How to Achieve Lasting Change for You and Your Clients
My clients aren’t willing to do the things I recommend.
This is a regular complaint I hear from practitioners and have had the same complaint myself on more occasions than I would choose to remember. It is so frustrating when you know someone needs to change but despite your best efforts they won’t. It is one of the issues that can result in us as practitioners becoming despondent about practice. This can affect us personally and all of our clients as we become less engaged in the process.
Why is change so important?
Let’s face it, if our clients are engaging in behavior that created the problem they are seeking help for then continuing this behavior will result in the limited success. The most common response when this happens from clients is that ‘your modality’ or you as a practitioner failed them.
So creating lasting change for your clients invariably means that you need them to engage in the process. Not just getting the right sort of treatment but engaging in their own habits.
How do you create lasting change?
First we need to recognise that change for all of us is usually stressful and this level of stress can vary greatly from one person to the next. Acknowledging this will help you respect where your client is at. Once you can do this then it’s easier to be able to create strategies that work.
Negotiate the pathway.
There is absolutely no point in you designing a strategy without negotiating with your client what they need to do and what they are willing to do. This is the key to your and their success. Working with your client gets much better results than imposing ideas onto them. This is a relationship remember not a dictatorship.
Start with a plan.
Yes it’s that planning thing again. Sit down with your client and discuss with them all of the different areas that need to be addressed in their lives to help them achieve a longer lasting sustainable result. I always tell them that this is the big picture. Once we have that then we can break it up into bite sizes manageable pieces. It doesn’t all have to be addressed overnight.
Path of least resistance
In many cases this is where clients can feel overwhelmed. There can be things they may not want to give up and things they may not want to do. Leave them out for the moment because in my experience. I don’t argue the point with them here and there is a reason why.
Discuss with your client the areas that you think are the most important areas to address and then negotiate with them how to proceed. Create a step-by-step plan for change. Something like this week we want you to work on x y and z. They need your help through this process and I always suggest a series of regular consultations not only for treatment but to support them along this new path.
Celebrate the wins.
When they come back discuss with them how they went. What were the difficult bits? Where did they find themselves resisting? If they weren’t able to achieve the tasks then work with them on how they might be able to, this is not the time to berate your clients as they are obviously already struggling. Be supportive, you are good at that. Praise them for their successes no matter how tiny. Positive reinforcement is a very powerful tool.
Sometimes when clients are struggling with an area there is usually some psychological issue attached so perhaps providing a referral to a psychologist, counselor or hypnotherapist can help them address this facet while you continue to treat them.
Once real change begins to happen you can begin to make suggestions on areas that your client was perhaps unwilling to address previously. In my experience when people realise that their habits are just that then they realise they have the power to live without them.
I have regularly had experience with clients who when first coming to see me were unwilling to address any issues in their life and over time they became less so resulting in complete life overhauls and the resultant better health. Belief is an incredibly powerful thing and if we believe we can help them then the only thing we need to do is work out how. Be creative, try different things, if something doesn’t work adapt, as a practitioner your skills have the ability to create great things in the world as long as you believe.
As always we are here for you. If you want to create better strategies and techniques with your clients to get better results we can help. Contact us to find out more.
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