Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Be careful who you are taking advice from.

I think one of the most dysfunctional and disturbed, not to mention disturbing, groups of people I know are therapists. In their various forms and shapes we have a strange collection of therapy types out there, and equally varied therapists to go with each one.

One client came to me recently who had been seeing a therapist elsewhere. They had stopped seeing the therapist after showing up to their office to find it had closed, and that the therapist had been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility. While I would be the first to admit that my own stress levels sometimes get up there a bit, I don't think things have got quite that bad, yet.

The psychiatrist in the great 1983 movie, Local Hero, is not so far from being true to life. Coincidentally, he should also have been locked up. You can watch the entire movie above. It's worth every minute.
When I look through the feeds on my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts I can see a diversity of humanity that is truly eclectic. This may be quite a good thing, but it does come at a price. Let me explain that a little.

One of the problems with medical doctors is that they often have their personality trained right out of them. This lack of personality has problems of its own. However, in alternative healthcare,  often the 'personality' gets in the way. Somewhere in the middle is a happy medium.

My own feeling is that a therapist who has gone straight from school into therapy and counselling training has probably not lived life enough to be able to offer any meaningful advice to anyone. Like a politician who has never been anything but a politician, the therapist may be well trained as a therapist, but have no grounding as a person. They can recite the definition of ADHD very nicely, but have no idea how to buy a railway ticket in another country or deal with an aggressive co-worker - simply because they've never had to.

Equally, some very well trained hypnotherapists, who hold themselves up as experts, may be the last people you actually want to work with. I know several who claim expertise, but are overweight and smoke, and hold some political views that most would consider quite extreme. Now, this is a personal hobby horse, so let me declare that right out front. I do not believe a hypnotherapist who smokes should be advising anyone on their health. We would never hire such an individual at VHI, and I fail to understand anyone either offering, or taking advice from such a hypocritical position. And yet, when the subject is raised with therapists it is met with a defensive response and is described as being judgmental.


One great benefit of the online world is that we can research a therapist fairly easily. I strongly advise potential clients to take a wander through not only the therapists website, but also Google them thoroughly. If they have another job cleaning cars, you might want to know that. As for me, yes, I am a hypnotherapist and stage hypnotist. I also play guitar very badly, and love calligraphy. All of which probably helps me relate to my particular clients, and none of which I feel in the least bit awkward about.
You can probably see all sorts of strange things about me by clicking my Google authorship signature below. Enjoy!