A CHALLENGE FOR ALL IN THE HELPING PROFESSION
In 200 words or less, respond to this post and explain what you tell a new client or patient about how you work and what to expect from the process. This is for anyone in the helping profession: advocates case managers, coaches, imams, medical doctors, ministers, nurses, nurse’s aides, psychologists, psychotherapists of any type, rabbis, social workers, spiritual guides, and so on and so forth.
If you want to tell about the context in which you do your work, do so in a brief paragraph before stating how you explain what you do for a client or patient or patient’s benefit.
MY THREE REASONS FOR ASKING THIS
Reason number one My recent question about who, what models, or theories influence how my therapist friends led to a conversation that was polarizing to an extent. One participant felt many of today’s therapies focus on conversations that might feel good to both participants but don’t lead to change. He criticized what he saw as post modern therapies, including collaborative, solution focused, and narrative efforts in that mix. He believed such efforts were not change oriented. Those arguing against him felt these ways of helping others–which are mainly talk therapies did create change.
In my usual sitting on the fence point of view I agreed with both. I do, however, have a complaint about almost all those in the helping profession who don’t tell the client up front how they work and what the client can expect.
Reason number two I want to let consumers know something about various helping roles and what to expect from each. An educated consumer makes better use of services.
Reason number three If you have a script already, sharing it will help others; if you don’t have a script this might urge you to develop one and give you some ideas from what others post.
WHAT I SAY
Although I am a licensed therapist, my main interest is in coaching–sharing knowledge, teaching skills, and helping people set and move toward goals. I am particularly interested in helping people manage negative emotions more effectively. Most of my efforts to help are through my blog and writings and some email consultations and telephone coaching. Here is what I say after the client has spent a bit of time, telling me what he or she seeks and if I think I can help:
I think what I have to offer might be what you are looking for. Although I am a therapist, I don’t do therapy anymore. If I think you need a therapist, I will discuss that with you and refer you to one I trust. I see myself as a coach who mainly works with people to keep mad, sad or other negative feelings from preventing them from reaching their goals. Coaches share knowledge, teach skills, give feed back, set agreed upon goals, work on a game plan for reaching your goal, cheer success and problem solve when reaching a goal seems blocked. We will work first on setting what a SMART goal. As that goal is set we will decide how often to meet to see how things are going. We need to meet or talk on the phone at least every three weeks. Between our conversations, I will probably give you some home work. Does this sound like what you are looking for?
I am eager to hear what you do and how you explain what you do to those you want to help.