Buyer Beware! Self-help & Commercialism
Over 500,000 licensed psychotherapists are reported to be practicing today in the U.S. alone, while over 70,000 Americans hold yoga teacher certifications.
Americans spent $6 billion on yoga and yoga-related products in 2010 and spend roughly $55 billion annually on psychotherapy and medication.
Make no mistake: psychotherapy and yoga are commercial ventures. Juggernauts, you might say. And as the self-help movement continues to see exponential growth in popularity in this New Age, the number of trained “professionals” in a once niche market of the economy is likely to continue to bloom in direct proportion to the incredible amount of dollars rolling in.
Meanwhile, who among us is in charge of quality control in a time when you can earn an advanced counseling degree on-line or get a yoga teaching credential in a weekend? Who is ensuring that all of these so-called professionals are indeed professional? Who is insisting we deeply understand the human being in all its physical, energetic and mental complexity?
Some attempts at standardization have been made, but often at the expense of the authenticity of traditions that are handed down in master-apprentice format, which in many ways can’t be quantified by a board of governance. Regulatory and academic boards are often in cahoots with efforts to drive profit margins as a priority over health and service. But, perhaps checks and balances are necessary in a world where charlatans abound. So, what to do?
The onus is on us. As consumers in the alternative medical marketplace (a $34 billion business in the U.S. in 2007), we must remember a timeless commercial caveat: Buyer Beware. It is up to us as students of yoga and as clients of psychotherapy to do our own due diligence: to define our goals clearly and to exercise our highest capacity for discriminating awareness in choosing our yoga teachers and therapists.
Part science and part craft, psychotherapy and Hatha Yoga are both systems capable of provoking the individual’s real growth and, as such, often include navigation through murky and uncomfortable waters. They both require highly committed and technical training coupled with sensitivity and intuitive acumen on the part of our professional practitioners. More than that, we might say they are callings rather than jobs.
Whom do we trust to tinker with our subconscious and unconscious material? Whom would we have to help us mine our deepest, darkest aspects? As Energy of Mind counselors we want the teacher or therapist who, in our estimation, embodies the very qualities we seek to cultivate and realize. Therefore, we aim to provide the same for clients – that we walk our talk and live our lives immersed in the principles we share with others.
All of us need guidance in life, and some times we need it more than at others. At Energy of Mind we encourage our readers to discriminate as best they can in choosing a counselor. We welcome inquiries about our system, which we hope is also transparent through our numerous articles. Those who feel the right “fit” with us will be well served by our views and methods. We pray, also, that those who choose another avenue will be most adequately assisted in their journey towards health and happiness. Our most sincere wish is that everyone gets what they need, so please strive for the highest quality guide available. You deserve nothing less.
Energy of Mind: A Sauhu Therapy is working to Cultivate the Spirit of Innate Human Virtue. Please support us by taking a moment to like our page on FB, here and share this blog on your social networks of choice with the icons below. Thank you.