Are You Blocking Your Success?
It’s funny because I’ve been in the trauma treatment business over twenty years. As far back as when I was an intern, I was dumped on and given the “hard-to-help,” so called “treatment resistant” clients, but those weren’t the clients who had a hard time changing. No, they just weren’t getting the right treatment.
So, who is hard to help? You might be surprised!
It could be you! Let’s take a look and see why some people find healing a challenge.
“I’ve Been Let Down Before”
The client who has been let down before has sought help a lot. They’ve also been let down a lot. Although they don’t have a lot of faith that you will be any different, they still seek relief.
Instead of seeing all the things that are going right, they are so primed to see failure that they see all the things that are wrong. They may even get 90% improvement, but write off the whole thing because of the 10% that didn’t change.
This person can be helped if they focus on the disappointment of being let down first. Once this shifts, they can make speedy progress.
The Analytical Client
This client wants to know what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and how it works before you do anything. They interrupt the process with lots of questions, and you spend more time talking about change rather than creating it.
This is actually another form of let down that often comes with complex post traumatic stress disorder and a lack of trust. They want to know that the process is safe.
Unfortunately, no amount of talking about it is going to make them feel safe.
The only thing you can do with this client is to go very slowly. Create small successes so they become more comfortable with the process. Progress is possible, but it’s very slow in the beginning.
“I Just Want to Feel Better”
Everybody wants to feel better, but coping is not healing.
This client really doesn’t want to heal. They want to be heard and stay in their comfort zone. If healing means they have to do something to help themselves, they won’t do it.
A lot of counseling caters to this person. It’s supportive, not transformative. To be fair, there are situations that won’t ever get better, and support is all you can offer.
Most people with high levels of shame only grow as far as their comfort zone. Change requires honesty and shame prohibits full disclosure – even if they only have to admit their feelings and deeds to themselves.
They say, “I’m good” or “I’ve got this” rather than admit that there is a problem, so things can’t get any better. Their desire to look good won’t allow them to need help.
“Make Me Better”
Some people want the helper to do all the work. They want to take a pill and wake up with everything changed.
While this is possible to some degree, if the client doesn’t participate in his own healing, the change is often short lived.
Healing is more than changing your mind. It can mean upgrading your skills to sustain the newfound attitude, drive, and beliefs. Without some skin in the game, it’s too easy to slide back into the old patterns.
Although some people have a harder time with change than others, everybody can change. Not everybody will change. The power and choice is within you.