A Reiki Story

I know sometimes it is hard to see if alternative health methods work. Sometimes alternative health methods can take time for the results to appear. Sometimes it can be slow. Sometimes it can be dramatic. I wanted to tell a Reiki story about something that happened to me last year.

We need to go back a bit in time for me to explain. About six years ago I was in a therapy program called DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Therapists and a clinic both refused to see me, even though at the time I was very functional and had never been in-patient, was not addictive in any unhealthy behaviors, was not suicidal and was not cutting or doing any other dangerous behaviors in my life. I was multiple and I was a ritual abuse survivor and so I could not find a competent, experienced therapist at the time who would take me as a client, unless I went to DBT first.

The therapist that I saw was supposedly competent in my abuse history. My insurance company referred me to her.  

She knew that I was a survivor of mother daughter sexual abuse and ritual abuse. She knew that I was multiple. She and my insurance company claimed that she had had many clients with those abuse histories and that she was a good therapist for me to see.

The therapist also ran the once a week DBT class. As a college student in my last semester of college at the time, I did not think that she was a good teacher. In college professors you pretty much see the good, the bad, and the ugly. She was the ugly.

She emotionally abused clients during class time. She would repeat things that they had said in a way that was not kind. She would often change her tone of voice when responding, to sound snide. If someone said something that happened to them, she would imply they weren’t telling the whole story, the whole truth. She did this to me one time in class, I was struck silent. I lived this kind of life as a defenseless child. I was not interested in voluntarily going through this as an adult. I felt stuck there.

She would not call me back in a timely manner. When I told her certain skills were not working for me, and instead were in fact triggering panic attacks, and that I needed other ideas or skills instead of those particular skills, she would tell me there were plenty, but she did not give me any, though I repeatedly requested them for weeks.

During session she was not kind to me. She would often look around the room rather than focus on me during sessions. She would lean back in her chair and act like she was taking a break. She would repeatedly point around her office to little catch phrases and repeat them ad nauseum like they were the cure to what ailed me.

However, every time that I saw her in individual sessions and I brought up, even in the most vaguest way and only in passing the reality of my abuse issues, she would change the subject, shut me down, and start repeating her stupid catch phrases over and over, none of which were helpful, accepting or healing in any way.

When I would bring up mother daughter sexual abuse, she would look like a deer in the headlights, leaking fear, she would immediately stop me. Yes, it was that obvious.

Finally someone who had been emotionally abusive to me showed up in the class. I told the therapist in detail about this person being hurtful and abusive to me.

There is a rule in DBT class that says that clients cannot have secret or private interactions or relationships with one another, as that was something that created an unhealthy dynamic. The therapist kept saying that I would have to attend class with her. Instead I stayed home. It took them three weeks to decide that they would follow the rule and she would have to be in another class. During that phone conversation the therapist yelled at me. I hung up, called their messaging service and left the message that I quit.

What happened from this experience is that I/we shut down emotionally. I could not cry anymore. Tears had always come easily for me and they were healing. I valued that part of my healing process.

After her I was so shut down. I thought that crying was a waste of time. Of the few times that I was able to cry, it was not healing in any way, shape, or, form, as it had been in the past. Slowly the issue got better. I could cry, but it was not very healing. I could cry but it was something that I scolded myself for doing, something that I thought was a complete and utter waste of my time.

I talked about all of this, with several therapists. I talked about this with others. I posted about this online to other survivors. It never got any better.

About a year ago, after a Reiki class, three Reiki Master/Teachers listened. I think that would have been healing just by itself. They listened to my story. They let me get it all out. They let me cry. They let me talk and say how I felt and what a block this was in my life. They accepted. They did not judge. They never told me what to think. They never told me what to do.

Instead what they did for forty-five minutes while I talked was sit with me, put hands on me and hands towards me and send me Reiki healing. I talked. I cried. And it was healing tears.

That night I went home and cried. The next day as well. Now I could cry again. It still took me a few months to get over the ridiculous notion that I was not worthy of tears, that it was stupid, and not helpful at all.

Since then I cry when I have to. I cry when I need to. And it is always healing. That is my Reiki story.

