Thirteen Steps for a Successful Therapist

Skill Development

Article by Nisarga, for all those who have asked themselves the question: “What makes one a successful therapist?”

I have been studying many different types of therapy for more than 15 years. At the beginning of my journey I participated in psychotherapy healing sessions and started practicing Hatha Yoga and Lomi Lomi Nui Massage. In 2008 I moved to India where I studied massage, bodywork, breathwork and tantra. The practice of these therapies is now my current profession.

Colleagues and students often ask me what I think makes a successful therapist − and how does one became such a therapist? I have come up with thirteen steps that can be used as general guidelines for anyone working with people through bodywork, massage, breathwork, dance, yoga or psychotherapy. They worked well for me − bringing joy, abundance and fulfilment into the work, with clients and students providing positive feedback.

Nisarga giving a session

There is no priority in the order of the steps − each one is equally important.

  • Receiving: A formula that works well, in my experience, is that for every 7 sessions I give, I receive at least one healing modality session preferably of Myofascial and Craniosacral Therapy. This helps me stay more relaxed and deepen my understanding of the healing process.
  • Empathy and compassion: To develop empathy and non-judgemental qualities I would recommend to participate in healing therapies that help clean up one’s own conditioning and bring awareness to old wounds. We normally have the tendency to judge and, therefore, often have judgements about our clients. However, a therapist should be just a “mirror” and reflect with no judgements; and with empathy he can help clients to see themselves and their conditioning.
  • Value pricing: For my sessions and trainings I don’t take in account the average market price but charge according to my years of experience, study and life wisdom.
  • Ordinariness and humility: Acknowledging failures and mistakes is as important as remembering successes and being proud of them. I accept the fact that I make mistakes; they are a part of my journey, as long is I learn from them and grow because of them.
  • Learning continuously: Through continuous learning, workshops and sessions become fresh, alive and passionate. It helps avoid routine and boredom, and enables to share new insights.
  • Unlocking feelings: A crucial step for a therapist is to allow the expression of personal feelings. “I am responsible for my actions, thoughts, words and feelings and can consciously express them without hurting myself or others.” Expressed feelings allow the energy to flow freely through the body. Many illnesses in today’s world are due to unexpressed emotions and feelings.
  • Taking care of the body: It is very important for me to be aware of my inner and outer resources; anytime I feel depleted, tired or weak I can tap into the resources and replenish my energy. However, if I feel too tired I prefer to reschedule a session to a time when I feel more energetic so that I can be fully available to my clients.
  • Investing: Saving and investing is an important part of any business. I leave aside fifteen percent of all income to be used for marketing and promotion. I am not interested in checking statistics to see how a particular method of promotion works. I trust in the Law of Magic, trusting that whatever I put out to the universe will come back in some way.
  • Own your talk: It is crucial for me to live what I am teaching and thus come across as trustworthy and inspirational. I only teach what is based on my own insights and experiences.
  • No competition: When appropriate, I compliment and express support to other therapists or teachers in my field.
  • Awareness and meditation: Living in the present moment is essential because future and past are illusions. I used to spend at lot of time worrying about the future or clinging to the past and, as a result, I was never happy, never living in the present and mostly feeling a sense of ‘emptiness’. Living in the here-and-now brings me to my own truth and gives me the freedom to decide consciously about what comes next.
  • Reaching out: It took me many years to find a mentor, or coach, who would become an inspiration and who could help me in difficult times. I later became a mentor myself and have learnt much about myself through teaching others.
  • Vision: Sometimes I ask myself what my deepest longing is in relation to my work. “What is it that I would like to accomplish?” Once I am clear on the path I am about to embark, I make all necessary changes and move into the new direction.

Moving along these steps, radical transformations are bound to happen!

NisargaNisarga (aka Eryk Dobosz) graduated from the Warsaw Polytechnic. In 2008 he left his job as an engineer to travel, participate in self-development workshops and to train in various massage modalities. He is the co-founder of the Integral Body Institute (formerly EIBOHA) in Poland.

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Nisarga: From Engineering to Bodywork
European Institute of Body Oriented Healing Arts (EIBOHA)

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