Therapy doesn’t work. Coaching doesn’t work either. Clients work!

Dear reader,

in the field of helping professions, there’s a constant battle and rivalry between different approaches about which one works better, has longer lasting positive changes, is associated with better outcomes. There are so many theories about how human mind works, how our brain works as well as theories about behavioural, emotional and cognitive systems, concepts, maps, etc. We’ve got millions of pages written on expertise in different diagnoses, relational problems and family patterns. I don’t mean to be rude but

this is such bullshit.

None of the approaches work. Also none of the approaches doesn’t work. In reality, it doesn’t really matter. Because the one who work here are clients. The ones who make changes are clients. The ones who assess whether something is working in their life (or not) are clients and only clients. I find it ridiculous when professions try to beat each other by proving whose theory is correct. Every theory is correct until it is proven otherwise. We might as well say that every theory has chances of being incorrect. So why all that fuss about trying to explain human behaviour and why trying to analyse the underlying causes for unwanted situations? It only makes sense if we believe in expertise. That we or somebody else knows why something happened and can suggest what we might do in order to stop that happening now and in the future. Yet probably there aren’t many people (if any) who would be able to clearly see all the existing circumstances that influence current situation as well as predict the factors that might have an impact. Let alone to explain the reasons and to offer a correct conclusion on how to improve.

Less is more. To do more with less intervention is an approach that respects and allows clients to utilise what they already have. In my opinion at least, simple approaches are better than complex ones. Simple, but not simpler than simple. Not the same as easy!

Too bad that our society is full of experts of various kind. Take a company for example. When problems arise and company ends up in crisis, we have business analysts, financial analysts, counsellors, risk assessment agencies, coaches, management advisors and many more people, who make a living based on companies trouble. It so often happens that millions are spent on expert studies that result in no change. And it is also very often that the company is blamed for no change, because it didn’t follow expert advice.

This is how people make money. This is not how useful change happens.

In therapy and coaching we have a similar phenomena. Sometimes people are kept in the process of counselling for years, sometimes deliberately, sometimes voluntary. I’m not saying that approaches used in therapy and coaching do not work. Neither am I saying that they do work. Clients work. And it is abusive, disrespectful and actually a crime to keep clients in the process longer than it is absolutely necessary. Every session should be seen as a potential last session and it should take up not even one session more than it is necessary.

So who is it to decide what is necessary? The experts? Experts on whose life?

Who is an expert of your life? Marketing agencies? Media? Social beliefs?

Should be you.

Biba

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Slide used as training material in our Coaching for Change project

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