8 thoughts on “A Reiki Story

  1. Wow, that is something. Sounds like you’ve been directed to all the wrong people (for DID). I’ve been lucky in that area, I found a good therapist the first time around.

    I will have to do some research on rieki, I’ve never heard of it before. Proves I’m from a ridiculously small town.



    • Hi Ivory,

      Yes I have never had a great therapist. Even the ones who were trained in trauma and DID were not good. They were all a bad fit and that was too bad because we desperately needed someone to be on our side.

      I’m glad that you found a good therapist. I am always glad when I hear that from another survivor. We need that. We deserve that.

      I put two links for reiki on my previous post. They cover some basics. There are lots of sites out there for classes. With Reiki, just like with therapists, doctors, etc, it is always good to have good boundaries and safety.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



  2. Hi All,

    The second time I tried DBT was last year. The first night of classes one of the teachers shut all the lights out, then put the dimmer on because someone asked for the lights to be lowered and I had a full on panic attack. It was darker in there than a movie theater, in a room with women that I did not know. It went from bad to worse.

    I kept trying but many of the skills and all of the videos were triggering. Many of the group mindful skills they chose were physically active, throwing and catching a ball, during class time that they chose to do. Well I have a pinched nerve in my neck and can’t do that kind of stuff.

    I was made to feel like I was being uncooperative when I didn’t want to do them due to extreme pain and the fact that it made my health issues worse. A therapist friend told me that was completely out of line and wrong and that they were required by disability law to make reasonable accomodations for me. They just kept pressuring me.

    When I spoke privately to one of the therapists about triggering aspects of some of the exercises, she said well they were good exercises and so they were going to continue doing them and I would just have to leave the room. I wasn’t confident that they would give me fair warning to leave before they started the triggering things.

    They were notoriously forgetful about many aspects of their jobs in the teaching arena, forgetting to do the simplest of things in the routine. I was not confident that they would remember extra requests, since they did not remember weekly to take the do not enter sign off the door after the mindful exercise, etc.

    When I told the therapist honestly the issues (they were incompetent) I had with the two teachers in the class, when one got replaced with an inexperiened one, she sided with them.

    The two teachers had apparently told a different kind of story to their therapist monitoring group about what had really happened one night. A therapist is supposed to side with me, hear my story, listen and give me appropriate feedback, not side with someone else over me.

    Especially not two therapists who were not teaching the materials, were giggling, and making stupid examples that did not represent real life situations and were an insult to everyone in the class. This went on for weeks.

    Finally after a break the three other women came back and stopped the class to talk about their teaching issues with the two therapists. The teachers tried to get us to let them move on with the teaching, including threats. I said, look I wasn’t downstairs talking with the other members of the class and I did not encourage them to do this, but they are right. Something has got to change. And you need to listen to them. You need to listen to us. We need real teaching on real skills. As someone else mentioned this is life and death to us and we take this very seriously. We expect the same from you.

    So a different type of story got to the clinic therapist group from them and they did not admit to doing anything wrong. I told my therapist what happened. She was siding with them. She didn’t even acknowledge that two different stories were being told.

    Then I got a phone message from one of the classroom therapists, saying that I was very inappropriate and that I was allowed to come back to class on the understanding that I not conduct myself like that ever again. I learned that not everyone got that phone call.

    That was it for me. I left.



  3. Gosh, Kate, these people sound like complete a$$es. I’m so sorry you’ve had these experiences. I could loan you one of my two good therapists, if you like? 😉


  4. It’s late in my time zone and I seem to be blathering on, so excuse the ramble. You probably know at least as much about this stuff as I do, but hey, here’s my two cents.

    I only know a tiny bit about DBT, and have never had it, but my understanding (from stuff to do with my work) is that it was created for persons with borderline personality disorder, which is apparently quite hard to treat. The thing is, because BPD is so hard to treat and folks with it tend to do a lot of acting out, the therapists who treat it get all crisp with their boundaries and used to sticking to what they think is right rather than what the person wants. I understand that since DBT apparently works well with people with BPD (the people with BPD who get DBT tend to cut themselves less and have less suicide attempts), that they’re trying it with other folks. Since the main point of DBT, as I understand it, is to stop the person from cutting, attempting suicide and dropping out of therapy, while teaching them not to be overwhelmed with their emotions, it seems like they made a mistake referring you to DBT if you weren’t doing those things.

