Take the word of an experienced practitioner: you will not fix every client you meet!
Are your skills not advanced enough? Do you lack the ability to accurately diagnose? Are you not implementing the treatment techniques they need?
These may seem like silly questions yet for the first five years of my practice it was my natural assumption that if someone didn’t get better it was because I wasn’t good enough.
I can tell you that after 25 years of clinical practice, I’m confident my assumptions were wrong. We aren’t able to fix every client because we aren’t meant to. Even the best in their profession, a few who I have worked with, can’t fix everyone. If there was “one way”, “one system” that worked for everyone, we wouldn’t have the plethora of health care professions that we do. Rather than ask, “Can we fix everyone?”, the better question is “Are we able to help everyone?”. The answer to this is YES!
As a practitioner, during the first session we should have:
A clear idea of the goals of our client
A good grasp of their barriers to health
How we are going to help them achieve those goals.
"Seeing our role as “facilitator” rather than “fixer” creates a paradigm shift. It takes our ego out of the equation and centers the focus on our client and their needs."
So, how do we become better facilitators? Knowledge is key! It is true that the more we learn, the more we realize how little we know and that is a good thing. It reminds us that we need to be lifelong learners, that we need to stay abreast of what science is telling us and that our way isn’t the “best way”. Sometimes we help our clients the most when we admit that what we are doing isn’t working. We need to work collaboratively with other allied professionals and know when we are stepping outside of our scope.
We need to listen carefully to our clients, and foster within them the autonomy and responsibility to prioritize their health. It is not our job to “fix”, it is our job to educate, empower, remove restrictions, and allow the body to do what it does best…...heal.