Working With Clients Who Suffer from Acute Sensitivity (Schizophrenia)top
A word to the therapist
by Odette Nightsky
Sensitive Services International
Since the advent of the New Age, we have been deluged by many different forms of healing modalities. Some are ancient forms coming back; others are new and pioneering. Therapist and Healers are not only offering personal one to one work, they are also teaching their craft to others that follow that particular path of discovery.
As the form of healing and therapy changes, we must acknowledge that there too are changes in those who are looking for help. If you are at all in tune with the planetary shift you will know that many have been walking a fine line between sanity and insanity. Some are experiencing psychic explosions, inner deaths, loss of core self. The orthodox world would refer to this as a nervous breakdown, or at worst mental illness. From a deeper more spiritual perspective those that are in crisis are moving through an incredibly profound time.
Stanislav Grof, a pioneer of Transpersonal psychology saw this great crisis within the soul as a Spiritual Emergence, an awakening that may take on quiet a drastic form. People experience a great psychic opening where they may feel a synchronicity with everything, prophetic dreaming, an inner death, Kundalini awakening....the list goes on. The person moving through a spiritual emergence will feel very in touch with the cosmos but not necessarily grounded enough to stay balanced during the inner journey. Many of these people have been misdiagnosed and placed in mental institutions to suffer not only desperate loneliness in their own inner world but to be ostracized from the outer as well.
Schizophrenia, in my opinion, is the extreme of a Spiritual Emergence where the imbalance is left untreated for so long, and the therapy insufficient that the person suffering is no longer stable in the three dimensional world nor the world of spirit. These are the type of clients that are coming out of the woodwork and crying for help in the deluge of new age therapies. Many of them will not readily tell you or even know what the problem is, so how are you as a therapist going to be of help?
I met a young woman not long ago who was suffering from an acute obsessive disorder, By her own admission she had lived a sexually abused life, dominated by black witchcraft cults, and often in and out of institutions. She shared this story readily and with great detail. She was in great distress looking desperately for a quick healing fix, a couple of days later walking on the beach a man approached telling her he was a shamanic healer, and could be of help. I saw her not long after the session. A couple of things were obvious to me. She was spaced out and confused at his approach. She asked me if I thought what he was doing was normal. She was vulnerable, restless, and scattered, not grounded at all. She said that the healer got her to strip naked (he said this was his way) and lead her to explore her own sex during the session saying that this would help to release her issues. This is at her very first session with a complete stranger!
This extreme example of abuse in therapy makes the point that many therapists and healers are confused at how to understand someone who is deeply fragmented from the core self or walking through a deep and transforming spiritual awakening. We are individual in our approach but what we all need to be aware of is that if someone comes to you who is mentally, emotionally and spiritually imbalanced there are some helpful ways in assisting them.
If you are dealing with a client who is walking through a Spiritual Emergence or suffering from Acute Sensitivity. Use the following steps to guide you in your healing work. Remember you are only responsible for what you offer from the highest good, they are responsible for what they do with it.
- It is imperative that you build a bond of trust, so they can share anything with you in confidence.
- Honor their journey (however far out it may seem) you are not there to stop the journey, rather to help the client find clarity and stay whole during the process.
- The first priority is to assist in grounding them. This is vital. Some therapist go ahead with a wonderful auric healing, but do not ground the person before they leave. Do not let your client walk out the door higher than they came in. Get them back into their bodies as much as possible.
- Do not over stimulate them with too much information, too many remedies, and too many promises. Keep it simple, step by step.
- Make it clear if you are not a doctor and if they are looking for a quick fix, that alternative therapies may not be for them. They will have to work over time with a therapist to bring long term positive results.
- Practice and offer simple techniques, something they can take home with them. Repetitive drumming, sticks, chanting, etc may help to calm the mind.
- Never patronize, try and fix them or tell them that they are having delusions or hallucinations (remember it is their truth) or you will surely lose them as a client. However it is important that you speak your truth too.
- Help them tune in to their passion on this planet, the reason for being here on earth.
- Be open to allowing them to call you if they are freaking out (especially if it is a long-term client).
- If they are hearing voices assist them in identifying what the teaching might be. For example, if a voice says "you're fat and ugly'", the teaching may be to build self-esteem so these words no longer hurt them.
- If they are on medication and don't want to be, be very clear and strong about their need to wean off slowly under supervision and back up therapies-cold turkey can be terrifying.
I know from experience that people who are prone to being Acutely Sensitive, have a wonderful imagination, can travel very well inside the world of visualization and imagery, and are gifted with many creative talents. These are talents you can encourage and utilize in your therapy sessions. The most important things I have learned in guiding Acutely Sensitive souls is:
- One step at a time.
- Make sure to ground them well.
- Cleanse yourself and the room thoroughly after they leave. Don't be afraid to ask for guidance from someone who may know more than you. You are not responsible for how they choose to walk their path.
There is a great stigma around those suffering from mental, emotional and spiritual imbalance. They are thrown into the too hard basket. Each Acutely Sensitive soul I have met has been more vulnerable and confused, rather than violent and destructive. They are fragmented souls looking for a reason to be here on this planet. They are like the lost children of the world. They need our love, understanding and support. It is up to us as Therapists, healers, teachers and "light" workers to learn more about where they are coming from and be the best guides we can be in assisting them to find their own healing way.
Author of The Bridge Between Two Worlds. A Shaman's View of Schizophrenia & Acute Sensitivity Available for Educational Seminars
Phone: 0438 239 127 (Australia)
Sensitive Services International
Disclaimer: Material found on the Successful Schizophrenia website is for your information only. We are not able dispense specific advice for your situation. If you are under a doctor's care, you should talk with him or her about your mental health goals and if they are not on the same page as you, ask for a referral to a doctor or counselor who is. It may mean interviewing several. If you are on your own, you may wish to contact your local county mental health department to ask for local resources. Our site exists to show people that there are all varieties of mental states and assessments of those states; that sometimes 'mental health' is in the eye of the beholder; and that the mental health profession needs to continue to open itself up to the new paradigm ... progress is being made!
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