March 14, 2006

 

By: Kate

 

Cynthia was not my first therapist. Several came (and went) before her. There was the insecure counselor who asked for more advice than she gave, the well-degreed psychiatrist who tried her hand at psychotherapy only to find out she was a failure and resorted to medication as the cure-all, and lest we forget to mention all those counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists who freaked me out so much we never made it past the interview session.

 

By the time I arrived at Cynthia’s door, I was worn out on therapists, worn out on my life. My family was in the throws of an ugly divorce, my younger sister was hell-bent on committing suicide, and I was ready to be committed myself, due to a psychiatric disorder, which, at times, likes to make itself known via psychosis. Needless to say, I took up temporary residence in a psychiatric hospital myself before the year was out.

 

Furthermore, I was, at best, mildly interested in pursuing psychotherapy as a solution. If the was a solution, I was going to find it in a bottle. Essentially, I came to Cynthia because my primary care physician insisted that given my state, someone needed to check in with me weekly if I was to be deemed fit to roam – the best person for that was, of course a therapist. So, I yielded. I took the list of phone numbers of recommended therapists and blindly called them. Why did I end up with Cynthia? Frankly, because she called back first.

 

However random my selection process may have been, the results were serendipitous. There are reasons both concrete and indeterminate that makes Cynthia a good therapist, not the least of which is the incorporate of Reiki into her practice.

 

Initially, Cynthia’s suggestion of Reiki was met with skepticism on my part, but I pretty much reached the point where if it wasn’t going to hurt me, I was willing to try it, so try it we did. In describing why Reiki is a helpful part of therapy, it is important to recognize that its effects are not quantitative – you will not achieve a mathematically measurable result. Its results are subtler.

 

Reiki is helpful because it allows the therapy-seeker to open up and become more in touch with themselves. By being more balanced, grounded and in-tune with themselves, people are more capable of exploring issues in their personal lives or in taking control over their mental illness.

 

For example, in my case, Cynthia and I have worked to maintain balance within my brain. My condition is such that, due to my psychiatric illness and exceptional intelligence, the intellectual and emotional sides of my brain tend to become wildly imbalanced. In other words, I get lost in my own head, which makes it difficult for me to function effectively. Balancing my brain through Reiki has made it easier for me to understand and relate to others and myself emotionally, as well as allowing me to be more effective in my work.

Also, another added benefit to Reiki is that I have been able to take considerably less lithium than would ordinarily be prescribed, while still maintaining the benefits of it. I also no longer take an atypical anti-psychotic, which for me, seemed to do more harm than good.

 

It is important to keep in mind that Reiki alone in not going to save you. Reiki does not solve all your problems by itself, nor does it make you feel magically and instantaneously 100% better. That would be a miracle, not Reiki. However, Reiki allows you to do the traditional therapy work more constructively, and I believe, more quickly. Importantly, Cynthia is not just a talented Reiki practitioner, but also a talented traditional therapist. She listens, becomes engaged, and genuinely cares about the well-being of those who are under her care. She works with her patients to develop a therapy program that suits their needs, as opposed to attempting to stuff everyone into a cookie-cutter therapy program that she has decided works best.

 

Finally, what I can tell you is that I am infinitely better off than I was two years ago when I first met Cynthia. At the time, I sincerely thought that I was a lost cause, as it turns out, I’m not. Cynthia and her Reiki fusion practice had a profound impact on allowing me to re-establish my life.

 

Printed with permission of the author

 

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