Some of you will remember I have a series of emails I’ve sent to perpetrating professionals of various sorts. The collection is called Letters to my Shrink but now includes a couple of medical doctors and various sorts of therapists etc. The below letter is to a craniosacral therapist who also has a doctorate in naturopathy that I just recently went to specifically for craniosacral therapy as it’s a modality I’ve had very good experiences with. One of my closest friends that I’ve been friends with for decades is a craniosacral therapist and she learned on me back when she was studying. From that point on it’s always been a modality of deep healing for me…
I also want to mention that I have a regular craniosacral therapist who has been one of the most profoundly healing people in my life. The other professional that’s been incredibly helpful is also a massage therapist. Two body workers. Completely untrained in mainstream psychology but very very clear on how trauma becomes embodied. I’m very grateful to both of them and love them very much. I have many lovely and healing people in my life and still, I find myself falling into these patterns. I ask myself, what is this about? And I meditate deeply on that as well. As I’ve said many times now these dynamics of harm involve a dance…I too am involved and as I become aware I can learn to avoid the dynamic altogether. It’s happening but clearly not all at once. See: the mental health professionals who perpetrate against us (and no, this woman wasn’t a mental health professional, but this dynamic can happen with anyone in the helping professions.)
I went to a new person because my craniosacral therapist has a three week wait and sometimes I just want a session right now. This woman was actually very skilled at the body work but seemed very challenged when it came to respecting my boundaries and actual needs.
As I said a couple of days ago in another post: The perpetrating healer should be an archetype that’s routinely discussed in circles of any kind of helping professional. All of us who work with people will find the perpetrating healer within us, actually.
**NOTE: in spite of this not being a pleasant way to heal, this process of coming to awareness in this manner while paying attention to my experience and then being able to speak it to others (first to her who perpretated and then to you my readers)…is actually very healing. So, here is to continued healing always and turning the bad to gold. This is alchemy in the works! As I said in this video we who are diagnosed with so-called mental illness are often alchemists who are not being appropriately supported: 7 yrs off psych drugs: a message to those labeled by psychiatry
This is the latest in a response to an email asking for a review of services. I’ve changed the woman’s name:
To: the owner and Anna,
Your email asked that I review your services. It said:
If you were not 100% satisfied with your experience, we’d like to make it right. Please send us a private message HERE and let us know your thoughts.
I am an advanced meditation student and teacher and among other things I offer nutritional and meditation counseling to thousands of people around the world. (but even if I was not those things my perception of my own needs should have been respected and they were not)
When I signed up for craniosacral with Anna, that’s all I wanted (that and just being able to speak my experience so that the craniosacral might be directed at that). I did not need either meditation guidance nor nutritional counseling.
I have an extreme form of chemical brain injury which has left my brain in neurological chaos—this in spite of years of several hours of meditation and other spiritual practices every day and an extreme overhaul in every aspect of lifestyle (including diet). I was once bedridden and non-verbal for a few years. Through no help from any health professional I rose up out of that bed and while doing that I documented it and now, as I said, I work with 1000s all over the world. My work is internationally recognized and I have multiple awards for the website in which I write. (again, my sense of my needs should be respected regardless of such accomplishments and in fact my work is largely advocating for folks who do not have such accomplishments but still deserve the same respect)
I also have a couple of very accomplished spiritual friend/mentors who recognize my path and see that I don’t actually need advice. One of these people participates with the Dalai Lama at MIT and Yale in their consciousness studies department — he gets wired up and his brain is studied because he’s recognized in academic circles as being one of the most advanced meditators in the world. He is a friend of mine.
So, was I explicit about all of that?…no not really, it’s not something I go around talking about in my local community, but I didn’t avoid talking about what it is I’ve done and accomplished either….I made many references to my work while talking to Anna.
The fact that I might need to be “somebody” — to stand out as accomplished, in this instance, is a huge part of the problem. I didn’t talk about this stuff in my session because it doesn’t matter at all! My needs, as someone who has a trauma history and is paying for craniosacral, should be all that matters in this context. Those in service to others need to meet folks there. I advocate for others and thus I’m doing what it takes to be heard.
