Amy’s Life in Brief

You lost me at shaman….
March 13, 2010, 12:50 pm
Filed under: MSW, social work, social work ethics, social work practice | Tags: , , ,

So, I went to a social work conference yesterday. Those of you who have gone to conferences, social work or otherwise, realize that it’s a bit of a grab bag as far as speakers. You get some good ones, some mediocre ones, some great ones and then some others. The frustrating thing, also, is that the titles and class descriptions often to match the actual class content.

So, I signed up for a class that I thought would be about vicarious traumatization…you know, how to recognize it and what to do about it when you experience. I guess it was sort of about those things but the world view of the speaker was decidedly new age.

There were pieces that were definitely helpful. She talked about yoga and breathing techniques as well as some good visualization techniques. The aromatherapy piece was helpful. All of those things I felt would be helpful to me and useful interventions for clients. I guess it’s probably not likely I could use aromatherapy in the hospital setting, but for myself I could see it being somewhat useful.

But, then she started talking about crystals and stones. And I really don’t want to offend any of my 6 readers who make place some sort of value on crystals and stones. I really don’t, but I may end up. I am trying to keep an open mind about this….really I am.

She talked about smoky quartz as a stone that could absorb negative energy, as well as rose quartz. There were others she mentioned as well…hematite was one, I think. But, she lost me when a person asked the question about clearing these crystals of their negative energy and she said, “Well, magnetite is a good stone for clearing negative energy but I recommend using it only under the guidance of a shaman.”

That’s when the opening doors in my mind started to swing shut. My first thought was, “Did she really say get the guidance of a shaman?” My second thought was, “Where in the hell would I find a shaman?”

I see the value of crystals and stones, in the sense that holding something that is smooth and pleasant and cool can be relaxing. It could distract someone from the pain and discomfort they are feeling. But, I just can’t make that mental leap that the stone itself could draw negative energy from a client or a patient.

Anyway…I hope I haven’t offended any of you New Age folks…I just don’t get it…