What is essential is invisible to the eye

Once upon a time there was a frog who lived in a little pond, and one day he met another kind of frog at the edge of his pond. "Hello," said the pond frog, "What sort of a frog are you?" "I’m an ocean frog," said the newcomer, and in answer to the pond frog’s questions told him that the place in which he lived was much bigger than the pond frog’s pond. The pond frog was intrigued (although he secretly didn’t believe that anything could be bigger than his pond), and accepted the ocean frog’s invitation to accompany him to his ocean. When they arrived at the shore, the ocean frog said, "This is where I live. Come in?"

The pond frog exploded................

All over the world, people of various cultures have always been familiar with the powerful healing ocean of life, or Spirit, and give it different names: ki (Japanese), ch’i (Chinese), prana (Hindus), ka (Egyptians), pneuma (Greeks), baraka (Sufis), mgebi (Huri pygmies), yesod (Jews), wakouda (Sioux), and so on. By naming, we award a language label to the experience in order that we might further define it, share it, recall it, and by so doing it then becomes available to use it in prediction and memory. So we construct ideas of time and place. Nevertheless, when presented with the idea that the spiritual dimension is available and useful in practical, healing ways in our personal lives and in our professional practices, there are some mental health workers who choose either to stay in and around their non-spiritual pond, or, rather than change their belief system, choose to explode............

It was in the late Autumn of 1990 that a new client - who turned out to be my equivalent of an ocean frog - was referred to me, and I opened my door (literally and metaphorically) to a bright, sensitive, vivacious young woman, whose realisation of her need for some therapeutic help had become very clear to her. As soon as she entered my consulting room, my cat urgently and insistently demanded her attention in a voice she usually reserved for the family. My client put out her hand to stroke the cat who was now on her lap and asked, "What’s wrong with her?" She was a spiritual healer, and had indeed located the position of the kidneys, which were very weak after an acute infection a couple of months earlier. The vet had been pessimistic about what he described as her terminal condition, and our much loved pet of nine years had become increasingly listless and accustomed to vomiting on the carpets - isn’t it amazing that they never seem to favour the tiled areas or outdoors? My client asked permission to demonstrate her own expertise and so, as we talked, she gave healing to the cat.

And so it happened that a few minutes before each time my client was due for her session, the cat would take up a position by the front door in an alert, waiting pose. Each session she would greet the client, follow us into my consulting room, have her own brief consultation with my client, who would then give her some more healing. After a few sessions my client said she felt "something significant" happen, and indeed from that time my little cat enjoyed the best of health for over five more years, eventually slipping away gracefully into Spirit from old age.

I am glad that I chose not to explode, but that I found a way to open to my own healing gift instead. How that happened is another story and, like Sheherezade, I shall leave the telling of that for another time, maybe also another place. I am also forever thankful that I have been able to share this powerful gift first with colleagues and then with successive groups of students. What I am here proposing for mental health practitioners to consider is the idea that therapy students’
training curricula could usefully include the comparative study of culture-based spiritual beliefs and healing practices. Our own Western, Judeo-Christian culture is founded on the insights and teachings of the gifted spirit mediums and healers of biblical times. As we look outward from the vantage point of the start of the third millennium of the Christian Era, most of us accept that we are now living in multi-ethnic, multicultural communities, whose realities of spiritual beliefs the psychological practitioner disregards at his/her peril, (or rather, at the clients’ peril since the professional is usually the one in the position of power).

C G Jung wrote, "Where love rules, there is no will to power". This leads me to the heart of an important question that I now offer for your consideration. How much significance do we in the discipline of professional psychotherapy give to the concept of unconditional love? And how do we arrange it harmoniously with the idea of therapeutic neutrality? The Soul Therapy Centre staff group are accredited and experienced psychologists and psychotherapists who are also Registered Spiritual Healers. We acknowledge that we are members of a co-created culture and recognise the need to be respectful and aware of others’ perceptions of reality in our attempt to take a metaposition. This we regard as essential in order to achieve some measure of therapeutic neutrality and loving curiosity.

The power of Spirit in my understanding manifests as the tangible presence of effective love. My whole generation in the sixties applauded The Beatles when they sang to us what in our innermost souls we already knew: "All you need is love". Sophocles wrote: "One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love". In "The Little Prince", Antoine de Saint -Exupéry says: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". Umberto Maturana has been heard to define love as: "The biological stickiness".

