People who struggle with emotional and psychological problems usually ask for help because they don’t have a clear idea what to do. You may be interested in knowing that depending on how you see yourself and your problem, you are more or less likely to succeed in achieving what you want.
Want to know more?
There are different stages of readiness for positive change. Counsellors and other helpers work differently with clients depending on what stage they are. There are 3 possibilities:
1. Client is a visitor.
2. Client is a complainant.
3. Client is a customer.
Let’s explore each type in turn:
If you are a visitor you agree to meet to “see what will happen” but you are not sure you want to change or that there is even something that needs to change. You may be curious and hope that by exploring things with someone who is not your family or friend, you may possibly (though unlikely) get somewhere. Also, you may be at this stage because you have been sent by someone else, possibly your spouse, the court or your parents.
If you are a complainer you know you have a problem but can’t see a solution. You have told your problems to many people and yourself many times, but things are not improving. Your complaint is usually about unfairness: the world is unfair, people are unfair and life is in general unfair with you. Complaining about your situation gives you some temporary relief but you also know deep inside it is not getting you anywhere.
Finally, if you are a customer, you have a good idea what your problem is and why you feel this way. You may feel fed up with your situation and don’t want to waste more time complaining about it and “going in circles.” You know that positive change is hard work and you are ready to take action no matter how difficult it might be.
Which one do you need to be?
You may identify yourself as being in one or a mixture of these stages of change and as you can expect, the sooner you become a customer, the better. Although this is a process that can take some time, as you become more aware of where you are as a client, this knowledge is likely to help you to reach your goals sooner rather than later.