Am I living a lie?

June 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

I got a question from a fellow therapist regarding how best to deal with a client who had multiple problems of negative associations.

Question – I have recently been working with someone on their core issues.

What came up is as follows:

  • A strong victim archetype.
  • A sense they don’t love themselves
  • A sense they cant trust people.
  • They are frightened.
  • They are scared.
  • They have self-worth issues.
  • they have self-doubt.
  • They have no passion for life.
  • The overall feeling was that they believe the vast parts of their life are a sham and a lie.

    Mindskills Approach Coaching ANSWER –

    It can be difficult to give an accurate solution to your client’s problem without knowing specific details but from the general picture you painted I have noted my thoughts below.

    A lot of people believe that their life is a sham and that someday someone will find them out. This is usually due to Johari’s Window or more accurately Nohari Window when dealing with negative traits.

    I don’t know if you are aware of Johari’s Window but your client is displaying atypical symptoms of predominantly observing their world through the wrong window. Johari’s window simply explained –


    First window – Things that everyone knows about you – Arena;
    Second window – Things that only you know about you – Façade;
    Third window – Things that only others know about you and that you don’t know – Blind Spot; and
    Fourth window – Things that no one knows – Unknown.

    Your client seems to be judging themselves by comparing their Second window observations with a First window world view and unfortunately it is like comparing apples and oranges. Hence the distress, dilemma, unworthy feelings etc. (or however it manifests itself)

    The best way to proceed is to know how your client stores their emotional connections.
    Some ways to approach this are:

  • Listing and SUDsing or MILing all problems and tapping down the emotional intensity using EFT or Freeway-CER.
  • Calibrate how they Mentally, Physically and Emotionally conceptualise and contextualise each problem.
  • Reframing their different observations and associations.
  • Build control strategies using CBT trance work, Trance-free Hypnosis or Emotrance shield work.
  • Build strength and sustainability using the 9 Processes of Change integrated into the 6 Stages of Change.
  • Any one or a combination of all of the above should help.

    One of the biggest hurdles we face in our line of work is that many therapists and clients expect instant results, which is possible when a problem is situational or easily contextualised. But with client’s who present entrenched and multi-faceted problems with no discernable root cause or understanding of the influential factors then it is a disservice to them and us to expect a magic single session approach. It is like painting over dry rot – the problem rarely goes away and will often manifest itself in a different guise at a future date. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of what we do provides an instant feedback and a noticeable result but when a client’s problem has inertial characteristics then we owe it to them to acknowledge that in their sessions. Therefore building a deep intuitive rapport with the client is essential and this is done by listening at the third level of communications.

    Hope this helps but if you need further clarification then please contact me via my website at or drop me an email

    Check out the resources file for Nohari Window




    Entry filed under: Therapy advice.

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