Shelly Wilson

The Technicality of Terminology

Does receiving a certificate for taking a class imply being certified or even certification?

I was prompted to write this blog because I am often asked if the Reiki classes I offer are certified to which I quickly reply that from my perspective there is a misconception around the terminology. People use the word and don’t realize what it implies or what it entails. Who is certifying you?

Does the term certified have a connotation of credibility or prominence and that is why it is needed?

I have been practicing, teaching and attuning others to Reiki since 2009 and am very conscious about word usage. For those unfamiliar with Reiki – Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. We are all made up of energy, and everyone has the ability to channel energy. Reiki is a healing modality that one becomes attuned to through a Reiki Master.

As a Reiki Master, I encourage my students to follow their intuition with hand placement and also to make Reiki their own by incorporating whatever tools they have in their tool belt. Personally speaking, I like to utilize tuning forks, the singing bowl and even crystals during a session. Others may choose to work with essential oils or incorporate other modalities in a session. I offer suggestions to my students, but don’t dictate specific or even mandatory protocols.

To explain why I’m being so technical in regards to the term certified and its usage, I wish to offer the following definitions according to Google dictionary –

Certify: officially recognize (someone or something) as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards

Certified: officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards

Certificate: a document containing a certified statement especially as to the truth of something;
specifically a document certifying that one has fulfilled the requirements of and may practice in a field

Certification: the action or process of providing someone or something with an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement; an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement.

Based on the definition, a certificate implies being certified, but I view it more as being certificated. Yes, that is a term, too!.

The certificate I provide to someone who has attended the combined Reiki I/II class that I offer indicates “This is to certify that ___________ (fill in blank with name) has received the necessary attunements and knowledge for Reiki levels I & II, has demonstrated comprehension of its principles, symbols and techniques, and is now able to treat others.”

However, I don’t state or advertise that I teach a certified Reiki class. The class description denotes:

Join Reiki Master Shelly Wilson as she brings these two degrees together in a one-day workshop.

The first degree focuses on opening up the physical body so that it can accept and channel greater quantities of the life force energy. It is also a permanent attunement to the Reiki energy.

The second degree focuses on opening the emotional body to the Reiki energy. You will be learning remote and mental/emotional healing. You will also learn to use symbols to increase the power from the Reiki source through the heart chakra.

No special requirements to enroll and this class will include ICRT manual, training, attunement and certificate.

I recognize that it is a matter of perception and interpretation. Obviously, I’m not the Reiki police nor even the language police, and perhaps I am being too much of a stickler with regards to this terminology.

The people who indicate certified….I would question who is certifying/who are you certified by? What testing process did you go through? What protocols do you follow?

Of course, if someone wishes to utilize the term certified because they received a certificate, then it’s completely up to them to do so! To avoid confusion or misinterpretation, perhaps it would be prudent to proclaim it a participation paper rather than using the term certificate.

I’m curious to get your input…. What are your thoughts? Does receiving a certificate imply being certified or certification?

In closing, although this blog focuses on Reiki, I do believe there are other instances where the term certified may be questioned in regards to its usage, especially involving courses and modalities.