How To Find Help In A World Of Jargon Filled Helping Professions

How To Find Help

Where do you go looking to find help or guidance in your life? Who would you go to see to guide you? Why do you, or why would you, choose to go to see them to help? Its questions like these that can stop people in their tracks, or simply get them to delay or totally avoid making a decision to seek some guidance in their life.

It can be incredibly daunting, and indeed intimidating, for many people who are in genuine need of support in their lives to reach out to what is in effect a relative stranger. The world is full of experts and helping professions ready to step up and guide you along your journey. How do you find them?

I have touched on this before (coaching questions and answers) as I have differentiated and distinguished coaching from some of the other helping professions (a generic term used to keep things simple here) to indicate the choices and the wide range of services available.

One of the big issues and challenges, as I see it, is the unnecessary (not to be confused with necessary) use of industry and expert based jargon. That is, experts brand and seek to differentiate themselves and their services from other professionals and pseudo professionals in the marketplace. This often confuses clients.

It can be challenging enough for someone seeking guidance to try to wade through the long list of professionals that might appeal to them, let alone further sift through subsets or categories within those approaches. As an example, there are many approaches within a field of expertise. Coaching, counselling and mentoring as just several profession examples, can literally have dozens of different models and methodologies that can be practised under those profession headings. In short it can be incredibly and unnecessarily confusing for a client just wanting some good old (or new) fashioned service!

What can magnify the above is when a professional assumes a client/potential client will understand their explanations of what it is they do as they espouse, market, or persuade a client to take up their services. More often than not the industry language will form a part of this explanation - and often enough, the jargon involved will not be properly explained or discussed (let alone be understood).

This is a disservice to the client. It is assumptions like these that can inhibit and negatively impact the relationship and the processes and outcomes involved. From a coaching perspective, the last sentence can magnify the differential in the relationship between the expert and the client.

As a life coach, this is an area that I see and hear about all too often. I see the client as the expert, and an empowered one at that... but that is another topic and story for another day.

The fact is that most people really don't know what their professional does, how they practice, and what it really means anyway. In simple speak the client is generally seeking to solve their problems, to stop the pain, to improve their life, and to get on with living - to find help in other words.

What I encourage people to do is to understand what it is they really want to do, and very importantly, to also move towards understanding or knowing how they want to go about doing it. Often the client emphasis is focused on; 'this is what I want and this is why I want it.'

From my perspective, particularly as a life transformation coach, I strongly recommend a client look at the how component here to find help. For example:

  • How do I seek the change I am wanting or looking for?
  • How do I find the right professional or service?
  • How much control do I want a professional to have in this process?
  • How much responsibility and engagement do I want to take in this process?
  • How will I understand what it is they are saying?
  • How much am I prepared to spend or invest to find help? (and please recognise that these initiatives are investments in you and your life)

The above list puts you the client in a position of more power and control to find the help you need. There is more ownership and personal responsibility involved when you ask yourself (and when you ask professionals) these kinds of questions. It can also be a precursor to a stronger chance of success as you go about this process and these changes with a proactive switched on approach.

A lot of helping professionals are simply not asked questions about how they practice, what it is they do, and why they do it. How do I know this? Because I am one of those people who ask! The response is usually; "I never get asked that question!"

This brings us back to the world of jargon and how you can navigate your way through it. I hope you are making the connection that it is by asking questions and seeking clarification, that you will find help, and get the guidance that you require.

If you do not understand the jargon or explanations of a prospective helping professional, then ask them to simplify it, or give you some examples of what they do, how they do it, and why they practice that way.

Don't be surprised (because they might be based on my experience!) that they are surprised that you would ask them these questions - as mentioned earlier, many professionals simply do not get asked these things.. as it is assumed that they are experts.

You are the expert in your life. That does not mean you know everything, nor does it mean that you do not require guidance or direct assistance at times. What it means is that you maintain a strong and healthy sense of yourself, and you empower yourself to seek that guidance, while maintaining a healthy sense of your self worth.

In simple speak; not giving your power away to others simply because they are an expert - their expertise may not be what is best for you.

Life coaching acknowledges that you are the expert in your life. Competent certified and credentialed life coaches will embrace these questions, as the coaching approach is centred around you being the expert in your life. It is a powerful, and indeed refreshing way to go about seeking guidance from a professional. It is what differentiates coaching from so many other helping professions and services.

If you would like to find help in your life, and actively be part of the solution as the expert in your life, you can arrange a coaching session/s with me. Our sessions together are confidential, supportive, empowering and importantly, they are all about you. Simply go to the contact me form at the top of this page or via the link provided to arrange your coaching session today.

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