Edgar Cayce sometimes recommended the use of a companion (he also used the terms attendant, sympathetic nurse, etc.) to help in the maintenance of a therapeutic environment, particularly in cases involving major mental illness. Spiritual qualities such as kindness, gentleness, patience, etc. were important in the selection of a companion. Persons coming from Unity, Christian Science, or other "New Thought" movements were recommended in the readings. Professional counseling skills were not considered essential.
The companion's job was to keep the therapeutic process on track and adhere to the suggestions provided by the readings. The companion modeled the behaviors required of the patient and provided assistance in the use of the various appliances.
Companions were not suggested for all cases. A rule of thumb presented in the readings was that a companion was necessary "until there is an equal balance in the mental and physical activities" (386-1). In other words, if the individual was able to maintain a relatively high level of functioning (and adherence to the treatment plan), a companion was usually not recommended. Individuals suffering from schizophrenia and certain forms of depression were most often cited as needing companion therapy.