In bringing healing to our clients in sessions that blend conscious-level healing through therapeutic conversations, "hands on" spiritual healing and subtle energy techniques, we also are trained to be aware of any energetic disharmonies in the physical context. We feel it is important for us as practitioners to have a working knowledge of the spiritual presence of a dwelling or working place, and how to remedy, improve and bring harmony to our own and our clients’ environments. The Chinese call this discipline Feng Shui, the ancient art of arranging our physical environment so that we can invite good energy into our lives from the bountiful universe. Do you realise how useful this potential ocean of bounty can be? By locating and remedying or enhancing the ch'i, or energy, of the client’s home, the work of the therapy can take a magical turn, as in the following examples:

A young woman came for soul therapy initially because of a digestive problem, which was quickly healed. She stayed in treatment because she became aware that other positive things seemed to happen in her life in the immediate aftermath of her sessions. Nevertheless, there was a basic happiness that continued to elude her. She is a strikingly beautiful, sensitive, intelligent woman, now in her late twenties, and incredibly talented and successful in her chosen profession of haute couture. "So why is it", she asked me one day, "that every time I meet a man who becomes infatuated and swears undying love, just as I am beginning to think maybe this one means what he says and it may be safe for me to let myself believe him, that he goes cold on me?" As a conventional psychotherapist I would be tempted to embark on some neat line of questioning. As a soul therapist, I instead asked her to draw a ground floor plan of her flat. I am pleased that I did, because there in the centre of the area which corresponded to her relationship energy was her fridge freezer! I gave her simple, practical advice as to how to remedy the relationship energy area without having to disrupt her entire kitchen, and very shortly afterwards she met her soul mate and they are now making wedding plans.

Another client’s relationship energy area was found in a room with cracked plaster and mould on the wall. Her relationships at the time were with a succession of weak, rather unsavoury characters with whom she felt she really had nothing in common. She had the area renovated and placed a transformational remedy correctly. She rapidly met the man to whom she is now happily married.

A third client was not so lucky. He was concerned about the seeming lack of affection shown to him by his wife. When he drew his ground floor plan, I realised that the house was built in such a way that there only existed the energy for a relationship outside of the home. He told me that he was proposing to build an extension in the near future that would internalise this important space but, before this could be completed, his wife did indeed choose to leave him and told him she had another lover.

The environment in which the client is seen, the consulting room, is extremely important for the same reasons. The discipline involves knowledge of the vibrational effect of colours also, and their use can contribute significantly to the level of creativity in one’s work. The placement of a mirror, a sculpture, a landscape painting, a windchime or other Feng Shui remedy can immeasurably enhance one’s work.

There are other seemingly magical ways to boost energy, such as the influence of floral vibrational essences, and ways of consulting ancient oracles such as the I Ching, but that too is another story, again to be told at another time, maybe also in another place. Techniques such as these bring such positive energy into clients’ lives. As a systemic practitioner I am not attached to outcomes, but the clients certainly are. It is very pleasant and frequently amazing to hear excited clients reporting more wonderful happenings after the implementation of a particular technique.

There was once a very poor but devout man who decided that he needed to win the lottery jackpot. He was so desperate that he prayed fervently. Nevertheless, every draw came and went he did not win. Eventually he became very angry with the Almighty, reproaching Him and asking Him the reason why He had not chosen to answer his prayers. The Omnipresent One replied, "I need a little help: BUY A TICKET". In soul therapy we help the client to find out where the tickets are available and it is then their decision whether or not to try them. Usually they decide to "buy", because in the course of our work the client realises that the magical and benign presence of Spirit is not a fairytale, but a practical life-enhancing energy through which they have the potential for personal growth, development, learning, peace, love, enlightenment.

For their World Congress in 1995, The World Federation of Mental Health invited submission of scientific papers on the Spiritual Aspects of Mental Health. We were invited to give a scientific paper at this Congress, in which we reported the results of our research into the effectiveness of combining spiritual healing and subtle energy work with systemic psychotherapy and gave a client feedback video presentation, "Soul Therapy". This was warmly received, since we reported that in client feedback the initial symptom had improved completely in 21.5% of cases, significant improvement was reported in 50% of cases, some improvement in 21.5% and slight improvement in 7%. None of the client sample reported no change or worsening of symptoms. 94% noted varying combinations of positive emotional, spiritual, and social gains in addition to the symptom improvements. 26% of the client sample had been told by their doctors that medical treatment could not help their condition.

During soul therapy sessions, we notice a commonality in people’s reported experience. Just as alchemy often involves the ingredients of the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, so it seems that soul therapy is enacted in the three main energy elements of physical body, mind and spirit.

