In June’s blog post I looked at taking the first step towards dealing with problems related to your horse, your riding or your confidence by asking for help, so I thought that I would follow that with thinking about what you can expect once you have taken that step and asked for help from an appropriate professional.
The very first things that you can expect are to be listened to, to be taken seriously and to be treated with respect. In my last post I talked about contacting a vet if you were concerned about your horse’s health and consulting a coach if you had a problem with your riding technique and skill. As I am neither a vet nor a riding coach then I can’t speak directly for those professions. However you can expect all professionals to be well qualified and up to date with their skills and to be honest and respectful in their dealings with all of their clients.
As I am a trained therapist then I can obviously talk about what you can expect when you contact me, or somebody like me. Firstly, you can expect that I will respond promptly to any enquiries and that your first session will be as soon as mutually convenient after your initial enquiry. Now, this blog post isn’t meant as a direct advert for my business but inevitably when covering this topic I am hopefully painting my business in a good light!
When you first meet a therapist it is their job to ensure that you feel comfortable and safe to discuss freely whatever is going on for you. In the profession we call this ‘creating a rapport’ and it is important that this happens for any therapy to be successful. You can expect your therapist or psychological coach to operate according to a strict code of ethics which includes preserving confidentiality and maintaining boundaries. As with other professions you can expect any therapist to have a good understanding of the subject, to be well qualified and to be up to date.
So that is a little bit about what YOU can expect but it is also important to consider your own responsibilities. For example, if you are having coaching sessions then it is obviously necessary for you to practice in between times. If your vet prescribes a course of therapy for your horse then it is your responsibility to follow that through as well.
In my world I will be making suggestions and teaching tips and techniques to help my clients regain their riding confidence and therefore I would expect my clients to be prepared to try these things out, report back and discuss what they are experiencing so that I can then build on that or modify my approach as necessary. All therapy is a two way process and client and therapist work together in order for you to see the changes you are looking for. When you are consulting a professional to help you to overcome any problems then you are generally making a major investment financially and in time so it is worth doing it properly.
There is no magic wand and as in all areas of our lives the best things come from hard work and commitment.