The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Monday, June 28, 2010

Working Life Balance & Harry Chapin

In the course of one of my consultancies I see many people - usually somewhere on the corporate ladder - whose weight and food related issues pretty much all stem from lifestyle/work/stress areas.

It doesn't take much knowledge of statistics and extrapolation to realise that probably 85% of the corporate working population are affected by this in some way or other, and are NOT taking steps to deal with it in a helpful and appropriate way. There are always excuses - and these flag up instantly as showing that the person(s) concerned are at EFFECT rather than CAUSE. They are victims.

If you watch this 10 minutes talk by Nigel Marsh it will surely resonate with you.

I laughed and cried as I watched. It is meaningful, relevant and poignant. Classic scenarios such as "I'll have a life when xxxxx happens..." abound.

I was talking to some people really close to me last weekend about the song "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin - and of course it is a cautionary tale about aspects of Working Life Balance.
There are many versions of the song but Harry's means the most to me because of the level of special vocal nuance he had in performance.

The beacon of responsibility shines brightly in the messages from Nigel Marsh and Harry Chapin - being reponsible for and taking charge of our own lives, for if we don't then someone or something else will steal it from us. And, as I see regularly with clients, it is quite a battle to get it back.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

People will change only IF THEY want to!

One of the enduring features from my previous blog post is that People will only change if they want to and are ready to.

I hear alarm bells and see flags waving whenever I hear "My xxxxx says I should see you because of my yyyyyy," or "I'd like you to see my xxxxxx because they've got these issues and would like help with them." In each of these examples the ACTUAL person with the issues has not taken responsibility for them and therefore always sees the way they are feeling or acting as being something OUTSIDE of their influence, as if they are a victim, possessed, powerless, leading to an "IT comes over me..." or "these things happen to me" situation.

I was in a social gathering one time and a lady whose boyfriend, having discovered what I do, told her that she should talk to me because I could "fix" her. Almost in an effort to please him (and shut him up) she started to chat with me about her phobia of spiders. It was clear, however, that (a) she had come to terms with the phobia in her own way, (b) was not driven to distraction by her phobia so much that she felt compelled to deal with it.
Clearly at an unconscious level she was tolerant of it and not ready for change.

Smokers who think they want to quit need to first explore areas where they have secondary gain - ie something they experience as a result of smoking that they would lose if they gave it up. This is manifest in a number of ways; personal, social, chemical for example. At an unconscious level they are not ready to give up. (Plus - I always chuckle when I see ads for nicotine patches or gum when they add the proviso "requires will power".

The 'depressed' client from my previous post is clearly not ready for change at an unconscious level, until she ackowledges her anger and takes responsibility for it and her other actions. The only outcome will be that her casefile grows bigger and fatter.

Irrationally, I previously had a tendency towards rage behind the wheel of a car until I took responsibility for my "shadow" (see an earlier blog). Since then I have driven with a mild manner, and an inside-out understanding of the nature of my own thoughts, feelings and actions. Here I noticed a message from my unconscious that allowed me to take conscious responsibility in a proper way.

If someone makes an enquiry for another person, then I always leave it until they speak to me or contact me THEMSELVES. That way at least they have been personally responsible for the enquiry. Referrals are more difficult - although here again, I always ask the referrer to get the person to contact me direct.

Another case I had was where a father asked me to "see" his daughter because she had failed several driving tests and HE thought this was what she needed to help her composure and confidence. When I arrived to see her, she was clearly petrified because she thought I was going to "control her mind". We just chatted and once she realised I wasn't Svengali, or was going to make her behave like a chicken, then the session became meaningful and helpful.
In her case, while she herself was ready for change, her father had 'pushed her' into seeing me even though she was old enough to make her own choices. Hopefully, her understanding of what she is responsible for and capable of are now much clearer - plus her fear of hypnotherapists is laid to rest! One thing I'm sure of - that she is now a fully qualified driver.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The rapport-busting greeting! No Failure only Feedback...

Over 99% of my clients want to make changes and are looking for guidance. There's always the exception - and I'm happy to share this with you all!

"This client has depression" - I was informed by the person who made the referral, and also by the client when I met them for the initial interview. I gathered the client and those nearest were at their wits end, and that, in terms of therapists, I was something of a 'last resort'.

We talked; I explained what I could do and areas we might work on; she had a morbid distrust of hypnosis; however, NLP and other approaches would be fine; so we proceeded, I led her through a number of techniques which might be useful for her and then she booked to see me 9-10 days later.

First appointment proper she reported that following my initial interview she had 4-5 great and non-depressing days which were rather scuppered by a train of events she did not react to very well. Good news - on the face of it.

The session continued and early on I am told that she is now feeling impatient for re-discovering some more of those good feelings that had recently lifted her spirits. Next,
halfway through the session, she tells me its not as good as the first one and she's getting nothing out of it. I remind her that halfway through the first session she also had no idea of the positive effects our conversations might be having until AFTER I'd left. Session finishes and we arrange the next one.

Next session day comes around. I ring her doorbell and she greets me with, "Oh its you. I was going to ring you to tell you not to bother to come because in the last session you were a complete waste of time."

I perceived the thunder of hooves as the horses of rapport bolted through the stable door and off down the road...

Now this is supposed to be a client with "depression" and all the associated feelings of low confidence, self esteem, pointlessness etc. So where is impatience, annoyance, rudeness (perhaps) and criticism coming from? This client is definitely angry about a lot of things, but doesn't want the world to see her anger, so she hides behind depression. The thing is - the more people come into contact with her depression, the more they twig that its a facade. The exceptions are her nearest and dearest - oh and perhaps her other therapists.

Having taken the trouble to make the journey to the appointment I gave her some more time, and laid it on the line for her that everything she does and feels involves her choice. She can choose to feel the way she does, or not - because (by her own admission) when she wakes up in the middle of the night she chooses to feel "OK". I realise now, of course, why this is!

Suffice to say, I knew she would not be looking to see me again - however, I am grateful to my various gurus for examples and insights that have cushioned whatever professional misgivings I may have had through this experience.

"There is no failure - only feedback."