I needed craniosacral therapy and found that Anna is wonderfully gifted at craniosacral. She helped me very much with that and so when she couldn’t actually respond to what I needed in the 3rd session and started lecturing me about nutrition which I most assuredly do not need it was pretty painful given it was a retraumatization of how I got injured to begin with. My brain injury is a medically induced injury and the entire medical field denies that 10s of 1000s of us has been harmed this way. What Anna did, of course, was much more subtle, but it continued the pattern of the “healer” who does not listen and has their own agenda. Karma at play? Yes. Still it needs to be addressed.
When I told her I do not need nutritional counseling that all I need and want was the craniosacral and also to sometimes talk about my very bizarre experience (which continues to reveal great truths as I heal every day…slowly, yes, but surely) she apparently couldn’t do that. All I did when she started making inappropriate nutritional suggestions (in that I am well studied and nothing she said was new in the least bit and I was paying for the time wanting cranial sacral) Yes, I signed up for cranial sacral. That is all I wanted and more importantly what I NEEDED. So all I told her was I did not need her advice … and well, that really didn’t go over well at all.
She seemed to need to tell me what to do and what’s worse she made a lot of assumptions which threw me for a loop because I actually thought that when she sat quietly listening and giving me affirmative responses of various kinds in prior sessions that she understood the neurological issues I faced…maybe not understood because I really don’t think anyone can…they’re too bizarre and off the charts…still I thought that she could intuit the severity and what my life is like but it’s clear that was a fantasy on my part and that, of course, is on me.
It is lonely being in this weird body and so I do still often feel like I need more people to “understand.” Frankly this experience has led me to let go of that fantasy which I can be grateful for…still my work is also in part calling out this sort of stuff in those who find themselves in the helping professions and so I’m writing to share my experience since your business requests reviews and given I cannot give a good one I figured I’d share this directly with you.
While I don’t really think there is any making things right…this happened and I’m sorry I don’t feel comfortable at your establishment anymore. I loved it. Used the sauna quite a bit and just LOVE the decor and atmosphere…it’s such a lovely and peaceful and healing place and I really loved going there whenever I did sauna…
Anyway, this email feels like what I must do to finish my own healing around this shit because, yeah, it’s shit.
thank you very much,
Everything Matters: Beyond Meds
- Letters to my Shrink
- To see a professional or not
- the mental health professionals who perpetrate against us
- Surrender more. Seek less.
- Bridging Patient-Professional Divide
- Healing from trauma is an unlayering process
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I appreciate this post having gone through something similar with an acupuncturist. I work with a wonderful acupuncturist who I have educated about medication wd and she has been willing to learn. She recommended her teacher who does a specific kind of testing and also acupuncture. I was so sick at the time so I decided to try his work. From the first session onward, I was emotionally invaded by his rigidity and ignorance. You can just feel when a practitioner is imposing their system on you. I stopped working with him and the relief I felt was palpable.
I have found this quite often in the holistic world as I have tried many things to heal. I have experienced the subtle and not so subtle shaming of not accepting their system. Just as bad as the many psychiatrists I went to for help while in a totally depressed and helpless of mind. Except for my current one, who is okay and supportive of me withdrawing.
I did not write an email as you did but did voice my reasons for stopping to my current acupuncturist.
You have inspired me to consider something more direct.
I love the plethora of interactive internal roles you freely give voice to, when identifying and exposing the subtle-yet not so subtle forced and misplaced proposed healing remedies. Same shit just a different day. Had to smile on your signing off “because, yeah, it’s shit.
Thank you very much” 🙂
Totally agree with MaryJo, thank you for clarity in the subtle paradox and for being you :-*
I appreciate your clarity along with what seems like a willingness to allow for what is not known or understood. What a powerful paradox. Thank you. Thank you for Being. Thank you for being “you”. Thank you.