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Ten Differences Between Psychotherapy, Coaching and Guided Self Healing
This amended document is based on one originally provided by the Soul Medicine Institute.
1. Psychotherapy provides clinical diagnosis using the DSM, (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a reference book of mental disorders used by psychiatrists and therapists.) The primary focus of psychotherapy is the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders using approved medication and empirically proven psychotherapeutic techniques. Holistic ( no-harm) self healing, spiritual healing and coaching do not involve medication and do not diagnose or treat mental disorders. Teaching or coaching people in the effective use of holistic self-healing techniques is not considered to be practicing medicine or psychology and is therefore not regulated by any federal or state agency.
2. Psychotherapy provides diagnosis independent of the client’s self-assessment. This function is recognized by third parties such as the courts, which often call upon psychotherapists to make diagnoses independent of the client’s self-assessment. Coaching, by way of contrast, relies on the client’s self-assessment and is designed to support the client’s self-identified goals.
3. Psychotherapy can use its diagnoses to treat clinical disorders and frequently involves medication. Coaching makes no claims of efficacy in treating clinical disorders. The holistic self-healing methods taught in coaching are freely available in the public domain to anyone and do not require special training or licensing.
4. Psychotherapists are licensed and their services are reimbursable by health insurance, since diagnosis and treatment is recognized as being part of health care. Psychotherapists are subject to discipline by state licensing boards. Coaches are not required to be licensed or certified and their services are not reimbursable by insurance, since coaching does not constitute diagnosis or treatment.
5. Goals in psychotherapy may be set by the therapist after diagnosis. Goals in coaching are typically self-identified by the client.
6. Psychotherapy goals typically involve treatment of a mental disorder by the therapist. Coaching goals typically focus on helping clients improve their quality of life. A good coach is essentially a supportive teacher, having achieved a goal or mastered a skill the client desires to achieve, such as organization, sports performance, or the application of self-healing techniques that release blocks to goal achievement and personal empowerment.
7. Psychotherapy typically involves recognized power differentials between client and therapist. This client vulnerability gives psychotherapists legal and ethical responsibilities. Coaching is in the nature of a supportive peer-to-peer relationship, with the results evaluated by the client, and is designed to avoid these power differentials.
8. Psychotherapy may be provided by primary caregivers such as hospitals, and may be considered an aspect of primary care. Coaching is not associated with primary care.
9. Coaches are required to refer clients to psychotherapists or psychiatrists if the client’s problem is outside their scope of practice.
10. The focus of psychotherapy is intervention and treatment by the therapist. The focus of coaching is the teaching of self-help tools.
What is the art and science of medical intuition?
Caroline Myss, Ph.D. is an energy medicine pioneer and medical intuitive who has written several books on intuition and healing. She states in her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, (1996) that the practice of medical intuition means using one’s intuitive ability to help people locate, understand and heal the emotional and spiritual origins of illness, and/or dysfunctional emotional patterns.
Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D. Ph.D, in her book Awakening Intuition, (1998, page 134) defines medical intuition this way: “when you begin to tap into your body’s emotional patterns and the images that the emotional centers of the body can send you, you are practicing medical intuition.”
What happens during an intuitive reading by Sue?
A reading or “scan” is an intuitive assessment, a sort of de-coding of the emotional, physical and spiritual energies of the client’s chakra system. (Chakra is a Sanskrit (Hindu) word for “wheel.” Chakras are wheels of energy in the body that a clairvoyant can see, feel, or otherwise sense.) I can “read” the energy of the physical body, but I usually don’t scan the body unless there is some compelling reason to do so. I find that most physical concerns are either rooted in or have strong mental/emotional/spiritual components. Most of my work focuses on identifying the roots of and helping clients self-heal traumatic memories, patterns and negative core beliefs, such as ” I’m unlovable, I must be perfect,” etc. If there is something about the client’s physical body that I need to know, I find that the information generally comes to me without digging for it. I read people “cold” which means I knows nothing about them other than their name and age. Readings are done either in person or by phone. When the client arrives or calls, we’ll pray together briefly and set our intention that the reading reveal whatever I need to know to help them, and be for their highest good and the highest good of all concerned, in accordance with Divine will for them. We ask for protection from God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, or from any Divine being in the client’s spiritual tradition. If we’re on the phone, the client will then hang up and call me back in about 30 minutes. I spend a few minutes reading the energy of each of the seven main chakras. The information that I receive presents in a variety of ways. Sometimes I see images of real or symbolic events, descriptive words, and first person sentences such as “I’ll never trust again” or “I can’t get what I want.” I do an objective overview of the events that did the most damage in childhood, relationships, jobs, betrayals, loss and grief, inability to speak up for self, feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy, being disempowered or overpowered by others, abused, etc. The reading emerges as a very accurate healing blueprint so the client can heal his or herself emotionally, physically and spiritually and can move forward into happiness, love, empowerment, success and peace. To see a sample reading, <>
Does time or distance matter?
