Do you work with people in any act of service that is geared toward helping them heal? Are you in a facilitation/healing modality such as physician, psychotherapist, social worker, coach, yoga or movement facilitator, or bodyworker?
Have you occasionally experienced conflict between your vocational oath to serve people and the rising tides of opinions on what the latest good/bad, right/wrong polarities are?
Do you feel a bit helpless or stuck as to how to handle “choosing sides” of a trend while still maintaining vocational integrity?
Many years ago, when I was complaining to my mentor about my likes and dislikes in the particular political climate of that time, she said to me with the precision and clarity of a master swordswoman: “You cannot choose sides, do you realize that?”
Those four words—you cannot choose sides—left me stunned as I realized the impact of them. Of course not! Just as a firefighter must save whoever is in desperate need of rescue no matter who they are, healers also must provide exceptional care for anyone who is in need of that particular care, regardless of the myriad ways in which that individual may identify.
What does this all mean for the effectiveness of our healing modality? The answer is very simple: healing is for everyone, no matter their religious, political, sexual, or any other preference. And as a practitioner, I cannot bring my personal views on said categories into the equation when I’m serving a client. What their preferences are are none of my business.
When it comes to a client relationship, I’ve always maintained that it’s none of my business what an individual’s personal preferences are. My only concern is if they are in right relationship with themselves as they make their life choices. This is especially crucial in the arena of sexuality and intimacy. Practitioners must never interfere with the sovereign choices of their clients.
Furthermore, there’s another refinement when it comes to the confines of our modality. What are the limitations of our particular modality? Are these limitations essential and useful, or would they be supported by a skillset that allows for more inclusive discussions and experiences? We must know what we are up against and be honest with ourselves and others, as we may not have the capacity to treat every single person who comes into our sphere.
Discerning if we can truly be of help or not means that we must leave aside our own personal preferences when we are doing our good work in the world. For example, most healthcare practitioners have no formal education on the psychosexual well-being of patients, which means many times traumas can be caused or enhanced by the manner in which a practitioner interacts with a patient. Even if we do not directly work with the topic of sexuality and intimacy, understanding the interwoven aspect of this natural part of a person’s life can make healing much more effective and transformational.
Another important, often avoided problem in the way of practitioners supporting the healthy expression of sexual sovereignty is the oxymoronic “inclusivity and diversity” movement. On one hand it advocates for most minorities (often excluding the older population), while in the same breath it states that certain types of people are not welcomed, such as the white, straight male, for example. If inclusivity and diversity is actually implemented, it includes everyone. Period.
Although it’s difficult to not be swayed by the latest outrage on TV and social media, it’s vital we cultivate neutral ground when it comes to practicing our modality of choice. This is not easy in a climate where we are pressured to take sides and to express our righteous outrage. And on the flip side, cancel culture makes it genuinely concerning for anyone to honestly express their personal preferences and views, due to the equally valid possibility of losing our job/career. If we manage to stay in our lane and practice the art of listening more and interfering less, we can still feel the pressures of being “called out” by those who believe we should use our influence to make better this world.
In the end, we must confront ourselves and how we believe the world should be, especially when it comes to serving others. What this means to each one of us is a unique and individual understanding, one worthy of exploring. Being able to truly support people on their journey to optimal living is an incredible privilege and responsibility.
Do you want support in implementing this maxim that healers cannot choose sides? Would you love to learn how to be an embodied leader in your field? If so, consider joining my Embodied Psychosexual training for professionals.
Copyright 2001-2023 Dr. Saida Désilets & Dionysia Inc.