Healers or helpers?

File:French - Saint Elzéar Curing the Lepers - Walters 2716.jpg

How many of you reading this have wanted to help people to feel better? There cannot be any of us who have not witnessed a friend or loved one sick and wanted to help them, or heal them, or somehow make them more comfortable.

We go to doctors expecting them to heal us. Some will wish to become healers. Whether doctor, nurse or therapist, none are truly healers. From a holistic perspective the premise that some people have the “power” to heal is a nonsense. The healer, rather than having the power to heal simply becomes the “agent of change.” This is not to negate the role of the agent of change, but rather to realize that people have the power to heal themselves.

As a therapist I cannot take away people’s problems. While they might be eager to pass responsibility to me, I am keen to pass it back. I do not choose to engage with passive recipients of care, indeed,  the responsibility and credit for change, belongs ultimately to the patient. I am keen to encourage all who come to see me, to believe that they hold the key to healing, not me.

If I am working with somebody and they fail to improve, I do not despair. Instead, I need to encourage them to believe that they will improve and to promote self-confidence. A person must first desire to change and believe that they will. People get better through the belief that they can heal themselves.

As a therapist I can only be a catalyst to change; a helper, not a healer.

Until next time, Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapist.


Ref: Jackson, R. (1982). Massage Therapy; The holistic way to physical and mental health. Thorsons Publishers Limited.

Image ref : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFrench_-_Saint_Elz%C3%A9ar_Curing_the_Lepers_-_Walters_2716.jpg

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