Why pay to talk to someone when you could chat with a friend over a cuppa?
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Before I start writing this piece I should declare an interest…….
My business involves talking to people and them paying me in return so, naturally, I am biased!
However, I do genuinely believe that it is in your best interest to consult a professional when you have any kind of issue or concern. That could be asking a vet about a horse health problem, asking a saddle fitter about signs of discomfort in that area of your horse, asking a nutritionist for advice about the best feeding regime for your much loved equine. Then, as this article is talking about “talking” I believe that if you have a psychological concern or a riding mindset worry then it is well worth consulting an expert in rider anxiety and/or rider mindset and psychology.
If you are very lucky then you might have a good friend who can help you to sort out whatever is going on but consulting a professional will have the so many more benefits including:
- You will be speaking to someone who has trained, possibly for many years, to listen to you and help you to understand what’s going on. So no responses like “Oh you’ll be OK don’t worry about it”!
- A therapist is trained in asking ‘questions that count” which will draw answers from you in order that you both can gain understanding.
- A professional will adhere to a code of conduct and will be committed to maintaining confidentiality. So there will be no “Please don’t tell anyone about this”! followed by worry that you friend may just break your trust.
- A therapist may sometimes kindly challenge you and thus enable you to ask yourself uncomfortable questions. However this will be done in a safe and supportive environment so that any “challenge” isn’t too much for you to be able to handle.
- A mindset coach will have a good understanding of your sport and the skills necessary to fulfil your goals in that sport at all levels. There is no competition between professional and client in this relationship, whereas with a friend there can sometimes be a competitive element and it could be in the friend’s interest for you to hang onto your worries and concerns.
- A professional will never judge you. Chances are that they will have heard similar stories before from previous clients so there won’t be any shocked face, hand over the mouth with “OMG you didn’t do that!!!” reaction!
- When consulting a professional to help you with worries or mindset you will be guided in an unbiased fashion. The relationship will be friendly with a healthy rapport so that you feel comfortable but professional boundaries will be maintained. Even a friend who is a very good listener will often want to chip in with their own experiences but, while the therapist might use some personal examples to explain a point they won’t respond with things like “Oh yes, the same thing happened to me” and then go on to tell a long story about their own experiences.
- There aren’t all that many opportunities in life to spend an hour or so talking about yourself and focussing totally on yourself and what’s going on in your life or in your riding. This is the luxury you are paying for.
- Sometimes there is conflict or disagreement among friends and people can take offence even when it isn’t intended. When talking to a professional you are free to disagree without causing upset as you are speaking to someone who has been trained in dealing with this type of situation.
- Working with a therapist or mindset coach (or ideally someone who has training in both approaches) will help you to find long-lasting solutions and make changes so that you can move forwards from the position you have found yourself in with clear understanding and a new ability to fulfil your goals.
- And lastly……the professional you consult might just also make you a nice cuppa as well!
The above list is just some of the advantages of paying for someone to help you rather than having that chat over a cuppa with a friend.
If there is anything which I can help you with or any points which you would like me to clarify then please do just get in touch.
Please do note though….If at any time in your life you feel that you are struggling with your mental health in any way, then don’t wait. Speak to a friend, a member of your family, a therapist or a doctor immediately and ask for help. In a crisis, it’s so important to seek help as soon as you are able. You are not alone.
NB Photos used with kind permission of Sophie Callahan