I’ve seen a number of fellow therapists/counselors call themselves “healers”, and it never sat well with me for some odd reason. I could never bring myself to identify as one who “heals” people who seek therapy.
heal·erˈhēlər/1. a person who claims to be able to cure a disease of injury using special powers2. a person or thing that mends or repairs something
Calling myself a “healer” would mean that I hold the power to change people as I see fit. Me “healing” a client would mean that I possess something they don’t (i.e., the power to heal oneself).
For me, counseling is about empowering a client to live optimally. If I am doing all the “healing” for them, that means that they cannot exist and be well without receiving therapy all the time, forever more. Therapy isn’t about holding people hostage as clients for the rest of their lives. In fact, it is unethical for a counselor to see a client long-term! Therapy is about continuously discovering oneself, and learning and applying the tools needed to cope with the stressors of life.
Moreover, if I were a healer, I would be able to “fix” or “heal” clients who are mandated to attend therapy, and may not necessarily be engaged or committed to the treatment process. I think every therapist reading this let out a big, “Hahaha!,” when reading that. It is nearly impossible to “change” clients who do not want to make the changes themselves. In other words, people change when they’re ready to. Yes, therapy can potentially speed up the desire to change, but it certainly does not have some cosmic power over clients and their therapeutic process.
As a counselor, I am equipped with an extensive education and thorough clinical experiences that have helped me to help others on their journey of self discovery and healing. However, I am not equipped with any special healing powers that control others’ healing process. The journey belongs to the client and I am simply the guiding light that facilitates the healing, providing a unique, challenging, and empirically-supported perspective. What an honor it is!