?

The list can continue with complex or creative titles, since helpers oriented toward empowerment and wholism often have more than one area of expertise. Some technologies require academic degrees and/or licensing in order to practice what they say they practice. Some have other impressive credentials or vast public exposure.

You engage your rational thought processes to narrow your choices. Even more important than the rational function is honoring your heart and your intuition. Starting and continuing to check inside yourself leads you to wiser choices.

First Impressions

Keep your needs in your mind and heart when making your initial contact. Ask the practitioner what he or she has to offer. If there seems to be a match, reveal your needs briefly, then listen to the response. Have you been heard? Is the practitioner trying to sell services or trying to understand if your needs are those he or she can serve?

Of course, this person is running a business and does so by selling products and services, but you have a right to know now if the practitioner’s integrity is strong enough to put your needs first. This conversation is a preview of the ways you will relate to each other if you hire this person.

When I made a 2300-mile move to Santa Monica from the East Coast in 1986, my search for wholistic practitioners was at its height. I sought and continue to seek services for myself as well as for making informed referrals as part of my own business. I have experienced the spectrum from disappointment to deep satisfaction, even enthusiasm. Fortunately, I have had more of the latter than the former.

Several years ago, I heard about someone who works with sound. Since my voice is a vehicle for transformation and healing for many clients and workshop participants, I was interested in knowing more about his work. After receiving the requested literature, I telephoned to ask him to talk about his work — I wanted to hear his voice. He said, “Everything’s in the literature that I just sent you.” Everything about sound is on the written page? I think not. I tossed his literature in the recycling bin.

Delightful and rewarding experiences finding solid professional help are far more prevalent for me. Initial contacts have been made through friends’ suggestions, clients’ reports, colleagues’ recommendations, ads and articles in various publications, and direct mail promotions. While my extensive networking yields most of my contacts, I was delighted to find one of my most satisfying practitioners from her paid advertisement. I resonated with her choice of language and found her photograph pleasant. When I called, I felt good about her spoken words, clarity, and voice. I made an appointment immediately.

Remember Who You Are

Remember, you are the client (or patient or customer). That means you are the decision-maker. The practitioner you hire does not make decisions for you. Now is an important time for you to claim your own power — empowerment from within, not power of one over another.

So, decide, “Do I want to work with this practitioner?” If you work with someone because your spouse or a parent or your boss has insisted, be clear about such a decision not only with yourself, but with the practitioner. The wise professional supports you differently if he or she knows you are there under duress or for someone else’s needs.

If you are uncertain that a practitioner is a match for you in a long-term relationship, you may want to invest in just one session. Most practitioners offer workshops or literature or initial consultations or telephone conversations to assist you in your decision making. Sometimes these offerings are free of charge to you. Do not abuse introductory offers or introductions. Remember, practitioners earn a living by giving support to clients who pay for their time.

If you cannot make up your mind or read your heart, that is your responsibility, not the practitioner’s. Both of you need to give and share honestly, but within reason. Please note: if you need someone to convince you, then you are not looking for a wholistic or empowering practitioner.

During the initial contacts, keep turning within. How do you feel while you are with this person or as you read this person’s literature? Do you feel trusting? Do you feel empowered? If you have been depressed, do you feel hopeful? If you have been distressed, do you feel more calm? Do you sense mutual respect? Do you believe you can get your needs met with this person’s assistance?

It is important to be open and realistic and to put into proper perspective the ideas that you hear or read. The practitioner may say something that you do not like. (e.g., “For your health’s sake, it is essential that you quit smoking.”) If you are overly critical or seek the flawless practitioner or look only for agreement with your own opinions, you may not find the help you need. After all, your thoughts and beliefs and opinions have created the situation in which you find yourself. You need something to be different in order to change. The Appointment is Scheduled

After making your appointment, keep turning within. What do you want to get from the session? What is your intention? Think about your needs, pay attention to your feelings, and listen deeply. Stay flexible to new insights that may reveal themselves just by turning within.

Between the time of the appointment scheduling and the consultation itself, communication occurs through the energy field. The work has begun, regardless of how much either of you is aware of the connection. At the Appointment

So now you are at your scheduled appointment: keep turning within. How are you received by the practitioner or receptionist? How does the session start? Does he or she treat you with respect by asking your experiences or perceptions or intention?

Remember, you are the client. Your perceptions are important, no matter how much you or someone else values the expertise of this person. Does this practitioner act as if you are a whole person, or just a tooth ache or a muscle spasm or an interesting case? Your symptoms have prompted you to seek help; however, you are a whole person, not fragments of discomfort.

As the session continues, keep turning within. Are your needs addressed? Are you encouraged to go below the surface of what you say? Do you feel uplifted or empowered? Are you given suggestions for supporting your own healing or growth or knowledge after the session? Do you know what to do next? Do you feel safe, nurtured, and/or understood?

Next Steps and Follow-up

At the end and following the session, keep turning within. Does the follow-up support address your needs? Some discomfort may be necessary for your growth, so do not invalidate a worthwhile experience or potential growth because of some discomfort. If what you have done in the past is no longer working for you, you need a change. That change may include lack of familiarity and/or comfort.

How do you know if you want to engage this person again? Of course, the answer is within. Not everyone is a match for your needs, beliefs, and personality. Change is constant. You change, practitioners change, matches change, needs and values change. Finding the appropriate wholistic and/or empowering practitioner is a dynamic process, not an inflexible one-time decision.

Keep turning within. Ask yourself meaningful questions, listen to the answers you give yourself, and act on those answers.