Questions to Ask When Selecting an Energy Practitioner

Back in the Summer I had stated I was going to put out a list of questions to ask when interviewing an energy practitioner prior to beginning services.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to feel comfortable with the person you select.  So – a few key points up front.

If all you seek is a quick reading at an expo or a meet and greet at the nearby metaphysical shop, please don’t try to interview the practitioners.  Practitioners do NOT have significant time at these events to spend with each potential client to answer questions. They have to pay fees to attend these events, so most of them are just trying to do as many sessions as possible to break even or make some extra money.  It is a marketing event for them, yes, and they want to get your attention – yes, so grab the materials they provide and move on unless they say they have time to chat.

So, use your intuition to see if any of them “feel good” to you.  Try – just try.  But if you don’t feel good about anyone, then don’t waste your money.  They don’t want to give a “bad” reading and they would rather you come back another time when you can ask your questions.  Instead, take the materials and grab a writing utensil and write down quick impressions of them as you observe the room.  This could be helpful to you later.

And definitely – at these types of events, do everyone a favor and do the Shielding exercise before you go in and then do it every couple minutes while you are there!  There is so much detritus in those places that it is horrifying.  One last caveat – not everyone who attends these events is an extrovert!  Many are introverts who have a true desire to help others and force themselves to “market” themselves, so it can be awkward. Don’t hold that against them!

I have met many lovely and many not-so-lovely practitioners in my 14+ years of energy work.  When I first started seeking a practitioner for my own self, I did not know anything about the different energy modalities that exist much less all the different ways individuals could access my personal energy and soul history.  I had one psychic session when I was in high school and another in late 1999 and the difference between the two was huge. I was very unprepared for the overwhelming number of practitioners I encountered at the first expo I went to.

It should go without saying that the practitioner you select shares your ethical beliefs, but unfortunately that is not always the case and what does that mean anyway?  Energy practitioners come from all walks of life and all religions and nationalities.  Each is shaped by the culture they were raised in and many share the same values – don’t steal, don’t lie, etc.

Many, many people come into the energy worker field because they are seeking reasons and respite from something bothering them.  Others come from curiosity and then others because they need an explanation for what they are experiencing that doctors want to medicate them for instead.  And then there is a small percentage who enter the field because they see a quick and easy buck because, hey – its just energy!  No one will REALLY know if they are a fraud or not, because how can they prove it one way or another?

Well – that is beyond wrong and definitely falls smack into the pile of unethical.  If you are seeking a teacher, a guide, a mentor to help and partner with you then YOU need to understand how that person is going to interact with you energetically, what they will do with the information they obtain from you, and what safeguards they are going to enact to keep you safe during your session(s).  You want to know you are being respected by that person because your path is JUST as important as theirs!

When I first started talking to practitioners about the need to shield themselves and their clients back in 2002, the universal reaction was one of disbelief and horror.  How dare I tell people that they could be exposing their clients to detrimental energy beings because they were working on them unshielded?  How dare I say that they are anything but Light Workers?  How much more insulting could I be, eh?

Let me ask you a question.  When your doctor comes into your room to check you out, do they not wash their hands before ever touching you? Washing their hands protects them as well as protecting you.  That is something that is taught by ethical individuals.  Those people who want you to just ‘flow’ with the experience are not respecting you.  Leave. Immediately.

The truth of the matter is very real even when people are unaware.  We live in a world that is comprised of many different energetic environments that intersect.  When energy work is done, the energy sets off “flares” into the etheric environment.  This means that anything or anyone looking for flares have now been given the ability to target you.  To this day the majority of my fellow practitioners do not shield, or if they do shield it is a perfunctory once a day event that they do because they think they have to.

Because of this, I encourage you to take matters into your own hands.  Use the Shielding Exercise to protect yourself before you ever allow another person to work on you – in person or distantly!  Self-protection is everyone’s responsibility and even if the practitioner has the highest of intentions you should never remove your shielding for anyone.  The shielding exercise is a gift from Archangel Michael and is of the highest vibration; anyone who tells you it has to come down is either ignorant of shielding and this is your opportunity to educate them or they are being influenced by a detrimental energy being.   If they become belligerent or try to bully you – leave. They are definitely NOT a professional.

I have spoken in the past about the next subject, but I want to reiterate my point here again.  Just because someone has a certificate to show they completed a class in a modality does not mean they are fluent in that modality.  It does not mean that they are the best person for you.  It does not mean anything other than they paid a large amount of money to learn about an energy technique.  There is NOTHING wrong with this either – many wonderful practitioners regularly seek out new modalities to expand their stills and gifts.

Some courses are extensive, such as the year-long Reiki Master/Apprenticeship I completed.  During that year I taught Reiki to the 1st and 2nd degree students, supervised and led the monthly Reiki shares, attended the Mind/Body/Spirit expos to speak about Reiki and about the program my teacher held, and had to write my own book on Reiki.  During this time I also had one-on-one sessions with my Reiki Master where I learned more in-depth information about Reiki and its proper usage as well as more about other energy modalities that were out there.  This was for informational purposes – not to promote myself as that type of practitioner.

