Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
When the client walks into your practice room, you immediately detect the distress emanating from her being. She practically stomped, and her face was set in a frown. Then, she complained about everything – the traffic was too heavy, the waiting room was cold, and you were running five minutes late.
While she expressed her anger towards you, you also knew the anger did not match the circumstances – it was too strong for the annoyances she had experienced. There was something else going on with her….
How would you respond to this person? You do not know, at that point in time, what the real reason for her anger is. But you do know the best thing you can do is to treat her with kindness and acceptance – and allow the Reiki healing energies to work with this emotion and heal the root cause of the anger.
Often, clients will share with the Reiki practitioner their reasons for being upset, whether it is anger, sadness or another emotion. It may be a major part of the healing process for them. Telling another person about an experience can decrease the emotional impact. Whenever we hold these feelings inside, they become more powerful, and can develop into strong emotional blocks. Reiki assists in dissipating these blocks. The response of the practitioner is simple – listen, with kindness and acceptance.
The second type of angry client is the person who has hidden anger. Often, they learned it was better not to express any anger. As children, they were not permitted to get angry; or, they experienced unhealthy ways of anger expression. For example, a parent may have been physically or emotionally abusive when s/he became angry. Often, children in these situations view anger as a negative emotion and will hide it. Rather than learning healthy ways to express anger – such as talking through a relationship problem – they avoid any sharing of the feeling. Some people will not acknowledge those feelings exist within themselves.
Because these clients are experts at hiding anger or other feelings, you may wonder what is really going on with a client. This lack of clarity may seem confusing, but it is actually a clue there is more than the client is ready to share. And, that is her decision to make! Continue to accept her, with the information she is comfortable sharing, and allow Reiki to do the work.
Frequently, a client’s mental health status has been greatly affected by abusive, or uncaring, relationships. It may be helpful for the client to participate in professional counseling. You may ask for spiritual guidance on whether you should suggest this to a client. If your intuition is saying yes, then ask for guidance on how to make the suggestion. Your loving sincerity in wanting the highest good for the client will be the most helpful thing you can do.
If the client’s reaction is negative, please accept the response. Whenever we follow spiritual guidance, we detach from the outcome; but we also trust it was the right thing to do. You may be planting a seed, the client may need more time, or need to hear the same suggestion from friends or other professionals, before seeking counseling.
It can be very difficult dealing with angry clients, and it may be hard not to become defensive. While most people will respond to your acceptance, there may be clients who cross the line in expressing their anger. Do not permit anyone to make threats towards you. If you feel uncomfortable, listen to your feelings. If a client begins to escalate, ask them to calm down. In some cases, you may need to ask them to leave immediately. There is no reason to allow yourself to be harmed. Most times, clients will respond to these limits and learn to be respectful of others’ needs. It is your practice, your healing space, and you must set limits on unacceptable behaviors.
May you always be strong and safe in your healing work!
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Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, firstname.lastname@example.org and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)