    The cool crisp boundary with lots of directiveness thing is totally the wrong thing to do with survivors I think, since we need to learn that life is safer than it was when we were kids, and that people can be good and kind to us, and that we can reestablish control over what happens to us.

    I had a therapist once who did energy stuff like Reiki, which was very similar to your experience with the reiki masters listening to you while giving you Reiki. She herself was kind of arrogant and disrespectful (for example she was Christian and kept bringing it up in session, even though I told her I was Pagan and didn’t want her to), but crying or working through a flashback with this soothing energy stuff happening at the same time was almost worth it. I ended up firing her, but I do miss the energy healing. Sounds like Reiki is a good fit for you.

    I was taught to do therapeutic touch, which is similar. Do you find that giving Reiki drains you or fills your up? I used to be able to do therapeutic touch and it felt good, but now it’s mostly kind of tiring so I don’t do it much anymore.

    I’ve got a good therapist, they do exist. For me the most important thing is that my experiences don’t freak them out and that they are a kind and warm person. I don’t want someone shutting me down subtly or overtly just because they can’t deal with hearing about abuse. I was up-front about needing that with my current therapist, and asked her what her experience was with hearing about abuse, and studied her body language as she answered to make sure her body fit her words. I read somewhere that the main thing that heals people is the relationship anyhow, so if the person can’t respect, be compassionate and connect positively with their client, they’re not doing a very good job.

    May you connect with a good, experienced and kind therapist that your insurance will pay for, or some other kind of healing that works for you.

    Blessings to you,


    • Hi SwordDanceWarrior,

      No you did not blather or ramble. It was a very intelligent response to a lot of information I put out there. Thank you.

      Yes you have an accurate concept of DBT. It was created for Borderline Personality Disorder, and they did start using it for other clients, and I agree that was not so successful in their efforts to hyper-extend their effectiveness for others.

      One concept of DBT that I did think was excellent was acceptance, that the client was acceptable right here and right now in this moment. I found the concept very healing. However I was never told about this concept during my first foray into DBT. I was told it during the second time, but was not treated by the class therapists as though they thought or believed that was true.

      There are many survivors who need that level and I understand that. I respect them and their healing choices and processes. I just was not one of them and none of the therapists that I contacted were willing to believe me or take it on trust, so they said, that I would not have an “emotional collapse.”

      One therapist said that I could have an emotional collapse even if good changes happened in my life, for example, she said one of her clients fell in love and without DBT training she fell apart, so she could not see me, regardless of what my personal experiences were. I told her that if I don’t fall apart when I am having flashbacks every day and healing on my own, I won’t fall apart when I love and am loved by someone. Well I/we don’t fall apart, good or bad, we are not doing the behaviors that DBT was meant to work best with.

      I find Reiki to be very healing when I do it. In fact, it is understood in Reiki when you do it for someone else, you also get a treatment. I always feel better.

      I’m sorry that the therapist who did Reiki on you did not respect your religious rights and freedom. That is difficult and disturbing.

      My Reiki Master/Teacher does do a Reiki version of talking through issues, though she is not a licensed therapist. I had six sesions of Reiki by her, but did not do the other, as I was in the DBT program and the therapist did not want me doing anything else or purposely exploring memories and bringing up all the emotional impact. Again, I thought, that was an incredible insult to me/us and our own healing progress and inner skills. As well I was not willing to discuss my abuse issues with a Reiki practitioner who was not also a licensed therapist, just how I felt at the time.

      I’m glad that you have a good therapist. I agree with you on what their requirements are.

      Right now I need to find a supplemental insurance to cover the huge copays that I have to pay with medicare, since it is substantial. Once that is in place I will be looking for a therapist to replace the DBT, but afterwards really needed some space and time away, as I needed to try to repair and heal the damage done through that process.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



  5. Pingback: 5 Healing Breaths « Kate1975's Blog

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