Tarot Clients in Crisis – How to Help

by Theresa Reed on December 18, 2014

tarot clients in crisis - how to help

If you’ve been reading tarot long enough, at some point you may encounter a client on the verge of a breakdown.

Whether the client is having a panic attack, reacting to a personal tragedy, talking suicide, or posing a danger to others, a client in crisis-mode can rattle even the most stoic reader.  You need to be prepared to handle this scenario should it ever arise.

I’ve been on that side of the tarot table on a few occasions and it’s never easy.  It requires great sensitivity, common sense, and a grounded presence.

Here are my recommendations on what you need to do if a tarot reading turns dramatic:

Remain calm.  Put on your listening ears and be 100% present. Sometimes people just want a safe, non-judgmental place to release.  You can be that, provided this is not an escalating situation and you can remain centered.

If the client is in tears, let them cry.  Don’t feel a need to “fix the situation.” Just be present. Offer a tissue if necessary.  In some cases, reaching out and touching their hand may be perfectly fine. (If crying makes you uncomfortable, you may feel compelled to change the subject – don’t.)

If you decide to continue on with the reading, be mindful of the words you use. An innocent remark or interpretation could be a trigger for someone in distress.  Be honest about what you see but use compassionate lingo.

If they get angry and blame you or the reading for their state, take nothing personally. It’s not about you. Just remind them that you care and continue to offer your support.

Refer them to the proper help. You should give them the names of at least three mental health professionals so that they have options to choose from.

DO NOT try to take the role of a licensed therapist. This is not your job and it poses legal and ethical problems.  Let them know that you cannot legally assume this role.  Once again, give them referrals to the proper help.  Make sure you protect your business by having a disclaimer on your site that clearly states your work is for “entertainment purposes only and not a substitute for psychological help.”

If you are frightened, or if they are having trouble communicating, do not handle this alone. Seek help immediately.  Call 911 if necessary.

In some cases, you may want to contact other sources of help.  This could mean contacting a loved one – or reaching out to local mental health authorities.  The client may end up being very angry at you for this but if there is a threat of violence or suicide, this may be your only option.  Although strict confidentiality is important for tarot readers, if someone’s life is at stake, you’re going to need to break that.

Sometimes, you may have to end the session or refuse to serve the client, especially if you feel at risk.  Good boundaries are essential.  Set yours and stick to them.

A situation like this can leave you shaken. Do energy work after your sessions to restore your balance.  Give yourself some time to gather your self and get back on track.

Lastly, send them as much love and light as you can.  If you have a strong relationship with the client, reach out later to see how they are doing. Care. We’ve all been in difficult situations and sometimes what we need more than anything is simply the presence of someone who cares.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  ~ Plato



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2014

Some resources:

National Alliance for Mental Health: http://www.nami.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-8255

National Youth Crisis Hotline
(800) 442-HOPE (4673)

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233

National US Child Abuse Hotline
(800) 422-4453

Planned Parenthood Hotline
(800) 230-PLAN (230-7526)

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
(800) 656-HOPE

National Domestic Violence/Child Abuse/ Sexual Abuse
(800) 799-7233

Abuse Victim Hotline
(800) 662-4535

National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline
(800) 662-4357

National Help Line for Substance Abuse
(800) 262-2463

image from stock photography

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On the other side of the coin:  How To Read Tarot When Your Life is a Mess

Ten Signs Your Business is Not Sustainable

by Theresa Reed on December 17, 2014

ten signs your business is not sustainable

Ever watch one of those reality shows where some celebrity chef comes into a failing restaurant, yells at the staff, spits out the food, and then does a complete business makeover?

Pats on the back, chef is a hero, and everything is happily-prosperous-ever-after, right? They sure lead you to believe that with the mini-recaps at the end of those shows.

Here’s a sad truth: many of these businesses still go on to fail. Check the websites a few years or months later and they’re shut down.  Out of business. Dunzo.

