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Recently, I attended a spiritual seminar in Cassadaga, Florida. While I’m not what I would consider psychic, I have been told that I am empathic or sensitive to the emotions of those around me…living or dead. While it has taken me quite a long time to understand and accept that possibility, I realize that it does in fact explain quite a lot of things that seem to occur in my life. That, however, will be the subject of another column at a later date.
For me, the seminar brought a great deal of insight into one of the most serious issues that I feel plagues the majority of paranormal investigative teams…the “human” aspect. All of us in our daily lives question the sincerity of those around us. We complain about our doctors not having “good bedside” manners. We complain about the plumber, electrician, cable guy, etc. doing a fast and shoddy job, then leaving quickly to make it to the next paying appointment. We all catch ourselves saying “I bet he’d do a better job if it was his own house or family.”
The same can be said for paranormal investigative teams. Whether the team is scientific, spiritual, or a mixture of both…very few teams seem to place the level of emphasis on the “human” aspect of the client. We seldom take into account the serious nature of the investigation, in as far as it relates to the need of the client. By the time that we are called into an investigation, the clients are generally already angry, confused, terrified….even ready to close the business or move out of the home. In many cases, they have already exhausted the traditional means of fixing the problem…plumbers, electricians, contractors, exterminators…who have charged them for their labor and have solved nothing.
Teams conduct their investigations with an established level of professionalism and even confidentiality…yet time and time again we never effectively establish a good personal relationship with the client…one human being to another. Sitting down with the client, talking to them on a personal level and relating to their crisis, is an essential way to share the client’s emotional, physical…even psychological burden. By doing this, you show them that you genuinely care….not only about the work that you do…but also about them as a person. Listening to their concerns, their ideas and theories on what is happening…and working with them…not over them…to resolve the problem, encourages their hopes for success.
When possible, teams should have someone available to deal with the client on this level…whether through the use of a trained counselor or just someone who has a natural affinity for interpersonal relations. This is quite often a difficult area for teams to cover, but it should be addressed as best as humanly possible…for all concerned.
Remembering that we are as vulnerable to activity as our clients should always remind us of our need to be “human” in every aspect of an investigation. At any given moment, we could find ourselves a “client” and in need of a paranormal team that shows not only professionalism, but a much-needed “human” touch to their work.
As for me, the greatest reward for a successful investigation is a heartfelt “thank you” and more importantly…”thank you for believing in me”.