Mental Health Professionals' Beliefs and Experiences Regarding the use of Reiki in Session
Hecht, Liesl M.
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore the beliefs and experiences of mental health professionals regarding the use of reiki in session. The practice of reiki derives from Eastern healing traditions and is based on pre-scientific beliefs and healing involving the flow of energy. A total of 15 individuals completed an online survey on the social media website Facebook. Five participants voluntarily participated in the follow-up interview. At the end of the anonymous survey, participants could choose to be involved in a in-person, phone, or e-mail interview. This study utilized Giorgi’s phenomenological methods to analyze the beliefs and experiences of licensed mental health professionals who were also reiki certified. The findings of this study provide a deeper understanding of licensed mental health professionals’ (LMHPs) beliefs and experiences when considering the use of reiki in session. After studying the interview transcripts, nine themes were discovered and five of them had subthemes. These themes were as follows: Experience of Dissonance within LMHPs; Desire to Have a Community of Like-Minded Individuals; Psychoeducation (For clinicians; For clients); Client Receptivity and Openness (Spirituality; Complementary methods); Emotional Energy Exchange (Self-care through letting go); Potential Benefits for Clients; Ideas of How to Incorporate Reiki into Session (Integration with traditional therapy interactions; An extra tool); Fear of Violating Ethics (“I don’t want to lose my license!”; Not imposing values or beliefs on clients); Contraindications. The participants’ descriptions referred to important aspects of the phenomenon: what is needed for LMHPs to feel confident utilizing reiki as a mental health intervention and potential mental health benefits gained for LMHPs and clients as a result of implementing a few minutes of reiki in session. Continued research regarding reiki in mental health counseling sessions is critical in order to address the desire and need for additional education regarding its usage and benefits as well as concerns regarding licensure and ethical behavior.