After 40 years of exploring personal development, I have come to a number of conclusions about which ingredients best facilitate effective personal change. Its taken a great deal of time in training’s and working with literally thousands of clients to figure out what works best and I come to the conclusion that “less is more”
Members of the public respond very differently to practice partners in personal change trainings. After many decades of exploring personal change approaches I am totally convinced that the most effective methods include a great deal of psycho education when working with clients and steer clear of jargon and clunky techniques.
Yes, some techniques can be useful BUT often a practitioner simply rolls out a series of exercises with little or no thought about the client’s responses. This can happen with many approaches including NLP. Worse still are when the practitioner without even seeing the client has pre decided on a series of questions that they will use in the session. This is in my view not only ineffective but also highly lazy as it means the practitioner doesn’t have to even bother engaging with the client.
The most effective approaches in my view are where the practitioner talks directly to the client in a human being to human being manner, devoid of any hierarchical status. As Frank Farrelly would say
“Throw away your professional dignity in the service of the client”
In recent years many approaches have been heralded as “the latest breakthrough in communication” and mostly under analysis these are simply repackaged ideas. There are endless “new books” proclaiming the “3 methods for personal change” or “the X secrets for personal growth” – there’s always a number and in my experience a dumbed down set of instructions on”what to do with the client”
Over the years I’ve seen all manner of approaches come and go including tapping, analyzing and many other well intentioned methods. Most are in my view very odd and often require the client to go on a training course to understand the practitioner’s instructions! I admit there’s a fan base for trying not to influence the client, insist everything is about “past blockages” and other such stuff which I find pretty odd. Ultimately the client will be the judge of what is helpful. You can have all the academic studies and motivational self help books but I like to see real life case studies where there is measurable noticeable change.
All my experience suggests that those practitioners with a good sense of humour and an ability to pay attention mostly provide the most effective practical help to those they are working with. Often practitioners have their heads so full of workshop info that they miss the elusive obvious which is usually what is most needed in a client session.