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.
Yes, this has happened to me as well. This will happen to you more than once over the years, so it’s better to be prepared when you meet with your clients, because life can be very unpredictable.
It’s part of the trade and you will never know what kind of day your clients have had when they meet with you. Part of being a good trainer is to be a great listener and a good friend, and to feel compassion for those whom you are trying to help. Sometimes you may feel like a psychologist. The other part of being a good trainer is knowing you are the professional in this situation. Your clients are allowed to fall apart, but you’re not, so remain professional and help as best you can. When clients change their lifestyles and transform their habits, it’s often either because of other turmoil in their lives, or the transformation itself may be causing turmoil. It’s not uncommon for clients to gain clarity and confidence as part of a transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it can be a powerful experience for them, which is why they may look to you for guidance. Many times, your clients consider you to be someone they can talk to because you are outside their circle of family and friends and you are a great source of inspiration and support for them.
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.
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.