Metal patients are not, however, there to teach me, nor for me to teach them, but to find the support for their Metal energies which treatment will offer them. With Metal I need almost say nothing and let the treatment do its work silently. The practice of silence which Metal needs is that which respects its need to solve its own problems. The silence which I have to encourage myself to offer Fire is different; it is aimed at preventing it from talking so much that it forgets why it is coming for treatment.
Finally I come to the problems I may experience in dealing appropriately with my Water patients. I do not find the demands Water makes upon me difficult to meet, although others may. The need for a reassuring approach to still the panic which lies deep within the heart of all Water people is not something alien to me, but something I feel at ease with and able to offer without feeling in any way diminished, as I may do with Earth.
My main difficulty comes from my inability to recognise the Water element in my patients quickly enough in the first place. We all know how Water likes to disguise itself and hide, and it has taken me longer to detect its presence than that of the other elements. Even now I have a tendency to see Water’s uneasy laughter as coming from Fire. Its elusive nature will often make me question whether I am really in the presence of Water or not. Once recognised, though, I feel able to offer what I think it needs, provided that I stay focused on the profound fears which lie beneath its often apparently confident surface. This most ambitious of all elements, and the one most likely to get to the top of whatever profession it chooses, harbours a terrified underbelly. I must never overlook its need for these hidden fears to be acknowledged by me, and for me to offer them the correct level of reassurance.