I learned a great deal about Reiki during this time so when I completed the apprenticeship I felt extremely confident in my abilities to teach Reiki to others.  And so I began that journey.  What I did not know until that point, however, is that each person’s journey with Reiki is different.  And that while I could guide people in the way I was guided, I was not a guru by any means.  Some students had physical reactions that were unexplained. Others’ Gifts started manifesting and I ended up mentoring them through that.  Some people were totally ignorant about self care and I was happy to provide them with education on basic skills such as meditation and breath work for them to be able to move forward.

My shifting into teacher mode shifted me into a different learning mode. If I learned anything, I learned that there is no one all knowledgeable guru out there and if someone tells you they know it all, or can handle every situation that they encounter then they are either a) inexperienced, b) ignorant of what it means to truly teach, or c) operating out of ego.

There are many different weekend courses that exist in the marketplace. And I think that is something that needs to be mentioned as well.  Today’s environment for the energy practitioner is extremely marketed. Individuals package up their product and market it just as marketers do in every other aspect of Western culture.  It is definitely buyer beware!  But a certificate does not make a teacher and it definitely does not make one a great teacher!

Way back in the early 2000’s I attended a weekend class for a modality that promoted itself as more powerful than Reiki and a whole list of other things stupendous things.  My Reiki master and 3 of her other students and I all eagerly attended this well-promoted class which we each paid $250 to attend.  And the sad thing is – the only thing I got out of the class was a certificate.  The instructor was the creator of the modality and I had bought his book prior to attending the class (which he was happy to sign for me at the end of the weekend).  During the class I met close to 25 other practitioners from the local area, the majority of whom were Reiki practitioners.  All of us were eager to experience this vibrational energy that was going to help everyone heal and grow and fly.

It was not a successful event.  That modality lacked results – of any kind.  In polling the individuals who I knew and those I met during class, every single person found the modality to be lacking and trite compared to Reiki and most regretted spending the money on it.

But I have a certificate!  And the book!  I could refresh my memory any time and make the attempt to utilize the modality again, but for me there is no point because the modality had zero results.  But I have the certificate I can show people!

So, when you decide it is time for you to seek out someone to invest with your time and, generally speaking, quite a significant amount of your hard-earned cash then print out this list of questions and use them to interview practitioners.

Because of the way our society has developed, almost ALL practitioners have some sort of website to advertise their services.  Many practitioners do distance work and this is the best way to access that client base.  So once you go through the advertising material and select the ones that pass your initial background check from the questions you will ask, go review their website.

Are they coherent on their website?  Does what they promise or promote sound reasonable?  The rude fact of life is that there are many charlatans in the energy practitioner world – more so, in fact – as there are in “real world” environments.  And it is up to you – the discriminating client – to choose wisely!  Instant results with massive, amazing turnarounds are not realistic in the energy field.  You are how old?  Your whole life has led you to this point – do you REALLY think one session or one weekend is going to create THAT MUCH CHANGE?  And are they going to give you back your money if you don’t have this tremendous, amazing change?  No???  Well, then – remember, buyer beware.

So how do you do choose wisely? Start screening their materials with the questions I have provided below and your common sense and then whittle it down until you have two or three options to contact for a lengthy interview.  Any ethical practitioner will understand your needs and will make that appointment – it should be non-fee based – for this interview.  If they don’t want to comp you the time then that is your answer.  Chances are that person will charge you every time you have a question – not exactly the ideal situation to have when you have a teacher/student situation.

I have known some positively lovely individuals who are ethical and kind and give off the Mother Theresa vibe.  They acquire an entourage who will tell you how wonderful the person is.  And I won’t argue that – being charismatic is also a gift and some people have it in abundance and others do not.  But that is not a reason to retain someone’s services. Effectiveness is.  Experience is.  Flexibility and the willingness to work with the client’s needs – these are all important reasons to work with someone.

Energy work is not a hit or miss environment – regardless of what Hollywood portrays it as!  There are variables to it, including the practitioner’s background, and the competent practitioner utilizes their experience, skills, and abilities to help you help yourself.  If your practitioner does not talk about how much effort YOU are going to have to put into your healing work then you need to reconsider them as a partner. As expensive as this journey is you should never feel as if you wasted your time and energy – you need to get your money’s worth and feel good about the process.

Now – how do you get your money’s worth?  By asking the questions!  Ta da!  And here they are.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Mentor for Energy Work

By asking these questions in a curious tone of voice the practitioner should not take any as an attack.  Most will be happy to discuss their own journey of how they got to “now”, but if you are speaking with someone who is introverted it may be a slightly more difficult conversation than with a naturally gregarious individual.  Please remember some people will be cautious answering until they understand that you are serious about seeking a long-term mentor.

