G-0LXZDGBNQ6 The Ethics of Using Essential oils in Clinical Practice with DeeAnna Nagel - The Holistic Counseling Podcast


Published on:

16th Jul 2021

The Ethics of Using Essential oils in Clinical Practice with DeeAnna Nagel

Are you curious about using essential oils in your counseling practice? What are some of the ethical considerations to be aware of when working with essential oils in your sessions? How can you introduce your clients to essential oils?


DeeAnna Nagel, LMHC is a former psychotherapist turned aromatherapist and intuitive. She integrates energy healing and intuition as well as chakra balancing and essential oils into her work with others. Her greatest passion is guiding people toward their soul's purpose. She holds several credentials in the healing arts.

Find out more at her website and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Guidelines for using essential oils safely and ethically
  • Safety with essential oils
  • Essential oils and informed consent


  • Get certified and take a course. There are many aromatherapy schools that teach short courses and introductions.
Our scope of practice in most states says [that] if you are going to introduce any new thing, you must demonstrate that you have training. It is worded differently in every state, but that’s the gist. (DeeAnna Nagel)

You can use essential oils as a kind of prompt, or journal prompt. Wave the bottle under someone’s nose and ask them to write down or discuss what it brings up for them. It can be that simple.

  • Know your client’s experience: ask your client if they have had any experience with essential oils before bringing it into practice.

What it is that they do or do not know will inform you and give you clues as to where you need to teach them more, or what else you can introduce them to.

Ask your clients if they have any experience with essential oils. If they do, and they have used the essential oils “straight” (without carrier oil) then you will give them different advice or guidance as opposed to another client who has never worked with essential oils before.

Avoid discussing medical practices of essential oils with your clients.

I teach people that they can either rely on the systems of the body like the digestive and respiratory system, or they can rely on the chakra system. Whichever systems you use, you speak to the oils as in “this particular oil really supports the respiratory system” … [use the word] supports. (DeeAnna Nagel)


  • Avoid going in the sun for extended periods of time right after having applied essential oils, especially citrus kinds such as lemon or bergamot.
  • Do not purchase essential oils from huge companies where they can be mass-produced, such as Amazon. If you want to purchase essential oils, look for local outlets that make them in smaller batches because then you will be more likely to purchase essential oil that is natural and free of additives and scents.
  • Avoid placing oils in membrane areas of your body such as your eyes. If you do get the essential oil in your eye, do not flush it out with water: flush it out with a carrier oil.
  • Test an essential oil on the inside of your wrist to test your skin’s reaction to it.
As a psychotherapist or coach or a helper or healer of any kind, again, the best thing we can do is empower our client to learn their bodies, whether you’re talking about mindful eating or essential oils or suggesting yoga. The client needs to know their body. (DeeAnna Nagel)


If you are supplied with essential oils from a company and you are distributing those oils to your clients through sales, you are not allowed to sell them to your clients because that is considered a dual relationship.

If you sell oils to your clients and they sell oils to other people, you become their employer, and that breaches ethical considerations.

Recommend to your clients that if they would like to purchase an essential oil that they get a high-quality one. Do not push for a certain brand or company, as that could land you in ethical trouble.


DeeAnna Nagel - Essential Soul Care: Your Guide to Designing an Expansive Life [in progress]

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Show artwork for The Holistic Counseling Podcast

About the Podcast

The Holistic Counseling Podcast
Answering the call to build your holistic practice
The Holistic Counseling Podcast hosted by Chris McDonald, a Licensed Professional Counselor, inspires mental health therapists to explore treatment options outside the realm of traditional therapy. Yes, Chris knows all about the stigmas attached to holistic therapy, yet she also knows how the client benefits far outweigh the looks, what-ifs, and worries about what people will think of you as a Mental Health Professional.

With a 200-hour Yoga Teacher and Group Practice Owner to her name, Chris specializes in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief in young adults. She has seen firsthand how beneficial mindfulness, relaxation skills, meditation, and yoga have been in supplementing traditional therapy - especially in today’s world.

If you’re a Mental Health Therapist looking for the most up-to-date holistic treatments and wanting to learn how to integrate them into treatments, The Holistic Counseling Podcast is just for you! Chris helps you take your practice to the next level with a thriving holistic counseling service that you can give with confidence. Are you ready?

About your host

Profile picture for Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holistic provider with a group practice, “Path to Hope Counseling” in North Raleigh. She is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and offers gentle yoga classes, workshops and private yoga sessions. She specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma and grief in young adults in transition. She teaches clients relaxation skills, mindfulness, meditation and uses Brainspotting in treatment of trauma. Chris also offers Therapy for Therapists and wrote the book “Holistic Self-Care for Counselors.” She is passionate about helping other Mental Health Therapists and created “The Holistic Counseling Podcast.” Her favorite holistic daily rourtines include yoga and meditation.