What are the best practices to build trust and to create energetic rapport more quickly? There are many practices outside of just sending Reiki that make a difference to our clients’ comfort and openness. I am not talking about a nice blanket, music, and a roll to put under their knees. I am talking about setting a tone and maintaining a high energetic state that creates a sacred space to work in. This forms a bond of trust between practitioner and client. Let’s talk about practices that do and do not create this special bond between you and your clients.
When your client comes for a session, after introductions, they may begin telling you their story. This story relates to why they have come to you. When they share their story, they are trusting you that it will remain confidential (not shared with others), and that you will not judge them. For anyone to bare their heart and share their story with you is an honor. As Reiki practitioners it is important to be a good listener, and to hold yourself in a place of non-judgment. If we step into judgment, our client will feel that polluted energy. Judgment is icky. If we judge, they feel icky. This could make them shut down to receive anything that we have to give them. It blocks the connection based in trust that we want to make with them. Think about how you feel when you are being judged. Judgment should not be allowed in a Reiki session.
Having worked with thousands of clients either in person or via distance, I find that a good way to build trust and openness is to really listen to what your clients are saying and practice empathy. Many practitioners confuse empathy with the intuitive impressions that they feel in their own body that tells them where their client’s body has issues. In these cases, ask your Reiki guides to provide this information to you in another way. The pain you experience might be your own similar issues being triggered. This means it is time to work on self.
According to Merriam-Webster empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. Practice empathy, be sensitive and understanding while your clients are talking and throughout the whole sessions to build trust, which in turn, allows the you to work more deeply in your client’s field.
Practicing compassion also helps to build a sacred space and allows your client’s to be vulnerable to share their story and be on your table. When I envision myself in a state of compassionate consciousness, I see this vessel, filled with the golden light of compassion in the center of the room. This vessel is a place for the client’s story of distress, pain, or illness to be held and transformed while the Reiki session unfolds. This way I am not focusing on their issues. I have given their worries, wounds, and fears a place to be transformed, while I do the Reiki session centered in empathy, compassion, and unconditional love.
Two other issues that I feel do not belong in a Reiki session are ego and distraction (lack of full attention). I have heard practitioners share stories of their sessions. They told their client what they needed to do with their life. “I told them they needed to…” I remember early on in my Reiki practice doing the same thing, thinking that my ego knew what that individual needed to do based on my experience in life. Mistake! Each person has their own inner wisdom to guide them. Having a Reiki session helps them to tune into their own answers. I remember a Reiki practitioner shaking their finger in my face telling me, “I know you need to…” and she proceeded to give me her take on my life. My learning from this was not to let my ego tell others what to do. Trust that Reiki will guide your client to their answers.
It seems in today’s times there are so many distractions. Our phones not only ring, they bing, they bong, and they bark and crow. Keep your phone and any other distractions out of your treatment room or have them turned off. When I teach Reiki to my students, I give some ground rules for the sessions. The first rule is to have an intention for the session so that the Reiki supports the intention. The second ground rule is to give the client and Reiki your full attention. When you can do this, you will learn so much about energy blocks, energy flows, energy holes, etc. You will learn more about Reiki and how it works then you could if you were distracted. When I focus my attention on what is going on under my hands, I learn something about energy dynamics or Reiki in every session. Yes, after 25 years I am still learning. Another point I want to make is that when you are distracted the energy in the session will not build; it might diminish. Of course your thoughts will wander, that is normal. The distractions I am talking about are those that we bring into the room with us such as the devices we have become dependent on looking at for what is going on in the world while we are doing a session.
Another ground rule I teach my students is to honor and respect each client. These are the opposite of judgment. Many people have had outrageous experiences in life (their words, not mine). When we hold that sacred vessels for transformation there for them, and we surround them with honor and respect for the path that they have walked, it makes it easier for them to open up to healing. It also helps them to honor and respect themselves and to step out of self-judgment. Many times when I have a client share their story of hardship, I hear myself thinking what an amazing person this is. Practicing honor and respect are not always stated in words, but can be an energy that fills the room and lifts up the client into a place of transforming their wounds and restoring wholeness.
My last ground rule to build trust is to create a space of unconditional love. Love is the highest healing vibration. When we embody unconditional love, our client feels safe and we can build trust. Many of my clients have told me that they can feel the energy of my office up to two miles away. They say that when they enter, they feel love. An affirmation that I have worked with for years is, “I am love in action.” Unconditional love is as great for the Reiki practitioner’s well-being as it is for the client’s. Unconditional love makes a space sacred and opens the doors to entering a place of Oneness with your client, with the Divine, and with all life on the planet. Your Reiki experience becomes a beautiful mystical experience of union, centered in love. It just does not get any better than that.
When you can practice non-judgment, active listening, empathy, compassion, set intention, be attentive, honor and respect, and be filled with unconditional love, your Reiki practice will flourish. The trust that you build will generate returning clients, and they will refer others to you as an added benefit. When you can embrace these practices your own self-healing will be quicken, and your understanding of Reiki and energy will deepen. Best yet, your client’s will trust you and Reiki. You will build rapport, and they will open to the transformation and healing that they are seeking.
Reiki Master Dawn Fleming, http://www.energytransformations.org