Dex: The “E-meter” is a device often used by Scientologists as a means of verifying or determining a client’s reactions, and/or what course of action to take in sessions. It generates and passes a very slight, generally unnoticeable current through the client and back into the meter, and measures how much current returned in completing the circuit, which means that it shows how much resistance (in electrical terms, “ohms”) the current encountered in passing through and back. As a session progresses, it will show relative changes in that resistance. In conventional “standard” Scientology, this is accomplished by having the client hold, in each hand, a specially designed can connected with insulated wires to the meter, through which the current passes from the meter, to the client through a can held in one hand, and back to the meter through the can held in the other hand. The cans transmit the current.
The changes in electrical resistance measured by the meter reflect emergence, presence, and diminishing of material that comes to mind in the session. The meter is intended to help the counselor (“auditor”) to know what is happening with the client.
It might be said that the meter is of value to the degree that what is happening with the client is not otherwise going to be noticed by the counselor. But then, there is the factor of debilitating or limiting what the counselor might otherwise find the ability to directly perceive, through the “crutch” of depending on the device, and the inescapable fact of the counselor dividing his attention between the meter and the client, and most importantly, there is the factor of debilitating the client, through the tacit assertion that “the meter knows me better then me, and is more trustworthy than what I think is happening within me, or what is really important for me to address in my sessions”.
While I have had very thorough training, and many years of experience, having mastered the use of the e-meter, ultimately I’ve concluded that, generally, the drawbacks outweigh the supposed advantages of interposing such a device between you and me.
I conducted a research project, involving clients I had been counseling with the use of the meter, and then, continuing with my same general techniques and processing approach, with each client’s acceptance, engaged in a series of sessions without the meter, and thus the only variable was whether or not the meter was used. Each and every client expressed feeling that the sessions were better, more effective and meaningful, without involving the meter.
Here is the testimony of one such client:
“I’ve been auditing with Dex for several months now. And it’s been going very well. The last several sessions, we decided to stop using the meter. As a result, I’ve noticed a few changes.
For one thing, any pressure that was there because of the e-meter – like wondering if something read, or if my needle floated, or if I was getting adequate tone arm action – has fallen away. And because now all the indicators about how I’m doing come directly from me, I feel more comfortable telling Dex how I’m doing in my sessions, and I don’t have to worry about the meter agreeing with how I feel. Actually, I didn’t even realize I had a little worry about that until we took the meter out of the equation.
The sessions using the meter were going well, but they’re going even better now. In my last few sessions, everything we’re addressing is exactly something I’d hoped to handle when I first got in Scientology in 1989. What a refreshing experience!”
S.O., April 2015
And so, generally speaking I no longer conduct counseling sessions in which any device sits in between my client and me, although if there should be a client who isn’t comfortable enough without the presence of the e-meter, then I would accommodate that client for as long as he or she feels that strongly about it.