When therapy is a no no because the timing isn't right .
New blog added 19th October 2016
Situations where therapy is not a good idea.
As therapists we have an ethical and moral obligation to our clients to carefully weigh up what is in their best interests which sometimes may well see us turning clients away. It is better to give the right advice than set someone up for high expectation and failure with all of the possible harm that those emotions can do.
Yesterday I took an enquiry from a parent who wondered if therapy could help their 16 year old to prepare themselves for a maths exam. On the face of it, the enquiry, without more background information seems a reasonable idea with firm possibilities.I say 'possibilities' with some reservations because there needs to be far more information gathered before processing whether it would be appropriate or not to use therapy to help improve self confidence for example, because ability needs to taken into account too. Now treating for anxiety is another issue altogether.
After gathering the information I put it to the the parent that in my view therapy would not be a good idea at the moment. You see the teenager had taken two maths exams previously and whilst academically competent in all the other areas,maths is definitely not a strong point which was evident from the previous grades.
The parents enquiry came from a good place of wanting to equip their teenager with the best chances of success and wondered if Hypnotherapy for lowering anxiety and improving confidence might help.Having explained to me that the exam was only a couple of weeks away and coupled with the fact that their teenager was undergoing extra tuition I foresaw a potentially difficult situation developing of ever increasing pressure and of expectations possibly not being met and how that might impact upon their teenagers self esteem. What I explored with the parent was their child's acumen and ability in the subject of maths.
It was clear from the outset that the teenager was feeling pressure which may in all likelihood be compounded by the teachers feedback to the parent about the pupil and how the pupil approaches the subject.
Considering the information imparted, the natural direction to take the conversation was to explore if their teenager actually had good ability in maths and it was clear that they struggled hence the need for additional tutoring.
Hearing what I was saying, the parent took my comments on board about pressure and went on to consider whether putting off this upcoming maths exam until next year in order to help their teenager improve over time with extra studies was a better idea as it meant less pressure. "A good idea I think."
My deep concern is in equipping someone to beleive they can feel succesful and positive to achive something they do not have the requisite skills for yet is setting them up for failure and disappointment and to not feel good enough.This is potentially a very harmful outcome as far as how that person may well view themselves.
Whether we think we are "good enough" is really not important as that can set us up for low self esteem and disappointment.
We can be our own worst inner critics and we most likely give ourselves a harder time than other people's views of us. The idea of being "good enough" is often judgemental in a negative sense whether it comes from ourselves or others.
What is important is that we try our best with enthusiasm and intent to learn and develop and that we try our best coming from a place of good intent honour and integrity. It is important that we know our strengths and weaknesses and in being honest with those weaknesses if it is something we really want to work on then one can devote the time needed to learn and acquire those skills if that is what is important to us........ But it has to be for us and not to please someone else because in time, if we are not being true to ourselves we may find ourselves in a very unhappy situation of not living our truth.