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  • Rachel Leah Gerson

A Conversation We Need to Start Having: Ethics and Energy Work

We honored to share this guest blog post by the incredibly gifted Rachel Leah Gerson of Doorway to Self. Rachel is a dear friend of mine and we've shared many conversations about the ethics of healing, energy work and how to find the right practitioner and I'm honored to share this here on GoddessCeremony!


I am proud of you. The fact that you clicked this link means that you are thinking about your wellbeing. It means that you know that no “healer” is all-powerful. It means that you are acknowledging your own power in being able to discern who you are allowing into your sacred space; into your field.

So, the question is: How do you choose which Energy Worker, Reiki Master, Life Coach, Metaphysical Practitioner, etttttt cetera to work with?

With all of the easy-to-get internet credentials (we’ll get to that in a minute), egoic personalities, and self-serving practitioners out there, how do you know which ones are the “real deal” who are here to help and heal, and which ones are the ones who are trying to feed their own egos whilst taking advantage of your wallet, your energy, your naïveté, your vulnerability?

In this article, I am going to provide you with a list of strategies in being able to identify the energy-healers from the energy-stealers.


Firstly, let’s talk some basic ethics. These are things that are not okay, under any circumstance, for a practitioner to do:

1) Tell you that they are the only one who can heal you.

This is simply not true. As human beings, we are a network. And in that network, we each have our own abilities, frequencies, experiences, and stories that we can use to hurt or heal each other. The truth is that every person you meet is helping you to know yourself and humanity a little bit more at a time- how is that not healing in and of itself? Additionally, you are capable of healing yourself. In fact, you’re the one doing the actual healing during session; the practitioner is mainly there to help guide and transform what you are releasing or shifting. And any true healer will tell you that they are working with you to help you heal yourself.

2) Tell you that they know better than you, specifically about yourself and your own well-being.

Have they lived in your body? With your thoughts? With your experiences? No. I don’t think they have. So how can they know you better than you know yourself? They can’t. And they never will- even if you don’t feel that you know yourself, at all.

3) Use their session with you to meet their own needs such as: feeding their ego, using you as a means by which to ignore their own problems, or through trying to work out their problems in your session through a process called counter transference.

This point tends to be a little bit harder to spot, and might take a few sessions to see through the mask, unless you have experience in spotting it. The ego portion is the easiest to spot. If you correct a practitioner about information that they are wrong about- whether it is public knowledge or in reference to your own energy or how you work- and they get defensive or tell you that you are wrong, it is probably time to find another practitioner. A defensive practitioner is also a key insight into the fact that the practitioner in question may not be doing their own self-work (more on that in #4), and may be attempting to ignore their own issues by focusing on their work with you, and putting themselves on a pedestal in doing so.

As far as utilising your session to work out their own problems, in the clinical mental health world, when a mental health helper tries to work their own problems out through the client, it is called counter transference. This means that the counsellor or psychologist or social worker is viewing the client as themselves and listening for the client’s answers to be able to work through their own, or they see the client as someone close to them (like their mom or their brother or their best friend etc.) and they are using that client to feel as though they are helping that other person.

Practitioners in energetic spheres do this. all. the. time. Which is sincerely disappointing, because for people who are supposed to be extremely aware of energy and how it works, they should know that transposing one person’s energy onto another person in order to work their crap out is not only extremely unhealthy, but it can be extremely dangerous to the client, as the client can walk away with another random person’s energy attached to them.

What the practitioner is doing, at that point, is called “energy cording” or “energy hooking”, where the practitioner is tying another person’s energy (perhaps even their own) to the client, which can deeply effect the client’s energy field, and is even considered to be a form of psychic abuse.

If you find yourself “feeling” like the practitioner that you have been working with is constantly energetically around, it is time to look to see if they have corded or hooked you, and if they have, it is definitely time to have a flat out conversation with them, and confront them. The problem is that there are no ethical handbooks for practitioners, and so many practitioners are not even aware that these things are unethical! By having a conversation with the practitioner, you are drawing ethics to their attention.

4) Ignore their own need for self-care and/or neglect themselves.

If the practitioner has not worked through their own issues or has not done the work to dig deep into their own traumas, triggers, faults, and preconceptions, why would they be able to help you with yours? That would be like someone claiming to be a professor of neuroscience when they never graduated elementary school, and don’t have the reading comprehension level to be able to understand any of the textbooks that they assign to their class, let alone the concepts within them.

5) Is unfamiliar with the ideas of grounding and clearing.

Many practitioners- especially new ones- are not educated about what “grounding and clearing” is, and have their heads in the clouds. This can be very dangerous, because if they are not grounding, it means that they are not being safe about being in their full bodies when working with you, and could easily be unprotected in lower density spheres. Because of such, if they are not clearing, it means that they have other peoples’ and/or entities’ energies in their fields, and could potentially be passing them onto you in session. You can learn more about these things by checking out this video.

6) Try to impose their own beliefs, religion, or ideals upon you.

It is true that there are some practitioners who are affiliated with different religious belief systems. If the practitioner does not tell you up front that those are their practises and then tries to use them within the context of your healing session without your permission, or attempts to persuade you of their effectiveness when denied permission, go find someone else.

You will be able to do your best, deepest work when you are in the hands of the energies that you have devoted yourself to, not when you are in the hands of unknown energies that you may or may not have a relationship with, that you may or may not trust, and that may or may not have a negative connotation for you. We do our best healing and have our greatest revelations when we feel safe. Not when we feel forced into positions where we are feeling u