The Therapist-Priest

Life Coaching with a spiritual intention is an interesting occupation. It is a strange mixture of the most subtle and the most technical and operates on multiple levels. Hopping between the levels without warning is the signature of the art.

In one moment I am the therapist, recalling childhood (and adulthood) traumas, digging up shadowy figures from the past (up to 1 second ago) and bringing them to the surface in a way that relieves the inner pressure and leads to an end of suffering and a greater sense of well-being. In that moment I am the psychic surgeon cutting away everything that is no longer needed or wanted and, in fact, is no longer supporting health and well-being.

But then, in the next moment, I am diving head first into the very structure of the identity itself, challenging everything my client believes to be true and undermining all their inner support. The very same identity that, on one level, I labor to liberate from pain and suffering, on another level I am denying its very existence in its totality.

Doing this is an art, of course, a high art, and one that requires many years of practice, as well the necessity of having been gifted with it naturally. To assail the identity at the wrong time creates a new trauma where you want to heal one. Not calling the identity into question leaves one in their delusions and thus robs them of the ultimate solution to all traumas and, consequently, all suffering.

It is truly a razor’s edge. But what a fun place to walk.

So I am a therapist when I work through the details of intense emotional alienation and pain or when I apply some technique to some subtle energy disruption. But then, in a moment, I become a priest of the existential, handing out communion with the Divine and leading the charge in the holy war against the most tenacious yet imaginary enemy, the picture we hold of ourselves.

Mind you, I am neither a priest nor a therapist. Nor do I play one on TV.  The word people use for what I do is Transformational Coach. I have never actually liked the term, but there is not another term in common usage. So I am kind of stuck with it. I have to call myslef something so that potential clients know who and what to look for. But the Transformational Coach is more of a Therapist/Priest. A coaching session can be both therapy and Satsang, both surgery and communion.

How and when I switch between the two, or jump between the levels remains a mystery, especially to me. As I have said numerous times, it is an art and art will always remain a mystery. Its rightness is obvious when it happens but any attempt to retrace the steps and reproduce it or to find a nice linear line of causation, will fail spectacularly. It happens. That is all. One can look back and see what happened and the beauty of it, but it cannot ever be explained and certainly not reproduced.

So I will remain GP the Coach, but I will secretly be the therapist/priest, healer/teacher, nurse/guru, surgeon/monk. I will continue to repair in one moment which in the next moment I will annihilate. Strange really but that is, in fact, the only reason to repair it. So that it is strong enough to volunteer for its own demise.

GP Walsh

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About GP Walsh

GP Walsh is a spiritual teacher, life coach, personal growth facilitator, speaker, author and workshop leader.
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