Hey, here we are with our very first guest article from a very talented psychotherapist and trauma expert that is diving more and more into functional medicine: Marijana Barisic. Marijana is a member of the fxmed Accelerate tribe and she was so kind to let me share this piece of content here. Marijana is sharing some tips about her coaching craft and I am sure you'll see the value in it!
Togetherness: "You and me, on your journey, together."
When you communicate that you are on this journey together with your client the client stops to feel alone. This is the real beginning of their healing!
Remember that many clients we meet have been gone through many institutions in search for answers but have been misunderstood and as a result feel frustrated and alone. You do not want to be the next one in line who leaves them with a feeling of hopelessness.
Alliance: If the client does not trust you the client will not be motivated
Take the time to be there, to listen, and to really HEAR. You can really accomplish miracles with a client who feels validated. Let the client reveal his soul even if the subject of the mater is maybe something that you find not relevant. This requires that you are in harmony with yourself and not in a rush.
The more you listen you can see the client for who they are, validate them and build a deeper level of trust.
Compassion: Be there with your heart and be humble
Practice mindfulness and heart meditations. If you are experiencing your self being judgmental or having difficulties in liking your client do a short heart meditation before you meet the client.
If it is your first meeting try to find your heart and remember that the person sitting in front of you, just like you, is in need of love and understanding. See your self in the client by remembering your own struggles and need for love and understanding.
Find the clients WHY by touching the deepest reason for change and work with their values. Where it hurts the most there is the biggest potential for change.
Most of us change personalities during long term illness. We become moody, unsocial, we are not able to do the thing we used to and that is the secondary trauma of illness. We are unsatisfied as mothers, fathers, partners, coworkers, the list can go on and on.
Find what will motivate the client to keep going when the motivation gets lower. Because it will in some parts of healing process get harder due to the fact that tough impressions will come up (Find out about working with values here).
There are no small changes: Be supportive in every step your client takes
Focus on what has been done rather than what is not done, or what needs to be done. We all have a Mr./Mrs. Critic within us and so do our clients. They will often be the first ones to tell you that they have not succeeded.
Instead be the one who will tell them that they are doing great even if they just followed 10% of what you agreed on. Remember that a holistic approach requires changes on several levels.
Take one step at a time with them and focus on building their self esteem, skill sets, and competencies.
Goals: Set achievable goals TOGETHER with the client
Yes, you are motivated and want to change the world. But hey, does it really need to be done in one day?
Remember that most of people will agree on more than they actually are able to achieve. Some because they don't want to seem to be uninterested, and some because of their enthusiasm.
The second group is mostly high achievers. Be observant, these kind of people can get burned out on trying to get healthy.
Agreements: What are you willing to invest, sacrifice, give up to gain health?
This is one very important question that often identifies what holds your clients back on a subconscious level.
Helping your clients that there is no change without letting go of some old habits, roles, and mind sets will enable them to grow much faster. There is no change without sacrifice to some degree.
Some clients will answer that they are willing to do whatever it takes and some will be willing to invest less. Less money, less time or less lifestyles changes.
Be okay with that and make sure that you are happy with the deal you are making yourself to work with their circumstances and goals.
Explore obstacles: Find Challenges and come up with Solutions
When you have set the goals for a week or month it is important to ask the question: "What can prevent you from doing this?".
This question gives you opportunity to even get more information about a clients life, where the client usually fails, and wether the obstacles are of cognitive, emotional or contextual nature.
This is where you will get the opportunity to give tools for overcoming obstacles.
Trauma: Ask questions about past, recent or ongoing trauma
If you have a client who is in deep sorrow or having past and unprocessed trauma you will not jump in to the food list before helping your client to get emotionally ready and to have enough capacities at hand how to deal with emotional resources for change. If you are not able to deal with this challenge make sure that you ask a colleague who can.
Good enough: We can love ourselves the way we are, right now
You will meet clients that do not meet your standards of change and you can easily become unsatisfied with your own job.
Be honest with what you feel and remember sometimes it is enough to just be there present with your heart, eyes, and your ears. Love is the most powerful healer of all.
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