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What Practitioner When? A Guide to Figuring Out Who’s Best to Help You

Mental Health Professional:

therapist, LISCW, psychologist, psychiatrist (can prescribe medicines)

This is a short list and certainly not comprehensive. I jotted it down to give a people an idea of who does what. Many people come to me first when they would be much better served by a mental health professional. Complete disclosure - I have seen mental health professionals off and on for personal issues for decades. They can be so helpful! Please don't shy away from working with one.

Where to find a therapist? If you have friends or spiritual advisors (clergy) who have therapists they like start there. Psychology Today offers a searchable database of practitioners. Some mental health professionals do work with more spiritual issues. Look for "transpersonal therapist" on Pyschology Today's therapist finder here:

And please don't discount online therapy. It's so convenient and quite high quality.

  1. Self-esteem issues

  2. Boundary issues

  3. Relationship issues of all types: family, spousal, partners, business, etc.

  4. Depression

  5. Anxiety

  6. Thoughts (harmful thoughts, repetitive thoughts, obsessive thoughts, etc.).

  7. Grieving

  8. General life management skills

Shamanic Practitioner/Spiritworker

Many people come to a shamanic practitioner with the belief that we can just "fix" them - and all their problems - in a one-hour session. That's not true. Healing work is hard work and it takes both the work of the practitioner and the work of the client. Shamanic practitioners often send people off with "homework" that absolutely needs to be done. This goes for personal work as well as house clearings. Some problems may take several sessions (if not more) to resolve. Healing work is not for the timid!

Different practitioners work in different ways as well. You can always ask the practitioner how they work, what training they've had and what their specialties are. Some practitioners have more psychological training than others; some have more in-depth knowledge of working with all types of spirits. Just things to keep in mind. I'm often quite ill-equipped to help people with mental health issues. I'm not trained in that beyond psych 101 35+ years ago.

Please note, too, below a lot of the statements include the fact that medical people have no explanation for what's going on. That requires the client to have consulted a medical professional - by that I mean an actual MD. The spirits can fix everything. My own spirits have referred me to medical doctors for help. They, as well as mental health professionals, all have their place.

  1. You have been working with a licensed therapist, doing your work, things were going well, and now you’re blocked and can’t make any progression. A shamanic practitioner or other energy healer may be able to help.

  2. Weird things are happening in your life or house: bad dreams, shadowy figures, things disappearing, odd noises, knocks, physical pokes, odd occurrences, etc. This would be in the bucket of hauntings, either from disincarnate humans or other non-human spirits. Both the house and the people in the house may need to be cleared.

  3. You are experiencing “phantom pain” your medical doctor can’t treat or doesn’t understand why you are still experiencing.

  4. Deep fatigue your medical doctor can’t explain.

  5. Your life has been going fine then <the thing> happened and you just don’t feel right.

  6. You want to understand the hidden energetics behind our lives; how to manage your energy and energy body; cleansing practices; protection practices, etc.

  7. You want insight and depth exercises do deepen your spiritual path, especially if you are a pagan or animist or you want to work more deeply with your own spirit guides.

  8. You want to learn about shamanism, spiritwork, animism, shamanic journeying and the like.


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