These days many clients come to our practice seeking help with stress and trauma-related complaints. Because these complaints are so close to us – after all, we ourselves are also dealing with stress because of the bizarre circumstances in which we live – it is not difficult to experience the same stress and be, as it were, overwhelmed by the emotions and reactions of our clients. Why is this undesirable and how do you prevent it?
Pain, loneliness and stress
As a coach, during a session, you are sometimes invited by your client to look only at their pain, trauma and stress. The client’s problem has a great deal of power to absorb and as a coach you are drawn into it or you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by it. This often makes the problem even bigger. If you, as a coach, allow yourself to be drawn into the client’s stress and emotions, then the imprint, the blueprint of the problem will be felt again in the client’s nervous system. The result is that the client will only experience her problem as ‘worse’ and will not achieve the desired change.
On resilience and our ability to adapt
When we look at how many people are struggling with stress and anxiety at the moment, it is actually a miracle that so many things are still going well. There are so many positive things to discover: More and more people are becoming aware of what they do or do not want. They discover new resources and find new ways to adapt and stay afloat. That is wonderful to see. It’s good to have respect for that as a coach or therapist.
It is important to keep an eye on resilience, even when a client is talking to us about their stress, pain and trauma. Resilience is something that is in our blueprint. The ancient Greeks already knew about this and called it Physis. Kahlil Gibran called it: ‘Life’s longing for itself’. This blueprint is naturally present in all people, and as a coach we work with it.
Bette Midler describes this resilience very beautifully in the song ‘The Rose‘,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose
Focus on what goes well
When we are dealing with stress or trauma-related complaints, it is sometimes easy to focus on the pain, the fear, the lack… on all the painful emotions that a client may experience. But the idea is that we also keep an eye on our client’s resilience: Physis. It’s about constantly bouncing back and being resilient as a human being. That we adapt to circumstances. In Transactional Analysis (TA) we focus on this: Not just on what goes wrong, but on how people repeatedly adapt and rise above themselves.
Working in depth
As coaches, we are called to work both with pain and stress and with resilience, the Physis. In good coaching, there may be room for acknowledging and discussing both aspects at a deeper level. How you can do that, you learn during the training Embodied Coaching. You learn how to work with clients at three different levels.
TA as a basis
Focusing on the positive side, the resources a client has used, the resilience she has shown, is one of the basic principles of TA. These principles come in handy, because in this day and age, there are many people who are looking for ways to communicate better. In my Online TA Introduction, I teach you all the basic principles that relate to your own communication and that of your clients. You will learn to understand what doesn’t work well and get new ideas on how to do things differently. They are immediately applicable.
Yes, I want to follow the Online Introduction to TA and start right away