Therapists Why You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. Why there are some things we only learn from the right training, from experience, self-awareness, or even from a certain- level of consciousness.
Why being a good therapist, healer or coach involves the right skills, knowledge, and awareness. And the ability to ask the right questions.
Why You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know is a term I use when working with my relaxation therapy students and marketing clients. And what I am referring to is the importance of approaching every client, patient, student, or even situation with fresh eyes.
Being an effective therapist involves not just getting the right quality training, and developing the right skills but awareness and self-awareness. Being able to put our ego to the side and not make assumptions, jump to conclusions or over generalise.
Being a great therapist, a healer even a coach involves a lot of on-the-job learning and aha moments. Which only comes from a more open mind. But sometimes if we don’t get the right training or don’t have the right knowledge we don’t know what we don’t know.
What I Learned As A Client, Patient
The reality is we don’t know what we don’t know until something is brought to our conscious awareness or into our level of understanding. I see this a lot with therapists and coaches who tend to just invest in fast-track training or people who add the word coach to their name or business who have had no coaching training.
Even when we are taught certain things, there at times in our life when we don’t fully grasp or understand what we are being taught. There are many things I was taught 20, or 30 years ago that I learned but didn’t fully understand till many years later. And things I was taught that were untrue.
And much more I learned as a therapist and healer that came from my own personal therapy or healing experiences. As I tell my students and clients I had many wonderful experiences with many healers and therapists but I had also some extremely shocking and harmful experiences.
But this big life lesson helped me to become more self-reliant and self-independent in my health and well-being choices. Use my own intuition and inner guidance more. Not to automatically assume that the therapist, healer, Dr, or Nurse knew more than me and always was going to do what was TRULY right for me. Because they don’t know what they don’t know and what they think they know might be wrong.
What I Learned As A Therapist, Student
When I began learning Reiki, 30 years ago, although I had some knowledge and interest in holistic therapies, I was at the beginning of my journey and I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
For a variety of reasons I would end up training with more than a few Reiki Masters/Teachers in-fact I did my 2nd level 3 times. Know this was a HUGE eye-opener for me. Because each teacher taught differently and one was so vague in her teaching the situation made me question if she was indeed a fully qualified reiki master and teacher.
Each teacher’s level of experience, depth of knowledge, and insights were completely different. In fact, everyone taught the reiki symbols differently. So when I became a Reiki Teacher myself and students had done another level with another teacher, I would go over the different levels to check we were on the same page.
If I am being honest, I was stuck for words at how many students were never given manuals or if they did how small and thin the manuals were. And some of the things they were taught by their teachers. There was no standardisation but also a lot of personal views or personal understandings of something thrown in.
But you know years later after being taught many different types of healing modalities, being the client and student of many different types of healers and spiritual teachers around the world. I ended up having to unlearn much of what I was taught as I found out most of it was just perceptions and not really reality.
On my own journey as both client, healer, and therapist I saw the huge differences in quality and levels of teaching. But I also witnessed too much of this therapy, modality can treat everything and anything. And very little on this is what this therapy or treatment is really best for. The by-product being healers and therapists selling their therapies for everything and anything when in reality it wasn’t really the best or most effective therapy for certain conditions or challenges.
We Don’t Always Have The Answers Or Tools For Every Client
I learned early on that no therapist has all the answers or all the tools for every client’s condition or challenge. But with the right awareness, we can know how to approach the situation.
It is one of the reasons in both my Accredited Relaxation and Stress Management Training I teach not just over 20 stress management and stress resilience techniques. But that I help my students nurture more awareness. And to send clients to someone else when it is appropriate to do so.
I stress how important it is that in the client-therapist relationship they come to each session with fresh eyes and know how to ask the right questions. And to avoid premature conclusions.
The Relaxation Therapist, the Stress Practitioner need to have a variety of different tools in their anxiety and stress-busting toolkit. But they equally need to be able to get a bigger picture of each client’s lifestyle challenges, and biggest life stressors in a short time.
We all have HUGE blind spots in our awareness, knowledge, and expertise. That is why I encourage my students and business mentoring clients the importance of niching down and focusing on areas of work where your biggest strengths and experience are.
Do No Harm First
The reality is it is every therapist and health practitioner’s role to DO NO HARM FIRST. And the reality is naivety, and lack of awareness can be very damaging.
I have lost count of the amount of potentially damaging things said to me by therapists, healers, doctors, and nurses. I have met so many clients and students who felt more damaged by other well-being therapists or health practitioners due to a lack of insight and usually an unchecked ego.
One hypnotherapist said to me while in hypnotic state lets fix your broken brain. One therapist told me to put something in my eye telling me it was perfectly safe for my condition when it dropped my eye pressure so low that my eye specialist told me it made my eye so soft it could have well have popped out.6
One counsellor told me my M.E. was not a real illness and was all in my head because of something she read. Another Dr once told me the reason I had M.E. was that I didn’t have a relationship. When the reality was that 5M.E. impacted my life so greatly it made it difficult to have any healthy relationships.
The list could go on… The reality is we don’t know what we don’t know. But an inquiring open mind can help us learn more. In the therapy session, we are only getting a glimmer into a person’s lifestyle, past, level of physical, mental, and emotional trauma, or other exposures. That is why it is so important to approach each client individually and holistically. And understand we don’t know everything, we don’t have all the answers and that is okay. In-fact when we think we know everything there is to know we miss out on so much so does our clients.