Friday, August 5, 2011

Love makes the difference

There’s a statistic out there that indicates that 90 percent of all self help CD’s aren’t even listened to. Another one that says that the effects of self help seminars usually lasts only three days, and then the motivation to change fades. And the most staggering statistic about interpersonal change came from an research study that’s about forty years old and seems to be ignored by many in the therapeutic and psychological communities.

The experiment goes like this: There were two groups. The control group was made up of a few hundred people, as was the experimental group. The members of each group were selected based on their emotional difficulties, like depression or anxiety. The people in the experimental group participated in psychotherapy for about three months to address their issues. The control group was left to their own devices to deal with their problems as they saw fit. At the end of the three months, each person was given a survey to report if their feelings improved, stayed the same, or became any worse.

The results reported by the control group were as follows: one third got better, one third stayed the same, and one third got a little worse. What surprised the researchers was the results from the experimental group, the ones that received therapy: One third got better, one third stayed the same, and one third got a little worse.

The word “therapy” comes from Sanskrit. It means “to teach and to heal.” Think of the best teachers and healers that you’ve ever known. Do you remember what they taught? Do you remember their advice? Or do you remember their kindness, their patience, their encouragement and their support? The best teachers, healers and therapists are the ones that make you believe in yourself. Their message is not through instruction, it’s through attention and love.

Leo Buscaglia, the wonderful author and lecturer, said that people don’t need therapy. We have all the tools to make ourselves a better person. We don’t need any more analysis or interpretation. We need friendship and connections. We need no more reassurance that we’re doing what we are supposed to be doing. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to trust in who we are. We need to begin to believe that, at our very essence, we are good and we will strive to seek the highest good for ourselves and those we love.

Lao Tsu, the father of Taoism, has a wonderful quote: “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” Believe in yourself. Believe in your judgments. Believe in that “center of your being” and you will be guided to the deepest sense of peace, happiness, and contentment. You don’t need a therapist. You need only to know, in your heart, that you are sufficient, you are good, you belong among us, and you will make it through this life just beautifully.


  1. But most of all, the therapists are professionals. And no practising therapist or coach generally yells at people, so it is safe to say that all the teachers, coaches and therapists already employ kindness.

    Some go too far in showing love to others though, and THAT can be a problem. That can explain why some of the people do not benefit from a therapist. It is not the lack of love and kindness, but it is “love, compliments and encouragement overdone and overemphasized and getting too personal” by a coach that blurs boundaries, and creates all sorts of problems.

  2. Agreed. The trouble begins when a client believes that what a doctor, a philosopher or a coach preaches is what he/she is actually following in his or her own life as well.

    But sometimes it is far from reality! And then there is a rift between what is being preached to a client, and what a coach is doing in reality in his/her own life that in turn affects his/her ability to impart good advice to a client.

    There are good coaches and some bad ones too. So it is imperative for a client / patient to be careful.

  3. I thought I should elaborate on this:

    Mr. McShane, you brought up the topic of 1/3rd population of people staying the same and another 1/3rd getting worse, which is interesting. It has made me think, and I have shared some of my insights that I have perceived, stories that I have read / heard from others, etc., etc.

    Personally, I like to read your blog and think that you must be a wonderful and compassionate advisor to your clients.

    Wishing you good luck....