Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Reiki (Healing system), Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Holistic medicine, Touch-Therapeutic use, Reiki, Therapeutic touch


This study was undertaken to explore the experience of mental health professionals who use Reiki in their therapeutic practice. Secondly, the study examined clinicians' perceptions of the efficacy of Reiki in a mental health setting. Recruitment letters were sent out via internet professional listservs to individuals who held both Reiki certification and mental health licensure. Sixteen participants, twelve social workers and four licensed mental health counselors, were interviewed regarding their views on the integration of Reiki within their practice. Narrative data was collected that described clinicians' personal experiences with Reiki, their practice and how they considered Reiki as a therapeutic intervention within their profession. The findings of this study supported the previous literature that Reiki has been proven to alleviate tension and anxiety, decrease the perception of pain improve communication among clinician and client, and reduce emotional distress. Virtually all the clinicians in the sample noted that Reiki speeds up the therapeutic process for their clients as well as creating a body-mind awareness that may have been lacking before Reiki integration. Findings from this research may contribute to the ongoing dialogue regarding therapeutic touch and body-based clinical social work practice. As shifting trends indicate a need for an expanded approach to healing, including holistic medicine, the following research may convey an implication for expanded education in clinical social work practice.




64 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-58)