Week after week I find myself looking at my schedule and dreading certain days because I know it is going to be like pulling teeth working with certain clients. It’s not because I do not enjoy therapy. I LOVE the work I do. I love changing lives and helping people come out of the dark places they find themselves in. The thing that makes my work difficult is the client who has paid for my help, comes to therapy faithfully, but does NO work outside of the therapy room. I’m sure they are getting SOME benefit from coming, but they are not maximizing their healing potential.
Therapy works if you work. Therapy is not like the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. You can’t go to therapy, listen to the therapist and then all of a sudden your life is radically changed. You have to put in the work for your change. Your therapist is more like your emotional coach than your teammate. He instructs you on what to work on, how to address weaknesses and ways to improve, but it is up to you to implement what the coach tells you.
There are some clients who, session after session, come and talk about being on the same merry-go-round week after week. When I ask, “did you do the reading assignment, did you do the homework, did you practice what we talked about,” the answer is “no, I was too busy, I was tired, I hadn’t had a chance, blah blah blah.” The reality is that your life won’t get better until YOU get better and your therapist is not the person responsible for making your life great. There was a time in my career where I took that burden upon myself and if people were not getting better then I would beat myself up thinking it is my fault. I thought if their life is not getting better, if they are still stuck, then I must not be doing my job good enough. I’ve grown to know that is not true.
The unfortunate reality of having a therapist as skilled as me and not doing the work is you waste a great opportunity to drastically change your life. It’s not because of me, I’m just the coach…but I am, like many of my colleagues, a good coach. But we cannot play the game of life for you. I strongly encourage you to NOT pay your money to do therapy if you are not truly ready to do the work to change. Wait until you are ready. Otherwise, you will not get the most for your investment.