Time and distance have no bearing on the ease or accuracy of the reading. Some people are easier to read than others for reasons I don’t understand, but generally my accuracy rate is close to 100%. If I make a mistake, it’s usually because I will feel the energy of an abusive parent for example, and attribute the abuse to one parent when it was really the other one, or sometimes I will misinterpret a symbolic image. I’ve done 100% accurate readings for clients sitting in my office as well as clients in Scandinavia, Canada and Europe. I type the reading as a Word.doc and email it to the client. We discuss the reading, they give me their feedback, and together we decide which issues/traumas are the most important to work with first.
What is a “healer”?
Although an intuitive person who incorporates various energy healing techniques in their practice may be referred to as a “healer,” I do not heal anyone, nor do I practice medicine, practice psychology, or diagnose or treat any psychological/psychiatric disorders or illnesses. I am not a licensed mental health professional. My role is to uncover for the client what is hurting them or holding them back “under the radar” then guide them on their own path of self-healing and restoration. Anyone can and should learn to self-diagnose when they are losing energy to a person, a situation or to their traumatic childhood. What do I mean by “losing energy?” I mean being in conflict, stuck in a draining power struggle, trying to change someone or gets needs met that this person is incapable of providing, for example. Energetic diagnosis, ie. “reading energy” has nothing to do with traditional medical or psychiatric diagnosis. Energetic diagnosis is the perception and interpretation of imprinted energetic data, patterns of thought and trauma in the body/mind. Most clients find it valuable that the readings reveal conscious as well as repressed/subconscious issues and the roots of patterns as well as spiritual blocks. In a surprising number of cases, birth trauma, separation from the mother after birth, pre-natal trauma and what appears to be past-life trauma is revealed as the root(s) of difficult relationships, illnesses, addictions, obesity, intrusive thoughts, and dysfunctional repetitive behavior patterns. For example, if a pregnancy is unwanted, or the parents want one gender and the baby is the other one, rejection energetically imprints on the baby. Later in life, that person may feel like an outsider, they don’t fit in, feel that they are not wanted, that they’re “not good enough” or “defective” or something similar. Those early traumas tend to richochet through our lives, showing up over and over in various relationships, jobs, etc. Same storyline, different script. To see an actual reading on my former client ”Patsy” that illustrates how being unwanted as a pregnancy can cause lifelong damage, go to the ARTICLES page and click on “The Hidden Language of Trauma”Descriptions of three popular and highly effective energy healing modalities are described on the Services page.
How does one know if they have any blocked energy in their mind or body?
When someone has unhealed emotional trauma, even if they can’t remember it, there is stored, blocked energy impeding their health and their life. That blocked trauma energy causes a disruption in the body’s energy system, resulting in various manifestations of anxiety. Specifically, the anxiety drives addictions, obesity, causes self-sabotage and procrastination, many phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as hoarding. Even worse, if a person is in denial about the emotion, anger for example, or tried to rationalize it away, ie. “Oh, it doesn’t matter, they didn’t mean it,” – or otherwise repressed the emotions at the time they happened, the body/mind simply stores it. How do I know? Because over and over in my practice, when someone releases a deep wound, not only is there usually a huge emotional catharsis, but some chronic pain or dysfunction in their body may resolve as well. This necessity for healing to unearth the root of the issue is why people get into destructive and painful patterns in their lives. Until they clear the cause(s), they keep doing the same thing over and over, and can’t understand why the pattern keeps re-running. The subconscious is like a computer hard-drive. It records everything that has ever happened to us, and if there has been pain, violation or other trauma, even before we have language ie. in the womb, during birth or infancy, the program that carries that pain needs to be cleared and new, healthy programs installed in order to heal.
How is energy healing different from conventional talk therapy?
Various styles of talk therapy and behavioral therapy have basically been the only therapeutic game in town, other than perhaps hypnosis, for decades. That is slowly beginning to change, one therapist at a time. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Carl Rogers, and the other cognitive talk-therapy pioneers focuses on challenging people’s beliefs, having them gain insights into how their dysfunctional beliefs are not serving them, and to change those beliefs. Cognitive behavioral therapy, a conventional psychotherapeutic technique, is based on changing a clients thoughts, then their feelings are supposed to change, then their behavior will change.
