In the Advanced Certificate in Life Coaching, there’s a statement to which students are asked to respond: “Therapy is for those who are not functioning well in life and need to address emotional issues.”
Woe betide the student who simply writes “True”!…. Come on – Think about it!
Now, the reason I say that is, whilst it is undoubtedly true that if someone is not functioning well emotionally therapy may well be a good process to engage with, but therapy surely is much more than that.
But how much is it worth?
Therapy usually involves attending weekly sessions over a period of time, usually paying a significant amount for each session, or at very least with low-cost services a percentage amount in proportion to income, and a commitment to working through potentially traumatic issues.
But remember, there are many different forms of therapy. CBT may require relatively short-term attendance. NHS provision is usually for 6-8 sessions. Or, of course, there’s the years of therapeutic process for those that require or engage with it.
And, if you are in therapeutic training there will almost certainly be a requirement to undertake a minimum amount of therapeutic work during the course of that training.
I have been in therapy during training, and before training, and at various times beyond training. Largely because I think my life is worth it. My clients are worth it. Because if I don’t engage with my own processes and issues, what use am I to clients?
Therapy is also used for personal development, so those who have very few emotional issues may well engage with therapy as much as they might use meditation, yoga, journaling etc etc.
Therapy may well mean a sacrifice on various levels – but are you worth it?!
Over 20 years ago when I was training I worked with a colleague who managed to do a variety of courses to Diploma level without engaging in one single session of therapy for himself.
What will you say when your client asks if you have ever been in therapy?
My view is that if I am asking clients to engage with the deepest inner journey of their lives, how can I do that without being prepared to engage with that myself?
It enriches my practice. I have probably learned as much from my therapists (and supervisors) over the years as I have in classroom training.
It enriches my life.
My clients are worth it. And I am worth it.
What’s it worth to you?