Going Pro: Why You Cannot Help Everyone

you cannot help everyone
Image: Bohemian Gothic Tarot, 1st Edition, (c) Magic Realist Press 2010

“But what if a reading didn’t seem to be helpful to a client?”

My students keep asking me this question, as they are anxious to deliver accurate readings with a big dash of wow-factor Smile

I have written about this kind of insecurity before, but here I pick up on people’s intricate nature, and my answer is as follows:

You cannot help everyone. Even the most qualified and capable psychologists, doctors and counsellors experience limitations to their knowledge and skills.

For example, cognitive therapy is supposed to help people overcome phobias and depression. It’s a useful therapeutic tool, but doesn’t always work.

It’s not because you lack knowledge or skill per se; it’s because we deal with the complicated workings of the psyche. What goes on in a client’s mind is complex, and it’s not always possible to untangle the web in one or two sessions. Sometimes even 20 sessions won’t help.

When certain issues are deeply ingrained, it can take years for someone to unravel and overcome them.

It’s not your job as a Tarot reader to do this for your client in one sitting; you offer them guidance, but it’s up to them to be determined to make a change and take action.

Remember that clients sometimes have unrealistic expectations of Tarot readings; they hope for them to be like a magic wand, providing the answer to all their questions and taking all their problems away.

Your job as a Tarot reader is to offer insight by making empowering suggestions based on the cards drawn; your client has to do the work afterwards. Not you.

But it is only natural that as a compassionate and empathic soul you want to help your client resolve their issues, so it sucks when sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

When this happens, ask yourself, if it was down to you, e.g. did you communicate clearly, was there a misunderstanding, or did your client have unrealistic expectations?

Here are some tips to help you limit these situations:

1. Be clear and realistic about what you can achieve with your readings.

2. Set your boundaries. In advance of the reading, communicate clearly what you can and cannot do.

3. Ask the client what they are hoping to get out of the reading.

4. Be aware that not every question can be answered in one sitting.

Trying to answer “big” questions, such as “I want to change career, but don’t know what I could do” are hardly ever resolved with one reading, and your client is likely to walk away still pondering. That’s normal.

Sometimes a reading is just a stepping stone on a long journey, but in most cases each stepping stone is useful, even if the client isn’t aware of it at the time or doesn’t openly appreciate it.

And with experience and acquired wisdom you will learn to handle those big questions, offering glimpses of illumination before you even look at the cards, but knowing full well that your client still has a long way to go when they leave you:

“I’ve just turned 40. Is this it? What do I do with the rest of my life?

Warmest wishes,


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Author: Christiane

Tarot explorer~spiritual tour guide~tarot courses~creative tarot resources~Certified Happiness Coach~INFJ~Hufflepuff~star gazer~moon lover~at home amongst trees

2 thoughts on “Going Pro: Why You Cannot Help Everyone”

  1. Beautifully written, Christiane. I love that you mention “it’s not that you lack knowledge and skill per se”, I think that is one of the most important things anyone in the helping or healing realm of professions can learn (providing of course that they have done the work to develop the skillset). Many times the magic that happens with a client happens after (or between) sessions, trusting the process is key. Thank you for this lovely and powerful post.:) xo

    1. Thank you, Cindie. You are also making a valid point, that the magic often happens after or between sessions. Very true..thank you for that 😉 x

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