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The Growth and Evolution of Spiritual Healers

by Dr Daniel Benor(more info)

listed in psychospiritual, originally published in issue 99 - May 2004

Many assume, as I did when I was starting on my path of developing my healing gifts, that spiritual healing is an intuitive skill which one develops for the restructuring and repair of the bioenergetic vessel that is a human being, much as one would develop ones skill at playing football or learn carpentry, bricklaying and electrical wiring to build and remodel a house. This is actually a reasonable approximation of the initial stages of development, which many go through in learning to become a healer. There are certain basic tools and skills one usually develops, when one is having to learn spiritual healing – rather than finding this gift awakening and blossoming on its own. Even gifted natural healers, those fortunate souls who have come into their healing abilities spontaneously, often need coaching in developing and applying their healing abilities. My initial impression was that once healing gifts were developed, like opening a faucet of spiritual healing energies, they would flow with reasonable consistency.

As I've spoken with hundreds of healers over more than 20 years, I've found that a better analogy for developing one's healing gifts would be the parallels with development of musical or sporting gifts. While initially one leans the basics which are required for healing interventions, the more one practises, the deeper are the lessons and the more profound are the healing effects that one can evoke in the healing encounter. The initial focus of novice healers is often on the presenting symptoms. Healees come with pains, frozen shoulders and other physical disabilities, anxieties, depression and the rest of the spectrum of human and animal ills. While it is satisfying to be able to offer spiritual healing, with the knowledge that it very often helps and cannot harm, healers invariably find healees who do not respond to spiritual healing. Those who remain water faucet healers stop there, saying that, "the healee obviously wasn't ready to let go of the symptoms" or "the time wasn't right for healing". While there is no denying that this is true, and that the 'Infinite Source' knows when it is right for a person to have their healing and when suffering might be the most important lesson a person could have, this is not the final answer to explain in every case why people do not respond to healing.

Those who are musicians or athletes seek to enhance their understanding of illness: to expand their repertoire of healing vibrations, and to develop ever more sophisticated approaches in the sport of fishing in the deep waters of the human condition. I came into conscious awareness of my healing gifts after completing undergraduate studies in psychology, medical school and psychiatric specialty training – at a time when psychiatry was mostly psychotherapy and barely involved prescription of medications. It took me several years to overcome my hesitations to openly integrate spiritual healing with psychotherapy. I found that the healing markedly facilitates releases of old emotional hurts, eases the anxieties that are associated with therapy, and opens people to their personal spiritual awareness.

Throughout my psychotherapy career I have continued to search for ever more sophisticated and potent ways to help people to heal their dis-ease and disease. A wonderful spectrum of psychotherapeutic and self-healing approaches is available. I've studied and offer many of these for dealing with challenging physical and psychological problems. I am increasingly able to match the person and the healing approach that is most likely to help. Still, the question of why some people are not responsive to healing nags at me. With time and greater wisdom, one comes to appreciate that healing is probably more like gardening than like other activities. The healer applies the fertilizer of learned wisdom, but – more importantly – invites the healee to connect with the energies of earth, water and air, and to open to the light of the 'Infinite Source'. And the healee grows at the pace that is right and appropriate for that seed, sprout, flower, and tree. And the healer shines the modest light of love the healer can channel (relative to the 'Infinite Source', the healee can connect with directly). And the healer waits patiently for the healee to grow to the extent and in the ways that the healee is meant to grow… and knows that there will be no faster growth by pulling at the stalk to make it grow faster. Over the 23 years of my explorations in healing, I have found that my gifts grow deeper roots, branch out in unexpected directions, and flower in ways I would never have guessed or predicted.

Having spent close to 20 years in the study of as many aspects of spiritual healing as I could identify, I found myself back working in conventional psychiatry for a living – as I could devise no reasonable ways to earn a living through the practice of my passion. I trained in psychiatry in the days when it was mostly psychotherapy and had only minor indications for the prescription of medications. As psychopharmacology developed into a major therapeutic intervention, the balance of work in my chosen profession evolved into the prescription of medications as its major focus, with psychotherapy parcelled out to psychologists, social workers and counsellors. I refused to capitulate and to totally abandon the practice of teaching people the arts of sleuthing in the shadow of the unconscious and collective consciousness, the sculpting of psyches and the harmonizing of relationships. It was extremely challenging, however, to manage to pursue these passions in the framework of half hour sessions once a month. I prayed for guidance and inspiration, and was led to discover a series of self-healing approaches that readily lend themselves to brief therapeutic interventions.

Suggested reading

Benor Daniel J. Healing Research: Volume I, Spiritual Healing: Scientific Validation of a Healing Revolution. Southfield. MI: Vision Publications. 2001.
Benor Daniel J, Healing Research: Volume I, Professional Supplement. Southfield. MI: Vision Publications. 2001.
Benor Daniel J. Factors influencing healing, International Journal of Healing and Caring. Online. 4(4): 1-5. January 2004.

Further Information

Editor, International Journal of Healing and Caring – Online. P.O. Box 502, Medford, NJ 08055 Tel: 609-714 1885; Fax: 609-714-3553;


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About Dr Daniel Benor

Daniel J. Benor, M.D. is a psychiatrist in New Jersey who blends wholistic, bodymind approaches, spiritual awareness and healing in his practice. He is the author of Healing Research, Volumes I-IV and many articles on wholistic, spiritual healing. He appears internationally on radio and TV. He is on the Advisory Council of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychotherapy (ACEP). He is editor and producer of the International Journal of Healing and Caring ­ On Line See more by and about Dr. Benor at:


    Professor Sheik Imam is a famous professional leading African Healer who works with powerful spirits

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