Many of us read Tarot because we enjoy helping others. There may be a time during our career though where we aren’t prepared for the type of help we are asked to provide. Do you know what to do if a client tells you they are suicidal, that they need help with their abusive relationship, or that they need help with a drug or alcohol problem? If you aren’t trained to deal with these situations it can leave you in a panic.
I happen to have a background in mental/behavioral health so the first time this happened to me I was lucky. I had the tools to switch professional hats and get through the situation, but most people don’t have that training. What do you do in those situations?
1.Stay calm. The calmer you are the better you’ll be able to keep your client at ease. Also, the calmer you are the better you’ll be able to think and act.
2.Acknowledge their inherent worth. No matter if the scenario is one of a desire for self-harm, a need to find the courage to ask for help to deal with an abusive situation, or a need to seek help for addiction one thing everyone can use reminding of is their inherent worth on this planet.
3.Listen. You’ll find that most people in crisis have one thing in common; they just want someone to listen to them. They often feel as if they have no voice and just want to be heard. Only give advice if you are qualified to do so.
4.Defer. Chances are that you are not a mental/behavioral health specialist and beyond the above steps you’re really not equipped to handle the depth of this person’s needs. It is important that you realize your limitations and refer clients to the appropriate resources. You can do this by giving your client the number to the appropriate national hotline for their situation. Keep these numbers with your other Tarot reading materials. You never know when you’ll need them but when you do you need them readily at hand. If you can’t find the number quickly the client may leave or hang up before they get the information they need. I also encourage clients to reach out to friends and family whom they can trust.
Here are some important numbers/websites to have on hand.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa (This site directs persons to the phone numbers to the AA in their area.)
Narcotics Anonymous http://www.na.org/ (This site directs persons to the phone numbers to the NA in their area.)
The line between Tarot advisor and therapist can be a thin one, anyone who reads Tarot has seen that. It is important that we as readers recognize when things are beyond the scope of our job and offer the client appropriate avenues. We certainly don’t want to turn our backs on someone in need and the best way for us to help clients in these situations is to point them in the direction of professionals who are trained to deal with these types of things while being as supportive as our role allows.