I have a client who is stuck in the decision making process, wanting to make a perfect decision. Can you relate to this one? Well, in my world, when we are adults, we no longer make good or bad decisions. There are just consequences to every decision we make, and it’s just a pain in the ass to judge them. Good news, bad news, who knows – as my teacher John Scherer used to say.
But my assumptions about life don’t really help my client. This is lesson number one of a counsellor – differentiate what is yours from what isn’t. Keep your assumptions to yourself, and get curious of your client’s ones. How does he/she think about the world? How does he/she think about making decisions? What does he/she needs from you?
Well, in this case what the client needed from me was accompanying him in being lost, stuck and unhappy. Witnessing that, without forcing anything else. Accompanying the tears, the sadness, helplessness and fear; without judging, pushing in a particular direction, saving. Witnessing, accompanying are very passive verbs, less preferred by some people than advising or encouraging, but and as a counsellor, you have to learn both – otherwise you will pull or push the client, moreover, in your preferable direction. There is something powerful in letting things be, even when they are painful.
Wishing you many fruitful encounters,