I'm sorry, I can't talk about what brought you here

It's become quite mainstream that emotions are a potent driver of our behavior. Though they're not near as compelling as the stories we tell ourselves, but I'll save that riff for another blog. There's been a significant shift in the health-fitness-wellness industry towards coaching, or at least the integration of coaching in the overall experience. And there are very stringent policies around what's OK and not OK to discuss with clients. One thing that's not OK to discuss with the client is, for some reason, their emotions. So, the very thing that drives a person to work with us (their emotions) is off the table, we can't discuss them, because we're now in jeopardy of crossing boundaries into the world of therapy. Now, I have tremendous respect for counselors, therapists, psychologists, and all mental health specialists. When someone is troubled with painful emotions that's progressing them along a spectrum towards self-harm or hurting others; they absolutely need to seek professional guidance. However, there is a massive difference between assessing, diagnosing, and treating a psychological problem and helping someone understand the role emotions play in the pursuit of their health and happiness goals. So long as trainers/coaches only operate at one end of the spectrum and counselors/therapists only operate at the other, there's a chasm of "gray" area in between where 80+% of people are suffering and stuck in the middle. This GAP is so vast and what may, unfortunately, keep it from being bridged is the level of education between both parties, which also has a lot to do with ego and status. Can we lower our guards and collectively move towards the middle to collaborate in the best interests of those we serve? Together, can we remove the stigmas around therapy and empower health professionals to manage meaningful conversations around their client's emotions? If we can't talk about a natural process that happens within the body (emotions), is it not OK for mental health professionals to recommend exercise or spiritual advice? What's the likelihood, feasibility, and sustainability of a trainer, therapist, and pastor all coming together to provide a comprehensive approach towards caring for people? My sense is, even if that were to happen, and all three parties were able to modify their approach to work well with the other two parties, you'd still have three drastically different points of view and advice is bound to be complicated and overwhelming. Not to mention, the amount of engagement would be meager due to the connotations associated with therapy and religion. Over the last ten years, I've transitioned my practice from personal training (treating the "Body") to MindBodySpirit Coaching, where I address the Whole Person. My approach is very carefully, not psychological in nature, but cosmological, teaching people how to see themselves differently. I don't believe people need to change or be fixed. Over the last twenty years, I've learned that people need to understand themselves and how they operate 3-dimensionally: MindBodySpirit. Self-understanding leads to self-acceptance, which naturally leads to self-improvement. My approach view improvement as a byproduct of our engagement, not the focus. Ultimately, we need to teach people the role Identity plays in the process of personal transformation. Minus this global approach, I'm afraid we'll just continue dancing around people's unwanted symptoms and protective behaviors. The video on this page sums up my approach:

"No problem can be solved by the consciousness that caused it." Albert Einstein



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