Why is a therapist training businesses anyway?
It might seem like an odd leap - a licensed marriage and family therapist coming into your organization to lead training in a business environment. When you think therapist, you think small office, couch, boxes of tissue and low lamp light, right?
Well, here's the thing - I have that. I have a lovely private practice, complete with 7 lamps, a comfortable gray couch, and two or three open boxes of Kleenex at any given point. I love my clients, getting to help them through anxiety, life transitions, relationship struggles, and parenting issues. This is work that fills me with purpose and lets me know I am doing good in the world.
My clients leave my office and head out into the world, to their families, and to their work places. They don't suddenly turn into different people. They have the same history, conflicts, and struggles - with more awareness, certainly - but they take these stories and head into the world. They interact with their coworkers, they manage their projects, they supervise their employees. They bring their skills, strengths, and struggles through the doors of your business.
In private practice, I have helped individuals work on these skills for years, before I realized how effective I could be if I provided training with a whole group of people working together every day.
People who have focused training in soft skills, (things like interpersonal relationships, leadership, assertiveness, teamwork, conflict management, creative thinking) do better in all areas of their life, including work and career. As a therapist, when I come in to work with a group of people, I have the professional background to look for red flag behavior, to pay attention to group dynamics, to notice spots where people are misaligned with their strengths and their goals, to help people look at areas of conflict and the history that might make resolution especially difficult.
Conflict between people is usually really layered, and usually has so much to do with each person's prior experiences and the ways they were raised. Combining my therapist skills with my training skills, I can help people have more awareness of the buttons getting pushed, what the real things are that are being triggered, and how they can find a resolution in a work-place-appropriate way. I can help people look at the barriers to their success or achievement - whether it's conflict with others like I mentioned, or fear of success, or a lack of assertiveness or leadership. These are all things that we can practice, given the right environment and training.