I had an interesting experience recently, this has happened in the past but very infrequent and not to this extent. Please share your experience if this has occured with you, thanks.
This past Sunday a client of mine came in for training but after a quick warm up burst into tears. Every thing in her life was crashing in around her and there was a tremendous sense of worthlessness, unfulfillment and lack of accomplishment in her life. Training immediately took a back seat and I had to be a reassured presence in her life at that moment.
not an unfamiliar scenario. Not frequently but often enough to have developed an ‘approach’.
When this happens, I always go with my gut feel. I always listen, and I may hug. I often try to interpret the situation from a different point of view if that seems appropriate.
Training may or may not happen; I leave that up to the client.
As trainers, we are often in a unique position to intervene in a positive way. We usually know our clients’ situations very well and are familiar with rather intimate details, yet at the same time we are still impartial outsiders. That’s why we are ‘PERSONAL’ trainers.
Hello Kurt. I think that most trainers (me included) will or have faced a similar situation if they’ve been in the business for any period of time. Developing close client relationships comes with the territory of what we do, and so having a client share their deepest emotions and important events in their lives with you happens. Oftentimes all that is needed is an “ear” to be there to listen to your client and offer a friendly face. I think that it shows that your client trusts you and that’s an honor in my opinion. Just be careful in what you say and how you handle such very sensitive situations.
Yes it comes with the territory
My belief is that as people get stronger physically they also get stronger mentally and many face their real issues for the first time
I agree with Karin and I too will go by my gut.
Our clients develop trust with us and its important to keep your professionalism but also its ok to show your human side when need be.
Maybe you want to consider earning a wellness coaching credential so that you are better prepared when this inevitable situation arises.
Our clients often become attached to us and it is important for us to find a professional way of handling situations by utilizing scientific and evidence-based techniques.
Once you have those skills you will be in a better position to assist your clients with the help that that need (provided that you don’t need to refer) and secondly, you will be working within your scope of practice.
Remember, personal trainers do not give counsel or advice.
Hope this is helpful.