Dr. Phil may disagree with me, but I have to say that this approach has multiple limitations. First, I’m not a nueroscientist, but the one’s I’ve spoken to say there is no neurological support in the traumatized brain for talking someone out of trauma. The limbic (emotional) brain, specifically a part of the limbic brain called the amygdala, holds the “red lights and siren” imprints of terror and trauma. It won’t release the energetic charge, similar to a live wire, by talking. That’s where energy therapies come in. A few minutes of EFT tapping can down-regulate ( release the charge from) the amygdala and the client heals. I’ve coached many people who have had months or in some cases years of talk therapy from experienced, compassionate, clinically trained and licensed therapists and they still haven’t healed. Some clients have remarkably astute “sadder but wiser” understanding of the abusive, dysfunctional families that they endured as children, but the pain still haunts them and continues to handicap their lives and relationships. Too many of my clients have emerged from talk-therapy with a great set of coping skills for their pain instead of healed. I have yet to see the person who could be talked out of the deep pain of emptiness, grief, abandonment, shame, betrayal and shock of sexual abuse, for example. Only when the originating trauma and the thought and behavior patterns that resulted from that damaging trauma are neutralized and healed, does the client’s life really begin to change and body to heal, in cases where physical illness is rooted in unresolved emotional trauma.
Is energy self-healing effective with addictions?
Anyone with any common sense knows that addicts cannot be reasoned with or talked out of their addictive behavior. It’s not possible. Addictions are not difficult to understand. A person can be addicted to food, sex, street drugs, prescription painkillers, shopping, pornography, exercise, overwork, whatever. Reduced to their common denominators, addictions are simply anesthesia for anxiety and emotional pain. Even when addicts/alcoholics are repeatedly treated for their physically addictive cravings, the emotional pain and anxiety that drives the addiction remains. That is one of the main reasons why addicts relapse, over and over again. Recently, ( in 2010) I conducted an informal survey of 30-day residential addiction treatment programs. I found that the true recidivism rate hovers around 97%. That’s a THREE PERCENT success rate. Until an addiction is healed from the deep and usually multiple traumatic roots, it WILL recur. The 12-step programs do a fabulous job of helping people to maintain their sobriety one day at a time. The spiritual support, group and sponsor support do work, but the addicts I’ve spoken to say it’s a never ending day-to-day battle to stay sober. With EP techniques, the emotional charge or “sting” attached to the trauma memories that produced the need for anesthesia in the first place can be self-healed to allow deep emotional release, instead of having use up precious energy struggling to fight off relapse. Most addictive cravings can be neutralized temporarily in moments by re-balancing the addict’s energy. The energy has to be re-balanced every time a craving hits for a period of time, until the cravings eventually cease. Craving elimination alone does not heal the addiction, but with the cravings down to a zero, the deeper healing work on the root causes of the addictions and the anxiety that drives all addictive behavior can proceed much easier. With a technique such as EFT, people shift slowly, session to session, from the inside out. Energy healing techniques can deal with most, although not ALL, emotional issues (and even many physical issues) relatively quickly, almost painlessly, and in most cases permanently with the least amount of re-traumatization.
Can energy healing help with weight issues and eating disorders?
Yes, energy healing has an awesome track record with weight issues. Anxiety caused by any negative or fearful situation, thought or feeling causes a disruption in the body’s energy field. Rebalancing that field with tapping or another energy healing technique restores calmness and balance. It’s much easier to stay in control of addictive cravings when one is calm. Eating disorders are much more complicated than garden-variety addictions and they require a more comprehensive approach including supervision by a physician. I recommend that people dealing with bulimia or anorexia find an experienced licensed clinician or integrative medicine program that also incorporates energy healing techniques.
Where can I learn more about self-healing energy-based techniques?
For a virtual library of real-life case histories of treatment of PTSD, trauma, abuse, physical pain, children’s issues, addictions and many other issues, go to , the site of the Emotional Freedom Technique.
What are chakras and what do they represent?
Chakras, (the Sanskrit word for “wheel”) are swirling circles of energy that intersect the body at the locations noted below. They can be thought of as miniature hard drives, containing energetic imprints of both emotional and physical traumas, positive as well as negative beliefs and other information that can be discerned intuitively and that is expressed physically in the body and mind. For example, when someone insults you or hurts your feelings and you get a “kick in the gut” feeling in your stomach, you’re experiencing a physical manifestation of hurt, shame, embarrassment, humiliation, shock, anger, sadness or other negative emotional charge in that area of your body.
• 1st, root or base chakra, (base of spine) primal issues of emotional and physical survival and safety
Body: bones, spine, immune system, legs
• 2nd, (navel) external power in relationships, (power struggles) money, sex, creativity
Body: sex organs, bladder, pelvis, lower back, colon
• 3rd, (solar plexus) identity and self-esteem
Body: organs of digestive system, spleen, adrenals, mid-spine
• 4th, (center of chest) love, grief, betrayal, heartache
Body: heart, circulatory system, lungs, breasts, shoulders, arms, diaphragm
• 5th, (base of throat) will, choice, expression and speaking up for one’s self
Body: neck, throat, thyroid, mouth, teeth, gums
• 6th, (third eye/forehead) the mind, emotional intelligence, clairvoyance
Body: brain, eyes, ears, nose, nervous system, pineal gland, neurological diseases
• 7th, (top of head) connection to the spiritual realms, entity attachments, supernatural interference, God, the Divine
Body: muscular system, skeletal system, skin, any organ system