As therapists or life coaches we have a tendency to have two main traits that gets in the way of being our most successful selves.And that is being an over-thinker or being a perfectionist or both.
And the reason why I know that almost all of you are over thinkers and perfectionists is because that's actually why you're so damn successful. The reason why you got that master's degree or that licence or that PhD is because you're so perfectionistic and competitive, overthinking every strategy and fearing to fail.
The problem is : clients are not exams or research papers.
Clients are variable and inconsistent, at times difficult to manage & work with.I’ve heard this being repeated many times.
So that quality of overthinking turns into doubt and hesitancy when you're working with actual clients with real world problems.
I believe that it is important to have the confidence to welcome clients and everything they bring to the table , even when you have zero prior experience in the field.How can you achieve that?
There is one secret that I will share..read on.
It comes from you having really resolute and clear thoughts about your client.
To be honest, with therapy it starts long before you ever meet your client.
It starts with the way that you think about your client because if we think about our clients as broken or injured .. you have already lost the game.
Instead, think of your clients as heroes.. each and every one of them.
All of them - because they've all been struggling and doing the best they can for as long as they can and if you want to do some really good psychological work with them, you have to be able to think about your clients from this perspective - no matter what.
(This is only my opinion..you are free to have yours)
Because a hero is someone who faces a challenge with confidence.
Try to reflect on every single client you've ever seen - the act of coming to see you is an act of facing a challenge.
Most of the time people don't want to come to therapy because they don't want to face the thing that they have to face.
They don't want to face that childhood trauma.
They don't want to face that sexual abuse. They don't want to face that really difficult experience that they've been running from their whole life.
So by the time they've come to see you, they are actively Facing the Challenge.
I don't know about you, but I've never seen a client who wasn't courageous.
Because it takes so much courage to come & sit in your office/online and talk about things that you've never wanted to talk about before.
It takes so much courage to sit there and face the dragon that they have to face - the childhood trauma, the alcoholism, the drug abuse etc.
Question is - Can you view people through the lens of nobility? Because every human being you've ever seen has noble qualities.
So when I tell you that all of our clients have hero qualities..I'm not just making that up. I'm telling you, that they are all capable of outstanding achievements.
And we have to view them in this way if we want to have any opportunity to make a positive difference in their lives.
Personally, the moment I recognised all of my clients to have hero qualities - I could now treat them as if they have hero qualities and hold them accountable to doing things that are heroic (if that makes sense).
People say to me all the time “Not every client is a good fit” .. this is true partially.Every client will not click with every therapist & that is quite obvious & understandable.
I'm not saying that all our clients are wonderful ~ I'm saying they're capable of change and they're capable of moving their lives towards 'wonderful'.
Let me share what I do.My coaching sessions never start with these:
•I'm not asking my client, ‘What brought you into therapy?’
•I’m also not asking the second most common question ‘What do you want to talk about today?’
•I don’t even ask 'what goal do you want to achieve in your work?’
But this is what I ask instead ,’If you and I work together, in what ways would you like your life to be different?’ This,I found was always a good place to start.
And 'dear therapists' - remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup.So it is our personal responsibility to be aware of & get rid of our own limiting beliefs first before we attempt to help others.
You owe this to them.
And just imagine, the magnitude of joy your client will feel as you gently help them peel their layers until they finally see their magnificent empowered self .. which was there all along.The feeling is priceless.
I hope we can make a difference in the world, one soul at a time.
And I hope this is useful to you.
With love & gratitude,