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"When I tune into intuition, I feel that Iím tuning into God. It feels like itís the Great Wisdom that one can tune into."
Dr. Judith Orloff: Interview
Dr. Judith Orloff recently spoke with SpiritSite.com about the ideas from her new book, Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing.
SpiritSite.com: As you described in your first book, Second Sight, you had quite a growing-up process Ė you were a rebellious yet highly intuitive teenager who became a professional psychiatrist, and eventually a true intuitive healer. Was this "growing" process difficult?
Dr. Judith Orloff: Yes, it took many years. In retrospect, looking back, it was perfect. But going through it, particularly as a child, it wasnít easy. When children have these kind of intuitive abilities and theyíre not seen, it can cause many problems. I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me Ė I was predicting all these negative things, and wondered if I was causing them Ė and at a certain point my parents told me not to mention any of my premonitions to them. So I learned that it wasnít safe to express this part of myself, and I became a secret-keeper. It took many years of healing and "coming out" for me to gain confidence in my voice.
Was the transition from being a psychiatrist into being a "spiritual psychiatrist," if I may use the term, challenging, too?
In a way it was, because when I went through medical school I strayed very far from the whole intuitive and spiritual world, and became indoctrinated in medical science. It wasnít until I opened up a practice in psychiatry that I began to integrate the intuitive. I had a patient who came in, who I treated for depression with anti-depressants. She was getting a lot better, but when I was with her one day in session, I looked outside my window and saw a cloud. I went into a kind of trance state, and in this trance state I had a premonition that she was going to try to kill herself. Because I wasnít listening to those kind of things then, I didnít honor the premonition or even inquire about it, and my patient ended up overdosing on the pills I prescribed for her. She survived, but that was the impetus for me to integrate intuition into medicine.
What do you feel your calling is at this time?
Changing the mainstream health care system Ė just going right to the heart of it. Iím speaking at the American Psychiatric Association in May on intuition and patient care. My interest is in making this available to patients.
In your newest book, Dr. Judith Orloffís Guide to Intuitive Healing, you suggest that we all have the capacity to develop intuitive abilities. Can you elaborate on this?
I think that each of us is born with a sense of vision and an ability to see. However, in our culture weíre not encouraged to use those abilities, and so they become really dormant. A lot of people, after they become adults, sense that something is missing. What theyíre looking for is the voice of wisdom, the voice that we can find when we go inside. If people can learn how to be quiet and go inside themselves, everyone can find it.
How about people who are born highly intuitive, like yourself Ė would you consider these people different than others?
I think intuition is like musical or artistic talent, where people might come into this life with a certain amount of it. However, intuition is something you can develop. Although I was born with it, I want to stress that I have worked very hard over the years developing it Ė with patients, with remote viewing experiments, and so forth. Itís a process of very practical application Ė seeing where Iím off, seeing where Iím on Ė and continual learning. I consider myself a student of intuition. I feel very strongly that for people to gain physical, emotional, and mental health they have to tap into this part of themselves. Itís impossible to truly access the core of it until you can hear your intuition.
Would you consider the psychic and spiritual realms one and the same? Would you say highly intuitive people are naturally spiritually-oriented?
Not always. Thatís how I define it for myself Ė when I tune into intuition, I feel that Iím tuning into God. It feels like itís the Great Wisdom that one can tune into. But there are a lot of classes that teach intuition just as information-gathering and donít bring spirituality into it at all. Iím not interested in that, personally Ė I myself teach intuition for healing, and as a function of the heart. Iíve been lucky Ė Iíve always, always been aware of God, from the very first time I can remember anything.
How difficult has it been to get your ideas across within the medical establishment?
My attitude has been never to be confrontive with the medical establishment. I try to integrate everything from traditional medicine with everything from intuition. I donít draw any conflict between the two. For that reason, the way I approach doctors is with a very loving stance. I understand that they simply donít have first-hand experience with this. Itís a slow chipping-away process that I think works Ė so much so that at U.C.L.A. where Iím on staff, theyíve assigned a resident for me to supervise. I think the reason I have succeeded is because of my attitude Ė itís simply an educational process.
Thank you for your time, and best of luck with your work.