It’s now over 30 years since I started to notice people were coming to me for help with problems they were having in their lives.
At the time, I was working in the computer industry, programming systems design troubleshooting and problem-solving. I suspect the same mindset I use there was helpful to people.
I’ve always respected people and never blamed them for their own problems. I also tend to see problems as something that people can be helped to solve. Something separate to them not who they are. It’s amazing how many people can solve their own problems when they have some simple information or perhaps new strategies.
When I started to notice that I was able to help people, and people sought me out, I decided to get better at this. This is where I then started my training. Topics like NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) counselling and I even trained in a well-established therapy called Transactional Analysis (TA). All helped me become more effective at guiding people to finding the solutions they needed for their lives.
It’s now 25 years since I decided to work for myself running my own practice.
The learning has never stopped; every year courses and of course hundreds of books.
Because for each client, I’m only as good as the last session, I did with them, I motivated to get better at what I do. Not that any individual client needs a wealth of knowledge I have, however the more skilled I am, the more I understand what’s going on, the better I’ll be able to help them.
I’m also motivated by helping people to get quickly passed their problems or challenges and back into a rewarding life. This is certainly meant that I had to stay up to date with science and research.
Some of the approaches I adopted 25 years ago, I no longer use. Evidence points to better more effective easier and faster approaches.
In the mid-90s, because of the stressful time I was having due to severe illness of my late wife, I investigated meditation and mindfulness for myself. Finding it useful, effective and positively contributed, I started weaving this approach into what I do. It’s part of but not the whole of how I help people.
I’ve also got motivated to find other ways to work with mindfulness. The traditional sitting there counting breaths and scanning the body can be helpful to some but not to everyone. This is when I added in approaches like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
I was also aware that when working with groups with mindfulness, sometimes there were deep underlying issues that people had. For whatever reason, these issues could surface in a person’s life, and at the time I had no way of helping them. The traditional approach to the issue was long-term therapy, clearly there had to be a better way.
In 2014, I trained in the new upcoming approach to dealing with such traumatic memories based on the actual science of how these memories are stored in the brain. The particular technique I trained in is called Havening, I was the 86th person in the world licenced to use it. It’s part of what is called Memory Re-consolidation. It is completely overturned traditional approaches. I partly like being a rebel.
Now instead of taking tens of sessions to dig deep into painful pasts, many difficult memories can be dealt with quickly.
I suspect I’ll only stop learning new material on my deathbed, and that’s not a given either!
If you’re not sure yet how about looking at some of the material, I have produced, for example, the boosting resilience and confidence guide that you can download here.