Pavel said something that really stuck with me when asked by a personal trainer “How would you go about building the discipline required to be great in a client?” He pauses and says “Stop treating people you’re training as clients. Hair salons have clients. A client is someone who is passively receiving a service. You want them to think of themselves as students and you want to treat them as students.”
That’s it! That was his response!
This is something I started thinking about a very long time ago regarding my counseling practice. It’s what finally sparked a dedication to learning about education and wanting to get involved in educational technology. I saw my clients as students and I saw my role as that of a teacher.
In mental health, different professions tend to call the people they work with and how they work with them by different names. Some say “patients” others say “clients.” Some talk about the people they “serve” while other talk about the people “under their care.” My education called them clients and I’ve never seen my clients as patients. My school taught the idea of working with people instead treating sick patients. In Colombia, I was asked to stop saying “clients” during a presentation because it was perceived as cold to the patients under their care.
I realized early on that once a client learned something and put it into practice the biggest part of my job was finished. But they would eventually forget, often very quickly. This is where a lot of what I’m learning regarding education plays a role because if I can help clients not only learn but retain what we cover in our sessions, they can improve their lives more quickly and spend less time and money on therapy. To be honest, it’s also boring for me to go over the same things week after week. There is a better way and I believe the secret lies in treating clients as student.