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TR A I N I N G & Q UA L I F I C ATI O N S

PTs must learn how to tune in to clients more deeply

PHOTOS: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Helpful helping is about releasing the need to control. If we haven’t lived another person’s life, how can we know what’s right for them? to truly tune in to a person, so they feel free to be themselves and do what they need to do in their own time. Learning the art of facilitating the conversation is key, so the person begins to speak about the potential benefits were they to make a change. When they’re able to vocalise this for themselves, they’re on the road to building the motivation to change. Their focus becomes less on why they can’t do something and more on why they want to do it. Helpful helping is about working with the person, not working on them. It’s about finding out how they got where they are, and why they stay there, and only then moving on from there. HOW TO BE MORE HELPFUL Primarily, helpfulness is about having an attitude of compassion and trust: compassion for the struggles and

challenges the person faces, and trust in them that they will know – and do – what’s right for them. It’s a willingness to believe in people’s potential to hold the reins themselves when the time is right for them to shift and make changes. Being helpful is about helping someone see the resources and skills they have in themselves, affirming and accentuating all the positive things they do and building them up rather than putting them down. Helpful helping is also about releasing the need to control. If we haven’t lived another person’s life, how can we possibly know what’s right for them? Letting someone make their own decisions in their own time builds autonomy. Every decision they make is an opportunity to learn and build personal power. Every decision someone else makes simply builds dependence. Finally, helpful helping is about selfawareness and connection – looking deep

inside ourselves to explore the prejudices we might have, the judgements we might make about people who are overweight, who aren’t active, who drink or smoke, who don’t follow healthy eating guidance. The more mindful we become of our pre-judgements and how unhelpful they are, the more able we are to resist projecting them onto others or letting them get in the way of helping and showing empathy. ● ABOUT THE AUTHOR Debbie Lawrence studied integrative counselling to a post-graduate level. She has worked as a voluntary counsellor in a GP surgery and a school, and has since explored a range of other therapeutic approaches such as motivational interviewing and solution-focused therapy. She’s currently qualification lead (sport, active health and fitness) for VTCT. debbielawrence@vtct.org.uk

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Profile for Leisure Media

HealthClubManagement September 2016  

Health Club Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global health club, fitness and gym industry.

HealthClubManagement September 2016  

Health Club Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global health club, fitness and gym industry.