I have retired from my practice but the following is advice on how to seek an alternative healer.
Leap Of Faith is an essay published in my book An Open Mind
LEAP OF FAITH
by Erin Lassell
A person possessing narcissism often
looks alluring and powerful. They can easily be mistaken for someone with
actual special powers. They invite by
their presence, the suspension of disbelief and usually have just enough
information to make them dangerous. Once
possessed by the charm of a narcissist, critical thinking is subdued and the
delicate balance in life between faith and logic is overridden by seduction.
The challenge in seeking help in an
unaccredited healing field is that you are looking for a skillful healer in a
profession of unaccountability.
Unaccredited healing fields can be advanced by sincere practitioners truly
seeking to further information in their field or they can be a place of refuge
from accountability and a field to foster a supernatural persona. Alternative healing fields can be a means to
produce wonderful selfless exchanges of information but they can also produce a
niche for narcissistic personalities to exploit innocent seekers.
It is difficult to avoid the trappings
of a narcissistic healer and leader because in addition to being without
monitoring they can look and feel like a real healer for a long time. We can feel elated in their presence and have
a feeling like we are finally on the right track. Caught in narcissism’s grasp you likely won’t
notice that your logic has gradually been replaced with blind faith.
Faith and Logic
Faith based healing arts are still in
their infancy, at least in the United States.
They are now and always have been open to anyone that wants to call
themselves special and hang out a shingle.
I started studying metaphysics in 1976 and have been in professional
practice since 1986. Since that time I
have met many healers, some very gifted and unique and some seeking recognition
without accomplishment. My path has been
lined with people who have declared themselves shaman healers after taking one
class in their first ever healing course and many talented people looking to
advance the credibility of their chosen field.
But as a consumer there is no governing body to help you know the
difference. Is it sincerity or is it
No one can copyright the sincere gift of
healing. It is left open for infinite
definition for all time. But your
experience with a healer will tell you if you have chosen well or if you need
to reevaluate. Metaphysics attracts
people who want to be considered special without having accomplished anything
in particular. Metaphysics is unique in
this way. So if you are seeking faith
based healing you are traveling in an area where a healer might know just
enough to make you trust them, just enough to make them dangerous. If this is
true your relationship with that person will eventually show itself. You will find yourself supporting the healer
more than the actual healing. The
results will not justify the emotional attachment to the healer. Promises will remain unfulfilled and results
will remain unattained.
Without faith based healing our society would
be missing the very soul of our being.
We would be missing the pulse of our spiritual lives and our connection
to ourselves and that which is larger than ourselves. The very premise of our spiritual existence
would be empty. But faith by definition
suspends critical thinking and for a moment in time, when you enter into this
kind of trust, you are very vulnerable.
After your initial leap of faith, make sure that critical thinking and
logic return to balance out your experience with all healing. Even faith based healing that initially
requires a leap of faith is also in the end a delicate dance between faith and
In most cases when picking a mainstream
professional, concrete examples exist with which to compare the service we have
chosen with an established guide. This
helps us know whether we are on the receiving end of a knowledgeable expert or
an ineffectual novice. Combining the
experiences of people that have come before us and our own perceptions, we can
judge the accuracy of the exchange of information and therefore the
In mainstream occupations most
professionals have to abide by orthodox rules that keep them accountable and
responsible both to a governing body and to the recipient of their
services. The educational
accomplishments professionals have to attain to maintain mainstream legitimacy
may have meant a lot of hard work and an occasional “hoop” to jump through, but
it helps to legitimize their career and conversely protect the consumer. Because mainstream professionals have
education to seek, boards of accountability to join and reputations to uphold,
the public is proportionally sheltered from the possibility of incompetence.
Alternative healing is becoming more and
more popular. “Alternative” means
healing art methods unverifiable by current scientific methods (energy healing,
clairvoyance, hypnotherapy, rapid eye movement, muscle testing, herbal
medicine, homeopathy, prayer etc). The
uncertainty of these methods automatically requires the recipient to
temporarily suspend logic. But while initially making a leap of faith and
suspending logic to see if these methods heal the heart of the matter, it is
important that the recipient’s logic does not remain in suspension for long.
