Expanding Healing Touch into the Academic World
By Jean S. Pruett, D.Min., LPC, NCC, HTCP/I
In 2016, Nancy Green, MHA, OTR/L, and Associate Professor and Program Chair of the Occupational Assistance Department’s 2-year Associate Degree at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, began planning how to incorporate Healing Touch (HT) classes into the Department’s course offerings, and possibly into the nursing curriculum at the college. Cabarrus College is located just north of Charlotte in Concord, NC.
Nancy has taken HT Level 4 and knows how effective this work can be. She also was trained by one of Barbara Brennan’s protégés in Denver, Colorado during the late 1980’s. Nancy wanted to see more healthcare professionals have an opportunity to participate in the Healing Touch Program (HTP) training, especially as part of their career development and college work, so they would be able to incorporate HT into their healthcare practices and ongoing personal and self-care routines.
HTP’s professional accreditations and endorsements gave Nancy a great head start on approaching her administrative leadership with her ideas to offer the first three levels of HT for college credit. Because Susan Thomasson, Med, MT(ASCP)SH, LMBT, HTP-A, Director of Continuing Education, began offering HT classes several years ago as continuing education classes at a sister college, Carolinas College of Health Sciences, Healing Touch was not a strange concept to Nancy’s administration.
Once Nancy’s plan was approved and she was given permission to proceed, she contacted three HTP Certified Instructors actively teaching in the Charlotte area and invited them to be a part of her project. Arlene Mauney, HTCP/I and Healing Touch Specialist at Levine Cancer Institute, taught HT Level 1 in September 2016; Pardee Henderson, MPH, HTCP/I, IBCLC and Lactation Consultant at CMC-Pineville, taught Level 2 in November; and Jean Pruett, D.Min., LPC, NCC, HTCP/I, taught Level 3 in December. Students received three semester hours of credit for completing all three courses. As a part of the process, Nancy was able to hire each instructor as Adjunct Faculty members to teach the classes on an on-going basis.
There were seven students who signed up for the fall semester HT offerings in 2016. Their evaluations for both Cabarrus College and HTP were outstanding and made it possible for the college administrative leaders to encourage Nancy to continue and further develop the program. As a result, she has scheduled these three levels of HTP classes for both the spring and fall semesters of 2017, and students are signing up for them with enthusiasm.
These are standard HTP classes utilizing HTP curriculum with appropriate fees being paid to HTP as usual for Independently taught classes. Each Level carries 1 semester hour credit and all three must be taken in order to get the full 3-semester hour course credit. Also to meet the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requirements for college credit courses, the classes also included a self-reflection paper/journaling assignment, community service, competency of methods, and a scholarly paper reviewing an article on evidence-based information about HT. Nancy is hoping to post these papers on the College’s on-line educational board so other students can read them and be encouraged and inspired to take these classes as part of their studies.
Nancy also sees this as a benefit to the surrounding community as the students are required to demonstrate their learning through community service in the Concord area by providing demonstrations of the work and offering Mind Clearings and/or Chakra Connection for one of the local hospital’s already established programs for staff. This, of course further spreads the work of HT. Nancy also hopes to publish this work in the future with the hope that the work of HT can be spread even further and contribute even more to the health and healing of others.
In addition to all of these wonderful accomplishments, Nancy is working on developing a BA in Integrative Health Care Studies and including HT classes as required course work within this degree program. Just think, a health sciences college hiring HTP Certified Instructors to teach HT classes for college credit toward a degree! WOW!!
Hopefully, this will become a pilot project for spreading the concept to other health science colleges around the country so that we HTP Certified Instructors can have an opportunity to do even more of what we love, teaching Healing Touch. That is certainly my intention, and I invite you to join me, Nancy, Pardee, and Arlene in setting the intention that HTP classes will be taught all over the USA and beyond for college credit and become a part of all healthcare associated degree studies. All it takes is unlimited vision, creativity, teamwork, and a heart full of excited intention and anticipation. I believe we have that, so let’s do it!