It's only fair to share…


I recently had a client who was warned not to see me by her physician. He recommended she go back on anti depressants despite her explaining to him that she has improved remarkably over the past 3 months. Her attempt to also explain she was only feeling down due to a recent circumstance at work and needed a couple of days to implement some personal development exercises that will reduce the stress and get centred was greet with disinterest.

I get a lot of clients who are caught between following a doctor’s medical advice and wanting a drug free solution to addressing their personal challenges.

Firstly, it’s important to clarify that you are personally responsible for your health. When you visit a doctor, they can advise and write you a prescription, but it‘s your personal responsibility and choice whether you follow that advice and purchase and ingest that prescription. Most people do not feel they either have this choice or believe they’re being irresponsible if they don’t follow it.

Coincidently, I had a coaching session with a very experienced doctor recently who explained that one of her biggest challenges in her profession was the expectation to have the answers and be 100% responsible for a client’s well being. From discussions with doctor friends and several doctor clients, I have come to learn that they do their best with great skill and impeccable intentions, but are pressured by pharmaceutical corporations and society to solve problems they are not fully equipped or trained to adequately handle.

The temptation for some doctors to enjoy this increased power also should be considered for the potential problems this can cause. When it comes to mental health, doctors can only view your body and brain as a biochemical neurochemical machine that is ‘out of balance’ because of your genes. They are not trained to address how diet and attitude can be root causes of your stress, mood swings and overall lack of confidence, eventhough many of them use common sense and do a decent job bringing this to their patient’s attention.

To attempt to understand why a doctor would view a life coach as dangerous is to appreciate the pressure expected of them to find urgent ways to manage the patient’s thoughts and mood in order to keep them from harming themselves. This is a legitimate concern, which can pressure a doctor to desperately want to err on the side of caution simply because it’s the only way they know how to care for their patient.

Most people are depressed because they simply are missing the tools that would help them address the circumstances that give them a reason to feel depressed. If mental health drugs were kept as a last resort, then motivation to learn and apply the tools can be intensified. This would increase their chances of applying themselves and improving their mental and emotional state as well as connecting with empowering new ideas and developing habits that create lasting change.

The risk of becoming dependent on medication can mean that their only option is finding the next drug that will replace the one that is gradually losing its’ effect on maintaining their even mood. This is a very disempowering and risky road if you talk to the countless people already on it. They explain that as you are transitioned off one drug and onto another, your desperation to escape the emotional and mental anguish reaches dangerously new highs. Many attempt suicide in this terrifying phase – I have witnessed this struggle first hand.

For anyone stuck in this predicament, seeing an inexperienced life coach who is not capable of providing effective personal development coaching, can make the doctor’s fear more than justified. There is not a cut and dry solution for anyone. One thing is clear though; the independent adult in emotional pain is the best person to decide what course of action to take given they will have to experience the full brunt of their consequences.

Additionally, one must appreciate the cause and effect nature that determines our moods and shapes personal experience. How we relate to ourselves and our relationships can make them empowering or toxic. We can address sabotaging beliefs that were learned and can be unlearned, that will instigate much needed breakthroughs and establish lasting change.

From my 15 years experience in the coaching field, I have formed the view that it’s important to seek life coaches who address confidence and personal empowerment as a foundation of their coaching program. Having success-based goals is one thing, but reaching the core issues that affect your confidence, clarity, motivation and lack of resilience is where the focus needs to begin. Being able to address them is profoundly more important than the achievement of the goal itself.

The journey can be as sweet as the destination. You ought to find a way to feel great about who you are and enjoy going about doing the very things that lead you to personal success in a natural way. When you’re in emotional pain, this is feedback to suggest your ideas need re-evaluating because some of them are simply incompatible with well being and will continue to sabotage your efforts to succeed.

George Helou is a Mind Power Life Coach based in East Perth, Western Australia. He developed EP7, an Empowered For Purpose in 7 Steps Coaching Program. George is also trains life coaches to add the EP7 process to their life coaching service.  

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