Dealing With Challenging Energy in Reiki Sessions

Dealing With Challenging Energy in Reiki Sessions by Kriss Erickson


Since Reiki is Universal Lifeforce energy, it will attract all kinds of people. Some will seek help for a physical ailment. Others will simply want energy balancing. Because Reiki helps to support and balance energy, some of those drawn to you could have challenging energetic or emotional issues.


As a Certified Counselor in the State of Washington, I found, especially in the beginning of my Reiki practice, that a fairly high number of people with challenging emotional issues sought me out. Though my bottom line is, and has always been, that as energy becomes more balanced, any issues—whether they be physical, emotional, energetic or spiritual—will balance out, there are some important things to consider whenever a new Reiki client seeks you out.


Important Aspects to Consider


  • Scope of Practice: Yes, Reiki is Universal Lifeforce energy. That means there is no limit of what can be accomplished by the recipient when working with a Reiki practitioner. But that does not mean that because you are attuned to Reiki that you are automatically equipped to assist in all cases.
    1. What you can do: You can offer to simply share Reiki, without offering any other insights or information—as long as this is safe for both you and the recipient.
    2. You are not required to see people just because they show up. In fact, if you realize after talking with or meeting with a Reiki client, that they need more expertise or specific help than you can offer, it is more ethical to refer them to more specific care.
    3. Jumping to meet any need that presents itself can create unrealistic expectations. The healing and balancing that Reiki offers has much more to do with the recipient’s ability to connect with and work with the lifeforce energy than it does with your experience and credentials. Make it clear in your initial conversation with recipients that you are happy to assist them in regaining balance, but that the actual progress is up to them. Otherwise, you risk them focusing more on you than on their own recovery process.
  • Severity of Symptoms:Reiki is a supportive energy that compliments other therapies that the client has chosen. Though Reiki is beneficial no matter what the person’s situation, if they are choosing only to come for Reiki and not providing enough additional support for the body/mind/spirit to regain its balance, the lack of balanced support could create a much more challenging recovery. When the being is under stress, due to life circumstances, illness or emotional shock, it is beneficial to receive support in several areas:
    1. This can include physical therapy, massage or helpful medications.
    2. Emotional:Counseling, meditation or other emotional support provided by a trained practitioner. The recipient can work much more effectively with challenging life issues if they understand what is going on. Though you can discuss the main process with them, including how Reiki works, and the themes they are dealing with, do not take on the role of counselor unless you are trained to do so.
    3. Vibrational:Reiki, sound healing, crystal frequencies. These aspects help bring the energetic matrix back in to balance.
    4. Touch:One of the reasons that Reiki is touch therapy is that the cells and energy fields of the body respond to touch. Touch is reassuring, validating the being’s experiences and reassuring it that it is safe to continue the healing process.
    5. Accountability: Make sure that the Reiki recipient is receiving enough support. Do not take on all of the symptoms yourself. Check in with the recipient at each session to ask how effective their daily energetic work has been.
  • Overall Stability: If the Reiki recipient is not able to safely drive to your Reiki practice, offer to send Distant Reiki. Or, if they are close by and you are comfortable doing so, offer to come to their home. Only offer to do a home visit if the environment is safe for you and the recipient.
  • Remember that you are not responsible to solve their challenges. It can be tempting to take on aspects of others’ lives where they are struggling, especially if it seems that the help would benefit them. But if you are their Reiki practitioner, it can be confusing and potentially enmeshing to take on other aspects of their lives. Whether it is physical aspects such as running errands, or emotional aspects such as allowing the recipient to call you to discuss life challenges, it is important to remember that by being their Reiki practitioner, you are already providing very helpful, specific assistance. Doing more can be confusing and potentially can shift their attention too much on you as the problem solver. Instead, encourage them, validate any progress they make, and remind them that Reiki will guide them through any challenges that they have.
  • Perhaps the most important point to remember:Just because someone shows up does not mean you automatically have to work with them. This might sound harsh, but it is nevertheless an important aspect. There are three instances where you would be advised to refer them elsewhere:
    1. If, after talking with someone or working with a recipient, it is apparent that they are choosing to believe that you are in charge of their healing. It is imperative that each person work through their own healing process. Relying on others, even trained practitioners, is unrealistic.
    2. If you notice that they are not benefiting from the sessions.Continuing to work with someone when it is apparent that they are not able to benefit from the sessions is not ethical.
    3. If they become more anxious, unstable or potentially violent. If the recipient becomes more and more unstable as time goes on, threatens you or others, or acts in ways that are potentially violent, it is wise not to continue seeing them. This is a very important point. Some individuals with severe energetic imbalances seek out energy workers, without realizing the depth of the imbalance and the potential for harm. Some even seek out energy practitioners instead of conventional means of help as a way of avoiding the severity of their symptoms. As a Reiki practitioner, you do not have to see anyone who scares you or is not aware of their effect on others. Safety for yourself and the recipient is of the utmost importance.


By keeping these points in mind, you should be able to build a long, rewarding and mutually beneficial Reiki practice.