Updated: Apr 6
Something to keep in mind when being sensitive and working with people
Being sensitive is a quality that most therapists naturally possess. Being able to tune in and understand from a deeper place inside yourself what the atmosphere in the space is, or what the status quo of the people in the space is, is mostly easier for a therapist than for someone who doesn’t work with people.
As therapists, we have practised this skill and have become experienced in it.
Honestly, my reason for becoming a therapist is probably the fact that I was always highly sensitive and clairsentient: instantly knowing the atmosphere in any room and finely sensing the emotional condition of the people in it -and therefore also understanding deeper layers than what people were showing on the outside. It has been a fine quality and also a burden, as my own mood and state of being were often easily influenced by what happened outside of ‘me’.
For a very long time, I didn’t recognize that this was something that needed taking care of. So in a situation where I was neutral and someone would come in very frustrated or angry, even if not showing or expressing it, I had the tendency to feel the anger too.
On the other - more positive – side: when I was neutral, but somebody would come in who (maybe secretly) had butterflies in their stomach from being in love with a new date, I would feel the butterflies too 😊
As a result, helping people discharge their difficult emotions and heavy energies literally felt really good for me too, so becoming educated as a therapist made a lot of sense.
Being in contact with clients for years, I have invested a lot of time and energy in how to be energetically ‘clean’, centred and close to my own individual experience and I would like to share some of this knowledge with you. One thing to mention is that nowadays I’m much less affected by all that I feel after having resolved multiple layers of trauma. I had had my tentacles out too much and too often in order to try and grasp what was going on around me. This caused me to have difficulty staying centred. So yes, being hypersensitive can also be a symptom: it’s a trauma response as well.
That being said, I think it’s absolutely vital -especially as a therapist, sometimes dealing with heavy emotions and energies of clients- to know how to keep your internal and external space clean and energetically clear.
We are vibrational beings, and vibrational ‘blending’, is inevitable. So it’s important to understand that energetical hygiene is not about keeping anything ‘out’. It’s not at all about a conflict between ‘good’ or ‘bad’ energies.
What really makes the difference, is being aware of energies blending and being aware of the changes in your own body-mind-emotions when relating to the client. Observing the changes in energy instead of absorbing them. Ideally, when the client leaves your space, immediately or after a couple of minutes, you should feel clean, clear and centred just as you were when you started the session.
First, here’s a list of some signs of sticky energy or energetical ‘dirtiness’:
Just to understand what the opposite of energetical cleanliness can be like, here are some examples:
Your hands might feel ‘full’ or you might be aware of pressure or a cloudy feeling in your head.
You might experience unpleasant sensations in your body that you didn’t have before the session, like pains, aches or tension.
You might even recognize thinking patterns or emotions that don’t usually belong to you. Your legs or entire body might feel lighter (ungrounded) or you might feel drained.
If you’re very sensitive you might feel heavy ‘clouds’ in the treatment room, sometimes feeling like a blanket over you, or sometimes just hanging there, in mid-air.
Tips & Tricks for keeping it energetically clean
So what can you do? Here are some ideas:
Before a session:
Always make sure you’re calm in your mind and Being when working with people. It’s difficult to stay centred in yourself if you are stressed, preoccupied or emotional.
Make sure there is no unfinished business before starting the session.
Before the client comes in, you could start with a short meditation for yourself: a simple tuning in and being present. Or it can also be appropriate to do an active meditation if you see you need to shake off something.
Make sure you know how what your own internal ‘weather’ is like before you start the session so that it’s easier to see if the weather changes due to outside factors (for example a client coming into your space)
Work in a clean space that feels good to be in. Too much clutter in the space can cause clutter in your mind and energy field.
During a session:
When you notice any of the sticky energy signs showing up during a session, help the client to place their attention back on their body, asking them to feel and breathe, and asking them if they are aware of any tensions or emotions. It might be a sign that something has come to the surface to be known or to be released. As a therapist, you might be helpful to this process.
After a session
Always open a window and let the fresh air blow through
Always wash your hands with cold water, saying to yourself: “anything that doesn’t belong to me can wash away” or “anything I feel that belongs to this client I am sending back with love because they can take care of it, I can not”. In your mind, let the client go, and come back to feeling your own body and grounding.
In case you still notice sticky energy in your hands, holding a discharging crystal in your hands, like selenite, will help you.
If you feel that during the session some heavy energy was only partially released, or the client went away with energy still buzzing, it might be helpful to burn some Palo Santo or sage to clean the space.
What might also help clear the space is to play some high-vibrational music like mantras, or play a singing bowl or gong, or any musical instrument you’re able to play or hum or sing a nice song.
Mother Earth can be a great support to you. Go outside, place your hands or even your entire body on the earth, hug a tree, take a walk and breathe some fresh air. Moving your body is anyway a very good idea.
Bonus tip: this is a particular one: clean your practice space with Effective Microorganisms. These are ‘good bacteria’ eating the ‘bad bacteria’. This type of cleaning is totally in harmony with the environment (no chemicals, fully biodegradable) and a very nice side effect is that these good bacteria will raise the vibrational frequency in your room like crazy, making it a very pleasant space to be in!
As you can see there are many ways that can help you to stay energetically clean and maintain your individual energy. In case you do notice you feel drained or ‘full’ often, even if you apply all of the above, it might be worth it to take a look at deeper causes so that you can find a sustainable solution.
Now that spring is in the air and springtime cleaning is the thing to do, it’s a good reminder to keep our energetic space clean too!
Tessa Curti-Nagtegaal is an English-speaking therapist in Amsterdam.
Over the past 12 years, she has worked with individuals and groups mostly in the areas of grounding, relaxation, emotional bodywork, holding space for -and expressing- emotions, understanding relationship dynamics and connecting with the inner child. Looking together with Tessa at the root of stress and tensions in day-to-day life situations can bring awareness, understanding and healing.
All her work is about bringing you back to your natural expression which is authentic, free, open, present, joyful and relaxed.
She has a practice space in Amsterdam Bos en Lommer for individual sessions & regularly organizes group sessions with the above themes.
For more information see: