Radiant heart therapy, also known as the Radiant Heart process, is an energy healing approach designed to help people work through the process of grief by addressing imbalances or disruptions in the natural flow of energy in the body.
Radiant heart therapy stems from the belief that a person can reaffirm and cleanse their aura by reconnecting with a sense of unconditional love. A qualified therapist or counselor might provide this type of therapy to individuals seeking help for any kind of grief, loss, unaddressed trauma, or concerns experienced as a result of these difficulties.
This approach to treatment was born out of psychologist Sharon Wesch's work in holistic psychotherapy. Wesch's spiritual beliefs and studies in the Buddhist tradition of healing guided her in the foundation of the Holistic Medical Center in 1984. Her theoretical beliefs in Eastern forms of healing, along with her clinical experiences, led her to realize the need to focus on the heart chakra in order to empower people to love themselves unconditionally. She believed that once the people she worked with were able to reach this unconditional love, the psychological and physical symptoms they experienced would subside, allowing them to find greater joy in their daily lives, in spite of any challenges they faced.
Wesch compiled her experiences with people seeking treatment from the Holistic Medical Center to write The Radiant Heart: Healing the Heart, Healing the Soul, which was published in 1995. Her development of radiant heart therapy reflects Buddhist traditions, such as the focus on the heart chakra as the center for unconditional love and the belief that every person has an aura, or spiritual presence that creates a bubble-like energy around the person and can become negatively affected by life traumas and challenges.
The central idea upon which Radiant Heart Therapy is founded is the Buddhist concept of the heart chakra, or the belief that the heart is the center of unconditional love and compassion in the body. When people experience disruptions in their lives or imbalances that upset the flow of energy in the body, the heart, considered the source of life. is then the path toward harmony and healing The heart provides energy that promotes healing and restoration throughout the body, helping individuals to develop or restore an internal sense of balance and peace.
Throughout the therapy process, the therapist guides an individual through a series of affirming statements while encouraging them to freely engage in a technique such as meditation, breathwork, or talking therapy. Through the use of these affirming statements, the therapist helps the person to turn down any self-criticisms that may arise as they engage in therapy in order to allow the affirmations to overpower any self-judgments. Through this process, the person may then be able to identify their true sense of inner peace, accord, and affection and may also be able to reconnect with the authentic self, which proponents of the approach believe to radiate from the heart.
Once the true self is discovered, the therapist is often able to help a person connect that self to a source of power and love. At times, individuals may struggle to recognize themselves as being worthy of love, and this can often contribute to the development of psychological, emotional, and even physical symptoms. This approach can help people learn how to embrace love and turn it in toward themselves to release the energy of grief and other emotional pain.
Wesch continues to practice Radiant Heart Therapy and also certifies practitioners in the approach with a designation of Radiant Heart Healing Practitioners. She travels across the country to provide training and workshops to therapists interested in the treatment modality and also provides instruction in her technique Birthing Radiant Babies. Attending a Radiant Heart Healing workshop or training session is currently the only way to become certified in the practice.
This modality was developed to work with people going through a process of grief, which is known to potentially interfere with a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual functioning. Radiant Heart therapy can be applied to all forms of grief, whether a person is grieving the loss of a loved one to going through a major life transition and grieving, regretting, or otherwise adjusting to new realities and changes.
The approach might also be applied in the treatment of individuals who are experiencing depression and low self-esteem, especially when these concerns are due to frequent losses or unresolved instances of trauma. This method is also used to facilitate positive communication in couples expecting a child to help them learn to better express their emotions and feelings and thus prepare for the arrival of the baby.
Offered as an individual or group approach to treatment, Radiant Heart Therapy can involve any number of techniques in its practice, meditation, yoga, breathwork, creative arts, and talk therapy among them.
The efficacy of Radiant Heart Therapy is not currently supported through empirical evidence. Within networks of therapists who utilize and support the efficacy of Eastern healing practices, the practice is recognized and accepted. However, it is not a standard approach to treatment utilized in most Western-based practices, largely because it lacks scientific support.
Within the foundation of Buddhist healing, there is some scientific support for the effectiveness of spirituality in promoting wellness practices in people’s daily lives. This, however, is also a limitation of the approach, because a person typically needs to have some spiritual belief system in place in order to experience the techniques with an open mind. While this is not a limitation of the therapy itself, it does limit the populations the approach can reach.
In addition, radiant heart therapy may not be as effective with people living with more serious mental illness until they reach a level of psychological stability that can allow for self-growth and internal discovery.
- McArthur, D. S. (2003). The radiant heart: Healing the heart, healing the soul, and birthing radiant babies. Munster, Indiana: Radiant Heart Press.
- Using radiant heart healing to heal grief after infant loss. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.radianthearthealing.net
- What is APPPAH? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://birthpsychology.com/content/what-apppah