Often people ask me what separates a “Practitioner” from a “Master Practitioner”. Or what separates a “good” practitioner, from a “great” practitioner from an “extraordinary” practitioner. It is a good question, and one deserving of answers.
From a technical standpoint as well as a practical standpoint, there are several criteria that filter these levels, and the piece of paper upon which their certification is printed is usually not one of them.
The simple answer first ::: what separates a Practitioner from a Master Practitioner?
From a technical standpoint, a "practitioner" is effective at the lower logical levels; they can assist a client in changing behaviors, be they addictive behaviors, habits, or context or situational reactions. They can also assist a client in changing or expanding their skills and capabilities. Whether it be to speak more effectively, or creating accelerated learning strategies, or modeling some physical, athletic, or communication based set of “skills” or capabilities or capacities.
They are likely still working to integrate their work themselves–still learning to walk their talk, but they are effective at working “on” a client. They can often point to how “others who are effective at XYZ do it” as a model.
The "Master Practitioner" can affect those levels as well as the higher or deeper logical levels. They can assist a client in altering or changing their beliefs about themselves–or about others or about the world–allowing the client to expand into previously “impossible” possibilities in relationships, or in what they can achieve. Still higher or deeper, they can assist the client in altering the very way they relate to themselves. The “kind of person” they are. Their identity and their egoic structures. And at the deepest or highest level, a Master Practitioner can facilitate change at the very level of Spirit. A profound, connected, spiritual shift that ripples out or cascades down to the rest.
They are walking their talk fully. There are no aspects of their life that are out of alignment with their espoused principles and approaches–unless quite briefly, before they right themselves again–they are the relationship coach who has an extraordinary relationship and communicates in the way they recommend, the financial coach that uses their own systems, and is affluent etc., etc. They can often point to how “they do it themselves” as a model. They are effective and come from a place of working "with" a client.
And you could say a practitioner is a “good” practitioner and a Master Practitioner is a “great” practitioner.
However, I would assert that what makes an Extraordinary Practitioner is several additional elements [at a minimum] transcending yet also including and encompassing the above :::
- Been trained in multiple, seemingly disparate approaches [a combination of Eastern and Western approaches at least]; my rule for practitioners who work with me as a client is at least 3 disciplines or “perspectives” to their training path
- Being dynamic with the client [they may have a loose framework, but it is fleshed out quite dynamically by the human being in front of them, who is a variable in the equation, to say the least]
- They know where they are headed, often multiple sessions in advance, and have an eye not only on where they’ve been, and where they are going, but also do a bit of dynamic triage at the beginning of the session and are unattached to the “plan” yet still committed to the path.
- They have no interest in ego-driven “authority” over a client and elegantly avoid any tension-filled conflict or power struggles as they are not “in the way” of being an instrument for the client and their outcomes
- Additionally, they have some understanding of the verticality [stages/waves/levels] in multiple "lines" of development and it is well integrated into their offering and work
However, there is one more component I consider critical in addition to all of the above that is an aspect of an extraordinary practitioner. Someone who is a true master and it is this :::
They understand that their client and the client’s evolution is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.
First, you build out the foundation–the corners and then the outer border. And then you find the appropriate pieces to begin to build in toward the depths of the center. If you attempt to push a piece into the corner that does not belong there, you will break a piece or “blow it out”. Similarly, if you drop a piece in the middle with nothing to connect it to, it is just confusing. No place for it to fit. No place for it to be anchored or connected to, and so it is discarded. Forgotten. Perhaps even lost.
And if that is the case, no one is served.
What truly makes an Extraordinary Practitioner is the ability to discern what the client needs, what they have already integrated, which piece they can handle next, and which piece they will need even beyond that, and to elegantly give them that next piece with wisdom, precision, and with an eye on the ultimate evolutionary expanse for the client and their mental, emotional, and egoic structures.
It takes years and hundreds of clients to be able to develop not only the insight and lack of attachment, but the timing and precision to be an agent in service of the client in this way. And when you find them, they are worth their weight in gold, to be sure.