  1. I have heard the phrase “highest and best good” – can you explain what this means to you?
    (This gives them the opportunity to explain what this phrase means to them.  Throughout the rest of the interview you can see if they live the ideals they express here.)
  2. What was the first modality you learned?
  3. How did you figure out what you wanted to learn?
    (This is a leading question to help them explain their path to you.  This may or may not be pertinent to your own path, but how they explain themselves will help you in understanding their mentality towards energy work.)
  4. What types of energetic protection do you use daily and with your clients/students?
    (This is a trick question.  The majority of energy workers still do not use protection which leaves their clients and students vulnerable.  It may be that you still follow through with this teacher, but at least you know upfront you will be responsible for your own energy protection.)
  5. I am trying to figure out what classes/sessions to take for myself.  Can you help me point me in a direction?
    (This is a semi trick question.  Most all in the energy field will recommend meditation to begin with in some variation (breath work, yoga, etc.) but then if they are interested in YOU they will ask you questions about what you are experiencing and any signs of gifts that may be present.  If they don’t, and just immediately launch into a litany of what they teach you may want to consider a different teacher.)
  6. How long have you used (desired) modality?
    This is not a trick question, but sometimes it is important to have experience behind you in dealing with situations and people.  If someone is brand new in the field and you don’t have your intuition screaming at you to work with them, keep moving forward until you find someone with more experience.
  7. Can you explain to me why you decided to help others with (desired) modality?
    (The way they answer will help you understand their character and ethics.  Yes, we all need to earn a living, however some people are there to make a buck and others want to help people develop their own self-identity and spiritual self.  You want to make sure you find a teacher who is more interested in your highest and best good than just making a dollar.)
  8. What other modalities do you use personally?
    (If all they are is a one trick pony then you may want to find someone else.  No, not everyone is a Master teacher, but usually everyone who teaches employs a few things in their personal life to keep them balanced – i.e., meditation, crystal work, art, music etc.)
  9. What Gifts do you possess?
    Clairaudience (hearing)
    Clairvoyance (seeing)
    Clairsentience (sensing of energy and information)
    Claircognizance (knowing)
    Empathy (ability to sense emotions) {which has two categories: receptive and projective}
    Note – there is a significant difference between clairsentience and empathy]

    THIS IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF WHETHER OR NOT TO OBTAIN THIS PERSON AS A TEACHER.  Most everyone develops at least one gift during their path, but just because someone else may have 3 or 4 gifts developed does not mean they are a better teacher.  All it means is that they have developed their abilities inherent to themselves.
  10. Can you recognize/identify the Gifts I possess?
    (Gifts are incredibly special and wonderful and each person’s Gifts are tailored to their individual blue print.  No two people will experience their Gifts in an identical manner.  Harry Potter this is NOT.)
  11. Do you know how to develop Gifts in individuals?
    (This is a question that needs to be asked.  It may be that this practitioner does not have the ability to actively do this, but may know someone who does.  They may have exercises or a process to develop gifts – ASK!  If they cannot give concrete examples of past results then the answer is no.)
  12. Do you believe in Angels, Guides, spirits, animal guides, etc?
    (This question is pertinent in that it allows the practitioner the opportunity to begin to explain their spiritual background.)
  13. Can you teach me how to communicate with my Guides?
    (This one is simple and should be in every teacher’s repertoire!  Meditation is the absolute best first step every person should take and will help everyone communicate with their guides even if their Gifts are completely undeveloped.  If they only push towards their class, that is an indicator again that they are not looking at your highest and best good.)
  14. A lot of energy practitioners teach (desired) modality.  Can you tell me why taking the class from you is in my highest and best good?
    (This is a trick question.  If they immediately launch into a clearly identifiable marketing speech you will understand that this is their BUSINESS.  Which is different from a VOCATION.  Those following their vocation will honor the student’s highest and best good – not just their own business needs.)
  15. Is all your learning from other human teachers or have you been taught by Guides, Spirits, Angels, etc.?
    (This is the question that may get you the strangest looks.  Reference back to where I stated some people have the certificate so they know it all, right?!  It is quite possible to be taught by the Angelics and Guides and those you encounter who are not open to that are not likely to allow you the freedom to explore that either.  Seek elsewhere.)
  16. If there was one take-away you wanted me to have from this interview, what would it be?
    (Semi-trick question.  If they launch into a marketing spiel versus what you can do for yourself then you know this is not the correct person.)

© 2015 Julia Knickerbocker ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published by Julia Alexandra

Julia is Spiritual Counselor, a trans-channel, a Reiki Teacher, and a Priest of Melchizedek who is currently living the Enlightened Path, traveling to wherever Spirit tells her to go! She frequents North Carolina, Northern California, and Illinois/Wisconsin while (currently) abiding in mid-central Florida.

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