Counseling for Empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons
I want to start with a personal disclosure: I am an Empath. Additionally, I have other intuitive abilities that have added quite the flavor to life and even to my healing work. Like many, I have had the awareness of being different and responding differently to things since a small child. I have tried and failed in explaining myself to others in a way that makes sense. I have felt confused by myself at times too.
My work has grown me and increased my understanding and awareness of how so much is interconnected. I see the world in patterns. If it laughable at times how you can think you ‘get it’, only to gain more perspective and see even more layers and depth to the original understanding. It can also feel like a mean joke at times and me the butt of it.
In addition to being a licensed therapist, I am a Master Level Reiki Practitioner. Some folks raise eyebrows at that and others seemingly see their connection. I have seen various themes and patterns emerge in my healing work–especially in my counseling office. These have also helped guide me in learning where to focus and seek special training to be of service to others. Ironically, the one major pattern that was a bit of a slow process of realization, was the understanding that my entire client base was comprised of Empaths/Intuitives. All at different levels of awareness and understanding. Not surprising as likes attract likes. More shocking was how it took me so long to notice it. But why……..
What I began to realize was this guarded pattern and avoidance of talking about being Intuitive or Empathic. Our gifts and understandings are often hidden away due to past hurtful or uncomfortable experiences. So many of us are tired of being scoffed at or discouraged in having to explain being so different. It can feel invalidating. Sometimes we can internalize that something might be wrong with us. Even more terrifying would be confiding one’s gifts to a counselor who quite honestly, might assign us a pretty clinical label. This could further be evidence for us being ‘broken’ somehow.
The saddest part of this noted pattern is how our Intuitive gifts are vital to the healing process. These traits, abilities are the hidden gems. They are the self soothes, they inform us, and they help guide us along our unique paths. What was most amazing to observe was that when these abilities were identified, honored, and pulled into the counseling process–huge change transpired. Rapidly and in a very powerful manner. I must preface that I truly believe all healing is self-healing. People are often born with the innate capacity but simply lose track of the how. Some might argue we are ‘programmed out it’. My role is to be the guide but the actual work is done by the other person.
The important message I want to share is this: YOUR gifts, the very abilities that have likely caused you stress and perhaps ridicule, are one of your most vital healing agents. They are critical to your well-being and to your goals. I have worked with so many Intuitives who have felt misunderstood and frustrated in counseling. I understand that and it is my goal to offer a different experience. This could range from using your crystals in trauma healing (truth be told, they are usually on you somewhere if that is something you love). It is learning and teaching you how to ride the emotional waves, how to ground and shift not only your energy but also your emotions, create and maintain boundaries, shielding of energy, self-care, and processing of trauma that some folks remember across lifetimes. It is an understanding of when you might reference ‘Source’, or receiving messages and nudges through the subtle ways that the Universe works. It is an honoring of your special abilities and using them as assets in your journey. The validity of your experiences in inherently present and honored as such.
Even if you have had discouraging or hurtful experiences in the past, I invite you to try again if you feel the need. There is hope and there are therapists, myself included, who will get it and not just write you off as ‘crazy’. There are healers who have endured a similar struggle and have an inside understanding of what you have encountered. Thus, less time explaining and more time spent on integrating and healing.
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