My relationship with my clients
I have been servicing people in need of help for over 30 years. I have worked as a naturopath and remedial massage therapist for around 17 years, and before that, I used to work in the financial markets, in sales, training, and fittingly, the Help Desk. I worked for a fabulous financial market information company, where we literally had a system in which you would have a question, you would hit the <HELP> button, and ask the question, and around the world, one of the hundreds of global Help Deskers would pick up your question and answer you. It was both fabulous and frustrating, as you realised that our service was seriously amazing, and that some apparently highly paid people ask quite infuriatingly inane questions.
My history of working for the Help Desk, and before that, in going out to meet with the clients is what got me where I am today. Whilst most naturopaths have a story about having a brush with disease, and respect for the tradition of natural medicine, the thing that I do best as a naturopath is from the ability that I developed back in the financial markets, of sitting with the client and asking them “What is it that you need from me today?”.
And this was not a question that people in the financial markets got asked very much. Normally, they were sold stuff. The money industry is all about money, and people asking you, with genuine interest, what they could do to make your life work better, was not entirely conventional. And needless to say, I didn’t stay in financial markets more than 14 years, because I realised that I was far more interested in helping people to be better people, than helping them to make more money.
It’s a significant concept. When I left the markets, a colleague asked me how I could leave the industry and lose all that projected income and connection… I said that I didn’t want to look back on my life, and all I’d done was help rich people get richer.
Nowadays, when I see clients, regardless of whether I am seeing them for massage or naturopathy, I still ask them, “what do you need from me today?”. Because I could treat them as I think they need, or I could ask them how they want, and frankly, the treatment is not about me.
My interest is in finding out what is going in with the person, where they are now, where they have been, but mostly importantly, what they need help with today. I can look at them and make my own conclusions about what needs to be done, but if I am not addressing what the individual wants, then I am not fulfilling their needs. And in most cases, the issues which the patient wants managed will lead into improved health, which takes them in the long term, into treating their whole body wellness.
For many of my clients, asking for help is hard. I try to make that easier by asking them how I can help them. This is my job. I can help you to be more that you want to be, by asking you how I can help you to reach this state.
I often comment to clients that I am not healing them. I am allowing their body to heal itself, by providing the right help at the right time. And sometimes it all starts by asking the right question.
So, what can I do to help you feel more like yourself..?
18 March 2018.