Interviewing a Healer? Ask About Failures

by Mike Sententia on December 13, 2013

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“How do I pick a good healer?”

It’s a common question. I mean, it’s hard enough to find a good doctor, and they have licensing and review boards. How can a layman possibly tell a good healer from a fraud?

Asking about their techniques is useless, I’ve been doing this for 20+ years and can’t separate a novice from someone skilled but lacking insight into how their unconscious mind does magick. Asking about successes is nice, but it’s hard to tell placebo from real healing. And references have the same problem: How many failures did they have as they collected those 10 positive reviews?

So, do whatever you’d normally do, and then ask about failures. “Tell me about a healing session that failed, and how you handled it.” A few things to look for:

  • Do they own up to failure? Even skilled surgeons fail, and healing is nowhere near as mature a discipline as surgery. The only way to not fail is to not track your results, which means you can’t learn.
  • Do they debug their techniques? When I fail, I go back and try other approaches. Heal different tissues, heal a larger area, get spirits involved, program a new signature into my healing software. Don’t try to evaluate their techniques, but make sure they can intelligently discuss their debugging process.
  • Do they seem comfortable? Someone who truly believes in themselves can accept failures, and talk about what they’ve learned, or how they tried again and succeeded later, or how they’re proud of how scientifically they track their results. Someone filled with doubt — of their skill or of magick in general — will experience failures as painful reminders of those doubts, and avoid the subject. (See item 1.)

Do you have a good question for selecting good healers?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ananael Qaa December 16, 2013 at 8:04 AM

You also want to make sure they don’t debug their techniques too much, such as trying to change up their methodology every time they run into a failure. If you have a method that’s 80% effective but dump it at the first failure for one that’s 70% effective because the latter works the first time you try it, you’re going backwards, not forwards. Because magick is probabilistic in nature, you want to make sure that whenever a new “debugged” technique is considered, you need to compare a significant new sample to the old full sample and compare their relative likelihoods of success on that basis.

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Mike Sententia December 16, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Really good point: Don’t dump techniques that work. It’s just fine to have multiple approaches that all work a portion of the time — that’s how doctors do it, after all, multiple treatments that each work on some patients. So, you have multiple healings, then when you see a new client, you start with the easiest or most reliable technique, then go on to the second-best, and so on. But if you have a technique that works often, and then it happens to not work on this one client, don’t dump it just because it doesn’t work once or twice or some fraction of the time. After all, nothing works 100%.

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