Ethics of spiritual types of healing

Recently I’ve been led to do more spiritual style healing than I have done before and this has led me to start thinking a bit more about the ethics involved in such work.

If I was to go to a herbalist or a conventional doctor I would expect that individual to have considerable training and an ethical stance that means they would strive not to do anything that could cause further harm to the patient. I’d also expect them to keep my details confidential apart from possibly consulting with colleagues as to the best way to proceed with my treatment.

Spiritual style healing doesn’t necessarily have this.  Many such healers do study methods such as Reiki or undergo training with the Spiritualist church but such things are not as standardised as conventional medicine or the training of medical herbalists.

I have had training in spiritual style healing in a development group and I’ve also have Reiki training some years ago now.  There were some discussions during those sessions regarding ethical aspects but not a huge amount and more focussed on face to face healing work than distance healing.  For the face to face elements from memory the discussions were more about ensuring your patient wasn’t uncomfortable if you were going to physically touch them and ensuring you explained what any treatment would involve.

My recent decisions on my ethical stance for spiritual healing work are as follows:

1) I will discuss with any potential client or patient the limits of what I feel I am able to offer them in advance.  This includes stressing that they should continue with any conventional medical treatment they are undergoing. What I can offer is an addition to other forms of medical care and not a replacement.

2) Before I begin to work with and for them I will want their explicit informed permission to use the methods I can draw on in my “toolbox”. These include reiki/spiritual style healing, petitioning deities where appropriate, crafting talismans and shamanic style journeying on their behalf. I may not use all of these but these are the tools I can draw on at this time.

3) In the case of someone unable to give me explicit permission due to their situation I will need to be convinced that if they could they would.  In other words I’d need to know that they are likely to welcome this type of healing or that their parent/carer/guardian gives informed permission.

4) I will make clear in advance any requirement of them I may have in order that I work with them.  At the least this will be the acknowledgement that I can make no guarentees that what I offer will be successful but I will do my best.  It may include a committment from them to work in a spiritual manner on their own behalf as well.  It is highly unlikely to include financial payment as at this time I am not likely to have many people I will work with in this way and I’m not doing this in order to make a living.

5) My work with any client/patient will be confidential in details but I may consult with others in order to provide the best service I can. When I consult with others I will do so in such a manner as to protect the identity of the individual concerned.

At the core of all I do is the aim to help and support those I work with to the best of my ability.

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