The rapport-busting greeting! No Failure only Feedback…

Over 99% of my clients want to make changes and are looking for guidance. There’s always the exception – and I’m happy to share this with you all!

“This client has depression” – I was informed by the person who made the referral, and also by the client when I met them for the initial interview. I gathered the client and those nearest were at their wits end, and that, in terms of therapists, I was something of a ‘last resort’.

We talked; I explained what I could do and areas we might work on; she had a morbid distrust of hypnosis; however, NLP and other approaches would be fine; so we proceeded, I led her through a number of techniques which might be useful for her and then she booked to see me 9-10 days later.

First appointment proper she reported that following my initial interview she had 4-5 great and non-depressing days which were rather scuppered by a train of events she did not react to very well. Good news – on the face of it.

The session continued and early on I am told that she is now feeling impatient for re-discovering some more of those good feelings that had recently lifted her spirits. Next,
halfway through the session, she tells me its not as good as the first one and she’s getting nothing out of it. I remind her that halfway through the first session she also had no idea of the positive effects our conversations might be having until AFTER I’d left. Session finishes and we arrange the next one.

Next session day comes around. I ring her doorbell and she greets me with, “Oh its you. I was going to ring you to tell you not to bother to come because in the last session you were a complete waste of time.”

I perceived the thunder of hooves as the horses of rapport bolted through the stable door and off down the road…

Now this is supposed to be a client with “depression” and all the associated feelings of low confidence, self esteem, pointlessness etc. So where is impatience, annoyance, rudeness (perhaps) and criticism coming from? This client is definitely angry about a lot of things, but doesn’t want the world to see her anger, so she hides behind depression. The thing is – the more people come into contact with her depression, the more they twig that its a facade. The exceptions are her nearest and dearest – oh and perhaps her other therapists.

Having taken the trouble to make the journey to the appointment I gave her some more time, and laid it on the line for her that everything she does and feels involves her choice. She can choose to feel the way she does, or not – because (by her own admission) when she wakes up in the middle of the night she chooses to feel “OK”. I realise now, of course, why this is!

Suffice to say, I knew she would not be looking to see me again – however, I am grateful to my various gurus for examples and insights that have cushioned whatever professional misgivings I may have had through this experience.

“There is no failure – only feedback.”