The Reiki Counselor

by Beth Stapor

As Reiki becomes known in the mainstream of health care, more and more professionals are combining Reiki training with their academic backgrounds for better care of their clients. Reiki is being seen more and more as a complement to "traditional" forms of health care. I am known in the academic/counseling arena as Dr. Beth Stapor. I am a psychologist (PhD), Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). My vocation and passion is Reiki. I have been working as a Reiki Practitioner for over 5 years, teaching as a Reiki Master for over 3 years, and am a Senior Licensed Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training.

Over the past year, I have had more and more students taking my classes whose backgrounds are in the counseling profession. I have found that combining Reiki with counseling or counseling with Reiki has very positive results. From the perspective of a counselor, Reiki helps me by providing a counseling office that welcomes the client with positive energy. My training in Reiki makes me more attuned to the client's problem areas. I know that each chakra system focuses on certain key issues that can help a client heal. I teach in my Reiki class simple key words for each chakra that guide a client to go within himself or herself and tune into what they need to know for their healing. The key words are:

Root Chakra: survival and grounding; Sacral Chakra: sexuality issues and creativity; Solar Plexus: ego, self-esteem, and personal power (coming from the strength within yourself to say I will or I choose this for me); Heart: feelings and emotions; Throat: communication, being able to say what you need to say; Brow: intuition and perception (how do you look at the different situations in your life); Crown Chakra: spirituality, your connection to your higher power. I am observant of the client's body language, which can give clues to chakras that are out of balance. For example, the client who has their arms crossed in front of their stomach might indicate the need to protect themselves from life or the client who coughs, or clears their throat a lot might indicate there is something that is choking them in their life or something they are not saying.

My intuitive self, that has developed as a result of my Reiki training, often helps me pick up on the underlying causes of client problem areas or often questions spontaneously come to me to ask the client that facilitate their bringing to mind information they need for their healing. I find that I am more nurturing, less judgmental, and more empowering of my clients than I was as a non-reiki trained counselor.

From the perspective of a Reiki Practitioner, the counseling background is a real asset. It is not ethical for a Reiki Practitioner to diagnose medical conditions or to provide counseling to a client unless they are licensed to do so in their state of residence. When a client is involved in emotional healing during a session the Reiki Practitioner can provide a safe place for the feelings and emotions to come forward. They can use the simple key words for each chakra to ask the client questions for their inner knowing. Sample questions for each chakra might be: Root: Is there some place in your life where you are struggling with survival such as your job or relationship? Is there something in your life that is blocking you from moving forward? Sacral: Is something blocking your creativity? Are there areas in your life where you are having problems with sexual issues? Solar Plexus: Are there areas in your life where you feel that you have a low self-esteem? Do you have trouble standing up for yourself? Heart: Looking at love of self and others, what feelings or emotions are blocking your healing. Throat: Is there something that you need to be saying that you are unable to say? Are you having difficulty trusting in your life?

Brow: Could there be another way of looking your situation? Crown: How connected do you feel to your spiritual source and the universe?

It is important to remember that unless you are licensed as a counselor, you can be a tour guide by asking questions, but you should always refer to a professional if you think your client needs psychological counseling. If you are a trained counseling professional, it can be a real blessing to your clients. As you do Reiki on them and they bring up issues, emotions, and feelings, you are able to use your counseling training to assist them as you would in a personal counseling session with the gift of the Reiki energy helping them to heal.

My clients benefit from my training both as a counselor and as a Reiki Practitioner. I know that I am much more in tune with my client's needs as a Reiki Practitioner. There is hardly a Reiki session that I am involved in that does not in some way include using my counseling training. When I have a client in my office specifically for personal counseling, I know that my training as a Reiki Professional provides a nurturing place of unconditional acceptance which facilitates their progress to dealing with the issues they came into counseling to heal.

It is my hope that more and more counselors, psychologists, and social workers will have Reiki training. There is not a week that goes by that I am not amazed at how clients are able to heal through the combination of Reiki and counseling that I use in my practice.