Give yourself permission to step outside
the allure of the alternative healer and question their authority. Use discernment and critical thinking to
evaluate the skillfulness of the method and the healer.
Mainstream professional services differ
from alternative services. While they
may require trust, they do not, by definition, require a leap of faith. Someone
is either offering you a valid service and information in exchange for money,
or not. But when the service we are
seeking is faith based and therefore by definition requires a leap of faith,
the consumer becomes exponentially more vulnerable. With the exception of some clergy, faith
based service providers are not required to seek education of any kind and
cannot answer to a governing body that does not exist.
Because faith based healing is
unsupervised and open to anyone who says they are an authority you are alone
with the question of who is an expert and who is undereducated. Many faith based healers may mean well, but
have little education or experience. Even practitioners who combine their
classical education with alternative healing may have a wall full of mainstream
credentials, but surprisingly little education in alternative healing.
In the beginning of your relationship with an
alternative healer, in the moment in time where you are initially suspending
disbelief and waiting for results, be careful not to romanticize the
practitioner. Keep critical thinking
switched on and remember that being swept off your feet is different than being
Faith is a wonderful thing. Life as we know it wouldn’t exist if we didn’t
embrace the unexplainable and intangible. And the fact that faith can never be
governed by mainstream rules is part of its power and beauty. It can never be captured in a physical form. It is an intangible feeling of the soul that
weaves in and out of the everyday fabric of our lives providing hope and
Pursuits of faith are necessary for our
souls to grow and our minds and bodies to heal.
Mainstream logic doesn’t gives us permission or guidance to look for
faith based options but our built-in spiritual homing device, trying to find
ourselves and find our way home, quietly calls us to search anyway.
It is our faith that provides us with
inspiration and great expectation. It
pushes us to search for healing and growth we never thought we could
accomplish. But while faith leads us to realize our dreams, logic must be its
natural counterbalance to prevent faith from turning to whimsy.
COMMON WARNING SIGNS:
Clichés: Buzz phrases like “everything happens
for a reason” and “you create your own reality” have been popular in the
metaphysical culture for decades, but they have no real meaning. If a practitioner uses these loose phrases it
is likely they have picked them up in metaphysical conversations but do not
necessarily coincide with information to help you heal.
the Victim: It is possible to draw harm to
oneself. But this happens a very low
percentage of the time. Most of the time
when harm comes to you it is because you did not know how to protect yourself,
not because you drew it to yourself. As
in other schools of thought, it is common in metaphysics to blames the victim
rather than put the emphasis on healing from a wound that was imposed against
your will. If a practitioner blames the
victim they are lacking empathy and do not have enough information to help you
Your Questions: If you ask questions and the
practitioner responds by saying “you’ll have to learn that for yourself” it is
likely they do not know the answer.
There is nothing wrong with asking questions. A healer’s job is also that of a mentor so
that all lessons aren’t learned the hard way.
The natural process of learning what you need to for yourself will not
be interfered with just because someone answers your questions.
As A Result of Apocalyptic Urgency: As much as we would all like to heal
immediately, it takes time. Unless you
are in imminent danger a healing situation should not be creating a sense of
apocalyptic urgency. This attitude from
the practitioner can leave you with more anxiety and less self esteem than you
originally came in with. An unhealthy
dependency is easily created in this environment of fear and ironically the
longer you see the practitioner, the stronger the urgency becomes.
Yourself: Use your intuition as well as your
critical thinking. If it doesn’t feel
right, it probably isn’t.
for Hidden Costs: Don’t pay hidden costs. A practitioner should be up front with all of
their prices. If, after you have seen a
healer, hidden costs arise, don’t agree to pay them. Also, if a practitioner advises that you must
buy a product only they sell, remember they are profiting from your purchase.
Giving The Benefit Of The Doubt: If you are unsure about a healer try
the following method. When analyzing the
healer, stop giving them the benefit of the doubt and then ask yourself what
you think of your experience. If you are
making excuses for the person you have hired to help you, you are in the wrong
Yourself: It is not your job to please the
healer. Relationships often go on too
long because you want to be a “good” client.
Keep in mind it is okay to end the relationship at any time and for any
reason. It is even okay to end it if
things are unresolved. Sometimes things
end badly but it is still okay to move on.