5 Things I’ve Learnt From My Clients as a Therapist
I’ve been working as a therapist for almost ten years and firmly believe that there is something to learn from every single client. I believe that the day a therapist doesn’t learn something from a client is the day they should stop being a therapist.
Over the years I’ve learnt a lot from my clients but here are the top five:
- Every client is individual and must be treated as one. As a therapist I specialise in weight loss, quitting smoking and anxiety. I’ve seen hundreds of clients with each of those issues, but each case is never the same. Someone may want to lose weight and have an emotional eating issue. Somebody else may want to lose weight because they’ve given birth but struggled to lose the baby weight. Everyone is different and no two clients are the same. That’s why every therapy session must be tailored to the needs of the client. What works for one client may not be right for another.
- Clients will do better in therapy when they want to. Sometimes clients think therapy is going to be like having a magic wand waved over them and suddenly everything will be ok. The truth is that clients need to want the positive change in their lives and be ready to meet me half way in order to achieve it. I’ve learnt that clients who are not ready to put in that work are unlikely to achieve life changing results. I’m a highly skilled professional and can absolutely help people to achieve positive results through hypnotherapy, but the client must choose whether they want those results or not.
- Good rapport with clients is essential. I’m a pretty easy-going person. I’m relaxed, and people often say I’m “very chilled out”. I like to think that I can get on with most people and I try to create an open, friendly environment in my therapy room so that clients feel relaxed and able to discuss anything they want with me. It helps rapport to build, which is an essential ingredient for successful therapy. Although I need to know what the client’s issue is and make sure I’m using the right techniques to help them, clients feel most relaxed and secure in therapy when I’m not talking about theoretical stuff and instead leaving the textbook I’ve swallowed to one side. Just being with the client, talking with them in a natural, human way, and listening is what matters. It helps to build that connection and empower clients to make the changes they desire.
- How clients talk to themselves plays a big part in their mindset. Do you remember being told there is no such word as ‘can’t’? I can remember being told that as a child. It really annoyed me because I knew that I couldn’t do a particular thing. However, as an adult it all makes sense. If I tell myself that I can’t do something, my mind will start to believe that and eventually I’ll be in a mindset that holds me back from every trying to do something. The same is true for clients who may have such deep-rooted issues that they really feel that they cannot see a positive way out. It’s my job as a therapist to empower clients and boost their mindset. One way of doing this is through the use of positive affirmations, which is a repeated statement that enables people to see things in a different way. For example, a positive affirmation could be “every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”. That’s a pretty famous affirmation from Emile Coue, the ‘father of positive affirmations’, but you could apply one to any situation. The words you use can have a massive impact on your mindset and through being a therapist I’ve learnt that clients who start using kinder words begin to achieve the results the desire.
- Humans have a large capacity for love, kindness and forgiveness. I see clients who are sometimes deeply hurt by things that have happened in their lives. Yet by the end of the therapeutic process they’ve worked through their hurt and event got to a point where they can forgive the person who caused the pain. This has happened often, and it’s taught me a lot about the resilience, humanity and courage that human beings have. It’s definitely made me a better, more open-minded person.