Physically we find people talking about heat, pins-and-needles or tingling sensations, coldness, breezes, lifting of heaviness, pulling sensations, electromagnetic feeling or buzzing. Some talk of seeing coloured light; some who are clairvoyantly gifted even see benign entities or spirits who take recognisable forms, whilst others might smell perfumes when they least expect to do so.

Emotionally and socially, people often report positive changes in the quality of their established significant relationships. Sometimes this is simply an increased honesty which allows destructive antagonisms to be resolved in new-found connection, or sometimes in amicable separation. Indeed, we often notice that during soul therapy people begin to recognise also that new friends or colleagues are drawn to them who are there to help them along their chosen path.

Spiritually, the possibilities that unfold are described by some as ‘mind-blowing’, or equally expansive epithets. To the previously unaware, it is very exciting that it is possible to be in contact with tangible evidence in the here and now of the infinite harmony of Spirit. The experience that the Spirit World is here, in the same ‘place’ as we are but in a different dimension is new and very much welcomed by our clients.

Magical transformation in some form takes place in everyday life all the time, and we think it usual. We don’t transform base metal into gold as the ancient alchemists sought to do, but we do something much more subtle and wonderful. A thought presents itself to us, it is accommodated into our beliefs, and this is then transformed into observable changes in action patterns in the emotional and physical systems. By what process does this transformation happen? Deepak Chopra talks of the functions of the neuro-peptides:

"Ninety years after they began to emerge, the insights of quantum physics remain a mystery to most people. Yet, once you understand what the discovery of neuro-peptides means, then understanding the quantum is only a step further. The discovery of neuro-peptides was so significant because it showed that the body is fluid enough to match the mind. Thanks to messenger molecules, events that seem totally unconnected - such as thought and bodily reaction - are now seen to be consistent. The neuro-peptide isn’t a thought, but it moves with thought, serving as a point of transformation. The quantum does exactly the same thing, except that the body in question is the universe, or Nature as a whole".

When we watch children at play, venturing into the manifold possibilities of the natural universe of their imaginations, we can clearly see the magic of transformational creativity being unselfconsciously enjoyed. When soul therapy sessions are at their best, it is perhaps because we are at our most childlike and playful, where we and our clients say at some profound level, "Of course this pain can be released, of course our lives can change for the better. Why not!"

And if healing can come through to us, then why not to others? When more of us engage in bringing the positive, healing energy of the spiritual dimension into this physical world, demonstrating that we can reconnect with Spirit, the network formed could reach out and alleviate so many afflictions. Every practitioner who learns to work with Spirit heals so many more people. In this way, we increase the awareness of our personal responsibilities to ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and our environment.

A drop of water that falls into an ocean will cause a distinct, dramatic ripple at the point of impact. All the molecules of the water in the ocean have to take up more or less different positions to acknowledge the event. By healing one person, animal, plant, or place intensively and noticeably we are emanating the loving, healing effect into all living things in our world.

You, the reader, know your own skills and how it is possible to use them to bring aspects of healing to those around you. My hope is that you will be aware of how you already creatively translate ideas from Spirit into your words and actions in everyday life in ways that contribute to the positive transformation of our shared environment; that you, like my colleagues and I, are intrigued at the prospect of exploring the manifold possibilities, new directions and beginnings that present themselves as a result of being at the edge of the known; that you, like us, feel excited about the possibility of opening and offering ourselves in this way to further spiritual growth.

Come on in, the ocean is lovely.

Enquiries for training courses and workshop details to Ingrid Collins at the

Soul Therapy Centre, 28 Fortismere Avenue, London, N10 3BL,
Tel & Fax: 020 8 883 8562, or at the

London Medical Centre, 144 Harley Street, London W1G 7LD,
Tel: 020 7 935 0023, Fax: 020 7 935 5972.


Baginski, B J & Sharamon, S (1985) "Reiki: Universal Life Energy" U.S.A: Publ. Life Rhythm. (extract: List of names for spiritual energy).

Chopra, D (1989) "Quantum Healing" U.S.A. Bantam Books. de Saint-Exupéry, A (1943) "Le Petit Prince".

Sophocles (406 BC) "Oedipus at Colonus".

"I Ching, Book of Changes" (millennia ago) attributed in its first written form to the legendary Chinese Emperor Wen.

About the author:

Article written by Ingrid J Collins

Author: Ingrid J Collins
Copyright © 2023 Ingrid J Collins. All rights reserved

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