Why? It’s because no amount of money or celebrity thrown at a doomed business is going save it. Some businesses, even with the best intentions, are simply not sustainable.  While that may sound harsh, it’s a fact.

I’ve become adept at spotting which ones are going to make it and which are sailing a failboat towards loser city. It’s partly because I’m intuitive but also because I’ve been in business a long time and I know what it takes to stay in the game for the long haul.  (Note: I highly doubt any of these shows would ever want me to tag along because I’d be less likely to believe the after-makeover hype and more likely to say “They’re screwed, Gordon”.)

You don’t have to be intuitive nor a celebrity business expert to see the writing on the business wall. A little common sense and a reality check may reveal that your business is not sustainable.  Here are ten signs that you’re heading in the wrong direction:

  1. You have never been able to take a paycheck.  While it’s true that the first three years of a business can be a struggle, if you’re still not bringing in enough money to pay yourself five years on, you’re headed towards disaster.
  2. You can’t keep employees – or the ones you have suck. If your turnover rate is high, this says a lot about how you are running your ship.  Good employees will stick around if a business is booming and the owners treat them well.  You want great people working for you so it’s in your best interest to create a business where people want to work. Bad employees can ruin even the sturdiest biz.  Hire well and treat your employees like gold.
  3. You’re a one-man or woman show and cannot keep up with the demand. There is such a thing as too much work.  If you don’t have enough man-power to handle the work load, you’re going to crash and burn. Know when to ask for help.
  4. You’ve come to rely on passive income or affiliates to support your business. There are businesses built solely on this model. While it may seem like “easy money,” this is a recipe for failure.  Why?  It’s because now your income is reliant on someone else’s gig and you have zero control over it.  (PS if you have a business that is created on not having to actually work, you need to check yourself.)
  5. Your paperwork is a disaster or non-existent.  You haven’t paid taxes in you don’t know how long. I’ve seen tax problems shutter doors on many a biz over the years.  If you cannot manage to keep your records and file on time, you’re going to have big problems down the road.  Don’t blame the IRS if you’re not doing your part.
  6. You refuse to adapt to modern technology.  You don’t have a website and you are still running things old skool (ex: fax machines and the Yellow pages).  While some businesses can thrive without any of the state-of-the-art tech stuff, many businesses benefit from a major upgrade.  Unless you are running a revered centuries-old family-run samurai sword making business, you need to be current.  (PS no one uses the Yellow pages – they all Google.)
  7. You’re deep in debt.  That’s a no-brainer but many businesses still try to limp along, even if they can’t pay their bills. Try operating your business while fielding phone calls from collection agencies or worrying that your lights may be shut off at any minute. That’s no way to work – or live.
  8. You’ve got a bad reputation. Poor customer service, sloppy craftmanship, rudeness, chronic lateness, lack of follow-through or a filthy environment can earn you negative street cred.  While it’s normal to have a disgruntled customer from time to time, if your reputation stinks, you’re sunk. Do what you say you will and act like a pro. Clean up your mess!
  9. You’ve lost interest.  The thrill is gone.  No passion?  Buh-bye business.  People can tell when you are not in it it win it. Who wants to root for the team that doesn’t give a shit?
  10. The public has lost interest.  They’ve moved on to someone who has more pizzazz, talent, works harder to take care of them – or is a better marketer. If clients start to dwindle and move on to the hot new thing down the street, you know what’s coming next.  Unless you find a way to get their attention, it’s a good sign you’re slowly moving towards irrelevance.

If you see your biz in any of those signs, you CAN turn things around – and you don’t need to be on some business-makeover reality show to make that happen. It may take time and a lot of work, but it can be done.

Please remember this: entrepreneurship is rarely an easy gig and it’s not for everyone. Sometimes even the greatest idea or effort doesn’t lead to success. Do your best – but if it doesn’t work, know when to admit defeat and move on.

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2014

image from stock photography

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