This is one view - We are who we are and we really just have to get on with it - it's all we've got!
If we wipe everything out with a bland word here or accord being reached there at the behest of a detached stranger - then WHO are we and what are we doing?
This is my view! - All my clients benefit from having access to me in between calls because who knows when an emergency might arise. I’ve even been known to speak to someone at 1am, only once and it was a client who wouldn’t normally ever disturb me out of hours. Recently, I had an emergency call on a Saturday morning from one of my clients which lasted about 20 minutes – by the end of it my client had stopped panicking, and was laughing again.
The still, though soon to be ex, husband of my client (his choice) had discovered that she was seeking help to get through what she was finding a very difficult time in her life. During our call she asked me if she was totally pathetic and useless, words he’d used to describe her choice in having a stranger help her.
Every person has their own life, they have their own experiences and these are the things which shape how we are able to respond to situations. There are some people who have had very little to ‘handle’ and when something happens they don’t have a coping strategy. There are others though who have gone through so much that they have so much strategy they’ve actually stopped feeling and just get on with it – sometimes with a bit of martyr thrown in.
When I first got involved in this line of work, I’d never found anything stressful – well, nothing I’d admit to! I was a past master at ‘getting on with it’, a great user of the stiff upper lip and a massive amount of self deprecating humour usually helped too. When my husband and I separated, I simultaneously moved house, saw my kids only half a week, was made redundant and a few months later my parents were involved in a car crash, Dad staying in hospital for a month over Christmas.
I bought my first flat 25 years ago and invested in a twin tub washing machine because my Mum always said they were best – she’d never seen any need for an automatic. I’d spend all Saturday morning in the kitchen with my tub, sorting the pile of washing carefully on the kitchen floor in separate piles so’s to make sure that the hottest water was used for the bedding, then I did the whites and then the coloureds. It was a chore to bring out the washing machine and certainly not something done until there was plenty to load it.
When I upgraded to the delights of the automatic I was soon in seventh heaven and wondering why I had borne the drudgery of doing my dirty washing in such a laborious manner for so long. To me counselling, therapy and coaching fall into much the same bracket – your dirty washing can take all the time you want to wash or you can do it quickly and get back out to play. The choice really is yours.
In the period of my separation I began to learn that I wasn’t invincible, that I too needed a shoulder to cry on. I found someone to help me see that my long hidden feelings were perfectly acceptable, I got encouragement and support to help me find the strength which had been ebbing.
My client decided that she wasn’t pathetic and useless, she stopped crying, she made a plan of action, she isn’t going to be bowed by her husband. She left the call with strength and determination.
Thank you to my client’s ex for making me stop and wonder about the reason I do what I do. My clients have more courage than those who pretend all is well – their vulnerability to be open, honest and willing to make a difference to their lives (and those around them) at times when it might be easier to pretend they aren’t feeling good is something which humbles me everyday.
Easy things to help you in difficult situations
Stop and make sure you get that in breath to reach to the bottom of your lungs.
If need be, put your tongue between your upper and lower teeth at the back. Oh and drop your shoulders while you’re at it!