August 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM

The Problem with Healing

"The problem with being in the healing business is that you need wounded people to make ends meet..."

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As electronic and social media offer more opportunities to start a business, more and more people seem to be coming off the mountain to offer “healing” services. For a good part of my professional life, I thought of myself as being in the “healing business,” but now the idea leaves me embarrassed, which makes me, in turn, reflective about the whole thing.
 
The problem with being in the healing business is that you need wounded people to make ends meet. An old saying goes: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.” In similar fashion, if I am buying dog food and making Subaru payments by healing wounded people, I am apt to start seeing a lot of wounded people in the field. Shoeshine guys at the airport are looking for scuffed shoes, insurance guys are looking for threats to the security of your family, and healers are looking for wounds.
 
Each of these groups has an uncanny knack for finding more of what they are looking for than the average guy would find. It makes sense, but in a sort of scary way.
 
Not only does the definition of “wounded” (and “trauma”) get stretched beyond imagining, but the healers often posit, without knowing you, that they can clear your blockages, align your energy, banish your trauma -- without even asking if you have those problems. It becomes a glib and widespread assumption that “we have all been wounded” and that “life is traumatic.” So the need for healing becomes as prevalent as the need for food and sustenance. That’s really good for business. And that’s scary.
 
You end up with a lot of practitioners of a lot of different “therapeutic modalities” or “healing traditions” needing to find a lot of customers. And I hear my friends and colleagues talking (glibly, in my estimation) of “powerful healings” they received, not three times in a lifetime, but eleven times a week.
 
It feels like we are doing to “wounded” and “traumatic” and “powerful” what we did to “awesome”—awesome is currently deemed an acceptable adjective to describe both Del Charro’s margaritas and Mount Kiliminjaro. That’s messed up.
 
A lot of power is being wielded when a person of presumed authority and expertise tells another person “You have been wounded.” It is the power of diagnostics, the power of naming. Phineas Quimby, Father of New Thought, believed that just such practices of people in authority positions (he blamed the medical professions and the clergy for the lion’s share of misery in New England in the mid 19th century.) He believed that they co-created within the patient the belief or understanding that they have a condition (original sin, mortal sins on their souls, floating womb or bad humours). This sounds funny to us now, because perhaps we do not believe in these exact things anymore, but for the 19th century sensibilities, they would be considered to be very “real” and Quimby believed them to be iatrogenic in nature. “Iatrogenic” means “induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy.” There’s a lot of that going around.
 
Perhaps what concerns me even more, in an odd way, is the practitioners’ sincerity in the matter, a less than conscious belief trance that allows them, in their authenticity and sincerity, to proclaim a wounding, and of course, the need for a healing, which the practitioner who discovered it just happens to know how to allay.
 
Do you see the potential problem here?
 
And of course, “Traumatology” is huge business these days. Open a conference brochure and count how many presentations have “Trauma” in the title or description. I mean, think of it—if you can get away with positing a universal phenomenon called “The Birth Trauma,” you have effectively diagnosed seven billion people as potential customers. Loss of parent, job or pet? Trauma, trauma and trauma. A lot of business opportunities present themselves when one becomes a treater of trauma and virtually anything can be deemed “traumatic.”
 
Of course the entire fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work, counseling have co-created a system in which a “third party” is picking up the check, and the guy picking up the check, somewhat understandably, has gotten increasingly selective about what diagnoses of mental illness he will pay for, and increasingly clear that if you do not find mental illness, he is not paying at all. Gee, how do you think that dynamic might affect the likelihood of finding mental illness in your clients?
 
We all know this story as it relates to the Big Bad Wolf Insurance Companies, but a parallel phenomenon is happening whenever a healer “sells the diagnosis” to a client, convincing her or him they need a healing. It happens. You know it does.
 
And energetically, and according to the Law of Attraction, when “Healers” keep talking wounding, they keep magnetizing/creating wounding. So next time you hear somebody describe something as “healing,” please question it. Somebody has to start calling out “healers” on co-creating (by defining and naming) the woundings, thus creating a need for their services. I get that they might not always realize that’s what they are doing, but I am not allowing that as an excuse any more. Get conscious, dude.
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