So, you’ve made your big career decision, like me, the suitcases are finally unpacked and you’ve arrived. You’ve settled in and you’re getting a little more comfy in the role of a therapist. You’re now at the stage of doing continuing professional development courses, some salient, others somewhat divergent. All interesting, pertinent and beneficial in their own way.
Some of these courses resonate deeply within you and you intuitively know their importance to your growth at both a personal level and at a professional one. However, every now and then, you might find yourself in a room with someone where, no matter how much you tilt your head and squint, you just do not see their purpose or their point. Or, after a session with a new therapist you have face-planted from being over-process-y, trying to assimilate too much too soon. Do you remember being in so much of a hurry to get to your “destination” that you were prepared to chance it by fast tracking or skipping steps?
From my days of serving as a warning to others, may I encourage you to please do your research to understand a little about what you’re walking into?
We’ve all thrown caution to the wind and, probably, a sum of money better spent elsewhere, into some whacky group event. You know the deal. Your best friend has talked you into doing something that, yeah, yeah is going to be so-oh-oh grrrrrreat AND it counts towards your CPD. When you get there you soon discover they speak a “language”. Mostly it is manipulative. Every sentence or phrase is geared to make you feel less than and yet, somehow, instilled with a desire to be one of the gang. With time, you learn which people are genuine and which ones are playing a game.
The times, my friends, they are a-changing. Enlightenment is upon us in the technological age. We no longer have to trek any further than the end of our electronic devices to connect to most of the world via a conference call or webinar. (The caveat for power, internet and reception is implied.) We do not have to venture anywhere outside of ourselves to discover the journey from our heads to our hearts. Never did! It was just a journeyman’s perk. Go to new places, meet new people … ( … and kill them. Shhhh, don’t mention the war!)
Now, let me give you a warning about this manual-reading business. Just because you’ve read a manual does not mean you are an expert in the field. Take for example, the chap who rang my partner, my beloved Andrew, and said that he needed to put some window locks on his new home’s windows. He informed us that he had read up on installing window locks and realised that he did not have the appropriate tools. Did my beloved Andrew have the necessary tools by any chance? Yes, as an engineer who loves to tinker in his spare time, my beloved Andrew did.
Upon arrival we were greeted with incense burning, special calming spiritual music playing, dazzling crystal layouts on various occasional tables and bits of what I can only call stick, feather and rock installations in virtually every corner because, they were as spiritual AF and we, apparently, were not up to par and needed to be suitably impressed.
My beloved took himself and his tools to the first window, fully expecting to hand over said tools to the chap. Instead, the chap stood back and let Andrew at it. From over his shoulder the chap read from the manual, instructing my beloved who was quickly developing murderous intentions each time he heard the statement “as any fool could do”. Andrew installed 3 of the 4 locks. But, enough was enough. Politely excusing himself whilst gathering his tools, the beloved announced, through gritted teeth, that we had to leave. Not to worry, all would be well because, now that the chap had read the manual and had seen how it was done, well, y’know, as was already made clear, any fool could do it…
It was several months later when I ran into this chap’s partner. I asked how the last lock installation went. She burst into gleeful laughter. Apparently he had to replace the window 3 times because he kept shattering the glass. And he was saddled with a set of tools he was never going to use again.
So what is the message in this little story? You have to go the distance by actually repeatedly DOING the work well. Having the desire and reading the manual, believing that you can or observing others isn’t enough. Otherwise you enter the territory of moral bankruptcy wrapped up in dulcet-toned language.
See ya next month!