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Clients are not Weak

11th October 2011

I have to admire anyone who has the guts to come to a total stranger and share their deepest darkest fears in order to get help.


I often sit there in awe of someone who has the strength and willpower to come and share what they want me to help them with.  The sad thing is they often feel ashamed or weak because they couldn’t do it themselves.  In fact some clients mention that their partners and friends look on in disbelief that they need to go and get help as surely can’t they just do it themselves?  Wouldn’t the easy option to just hope the issues go away or sort themselves out?

We all would love to think we can handle what life throws our way but the reality is that there are times when we can’t and we need help.  Feeling embarrassed is natural as no-one likes to feel a failure and their issues unsolved make them feel bad.  Yet what is ignored is that not many people are taught how to handle their emotions from childhood, in fact they are taught the opposite and that’s how to suppress them.  In childhood when you cried or had a tantrum your parents may likely have tried to reward or punish you to stop expressing yourself. 

Only last week I was watching the little boy screaming his head off in the supermarket which was uncomfortable enough but seeing the parent lose control and scream back at how ridiculous he was being made me cringe.  It’s not the parents fault, their coping mechanisms are probably not working very well and they are likely to be doing what their parents did to them.  After all….it did them no harm…didn’t it?In the future this little boy is likely to have difficulty expressing his emotions as he is likely to be conditioned like many others to see expressing his anger, tears, frustrations as ridiculous.  This has been going on for generations and add to that the people being programmed to think therapy is for weak, hippy, middle aged men and women with nothing better to do and you have people bumbling about hoping their issues will sort themselves out. 


There is no shame in getting coaching, therapy or any other type of help to improve your life.  Clients often cry at how much of their lives have been wasted by unhelpful programming which prevented them getting help earlier.  It is sad and again reminds me that life is too short to not get help for anything you need to change for an easier and happier life.

If you wanted to learn a new skill then wouldn’t you look for the resources that would help you get those skills?  

Clients are not weak, they often have such strength which will help them make powerful changes easier than they can imagine. Their minds are often cluttered with all sorts of crap which needs shovelling out as it makes them feel weak.  Once it begins to clear they can think clearly again and when they do, the world is their oyster and new beginnings await.  Though this time they have more resources and can look at their future with more confidence than before and do their best to get where they want to be.

Therapists are trained to help you clear your mind from the past which influences how you experience now and think about your future.  A good therapist will teach you to continue that process as life can be quite random and it’s good to have support but not to have to rely on who helped you.  


Life’s too short to wish it would change when you can make take steps right now to make those changes.


Paul Sheppard is The Life Doctor and works online and in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex.  Please contact me for more information about private sessions


Picture credit to ambro.
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