Published on January 14, 2017

– how 22 years with human suffering has defined my connection with spirit.


Trigger warning: this article refers to death, dying, child death, parental grief. 


For years I struggled with the two opposing sides of my career. I was and still am super protective of my professional career as a mainstream accredited social worker | grief and relationships therapist. I am bound by a code of ethics and professional practice is very important for me. This means that I have clients with whom I don’t ever mention a peep about my spiritual work.


I may be in session with a mainstream client and their loved ones in spirit may be present too but I will never say a word about it as they have not come to me for that.


They have come into my care so that I can help them using my mainstream knowledge and experience to find their way through their suffering. I feel very privileged to do this work and as a result I would never compromise the work or the person by losing sight of my professional boundaries and blurt out a statement about what their mother in spirit has to say about their heart break. It is not my professional place.




Katrina Cavenough - FigTree2

Photo: Elizabeth Allnutt Photography



As a medium though; my work as a therapist has a massive impact. When I am connecting with loved ones in spirit I can feel the presence of the 22 years I have worked with people and as a therapist solidly in the room. My experience working with human suffering deepens the exchange I am having with the person before me in the session.


The truth is that when you have been frontline with so much death and human suffering then you are never quite the same again.


The sound of a mother wailing at the loss of her baby or adult child will remain within my hearts memory forever. It is the most distinct sound. Whether it is a mother holding her baby that has just passed over or a parent saying good bye to their 30 something child who has just died; there is a universal sound made by every woman. This reinforces to me that when it comes to such a loss our response is a primal one expressed in a guttural cry of deep despair.


All of me has been present as I witnessed first hand the impact death has upon those who had no idea they would lose someone they loved that day. My experience with hundreds of sudden and unexpected deaths left me with an understanding of the indescribable pain people feel when they are forced to say good bye to someone they love who has died too soon and so unexpectedly.


Whilst these experiences have left their mark; they have also given so much in a way that I could never have imagined. When I am opening up and connecting with spirit it is like there are four elements coming together. There is the client, the spiritual world, myself as the medium and then there is also the 22 years of experience I have had as a therapist working with human pain and suffering. It is the forth element in the room.


The way the light moves through the moment connects me with the pain my client is experiencing. I feel it energetically and empathically, But as I do connect with their pain, my body remembers just what that pain has looked like in real life.


It is not some distant concept. It is very real for me because I have been there frontline when people are actually in that moment of loss or psychological trauma and despair.


This means that as a medium I am careful, delicate and gentle in the way I approach, talk about and share messages from loved ones in spirit. I know the feeling of unhealed wounds and I also have witnessed the power that comes when a person can release themselves from those ties that bind them.


I feel that my capacity to give a person unquestionable evidence that I am talking to their loved one in spirit is crucial to the mediumship process. So in this way being able to give the person information that I could not have known (evidential mediumship) is a non negotiable, as I want that person to have no uncertainty at all about whether I am actually connecting with their mother, brother, husband or wife or child who is now in spirit.


Once I have been able to provide enough evidence so my client can trust that we are talking to their loved one in spirit then I take time to explore those unanswered questions and heal those wounds and bring comfort and reassurance. Sometimes it is not as heavy as that and there are lots of funny moments and jokes from the other side. And many times there is both healing and laughter.


There is no accident that my life has transpired in this way. People tell me all the time that I am different. I have wondered how my life would have been if I had just started in my 20’s as a medium and that was all I knew. I have no idea what that would be like as only know the life I have lived.


For me; the past 22 years in the mainstream clinical professional field informs every moment I share as a medium. To know pain has deepened my connection with others. It has strengthened my sense of empathy to an indescribable level.


Years ago I could never have imagined that there would be a connection between my work as a medium and as a therapist. Whilst I keep my mediumship right out of my professional mainstream work; when it comes to the other way around I could never have understood just how much being a therapist would enrich my life as a medium.


So I have done my best here to answer the question that so often comes my way. It is truly so hard to describe what happens. All I know is that I use all that I am to be of service and that’s all I can do to help.