The Most Important Component of Helping

By Susi Hately, B.Sc.Kin, C-IAYT

In my 22 years of practicing and teaching yoga, I’ve found that the most important component of helping someone therapeutically is the Healing Relationship.

Without this understanding there is no hope for anyone to make any progress – teacher or client.

The Healing Relationship is 100% vital to the client getting well and the teacher not burning out.

It distinguishes between the authoritative “power over” and the collaborative “power with”.

This enables the client/patient become their own best teacher, their own best advocate.

It takes the ego of “ooooh I am so smart” out of the equation for the teacher which truly enables the client to heal, which really is so ‘effing cool.

When you combine this vital skill with your ability to see compensatory movement strategies, and knowing what to do with what you see, you can more clearly and accurately choose the next step – whether a yoga movement, breathing or meditation technique or something entirely different.

Bottom line: When you combine an amazing therapeutic relationship with a solid understanding of the biomechanics, anatomy and kinesiology required for healing… will grow your consistency with great results and happy clients. And happy clients refer. Often.

It is amazing. And doable.

Recently I was discussing the Healing Relationship with a friend, and he asked me for some specific recommendations for cultivating such a relationship. I can talk about it at length, but it’s surprisingly hard to put it into a few words because it’s more about “being” rather than “doing.”

However, after going outside into the sun and leaning against the railing of my deck, I came up with the following points that are in the direction of attaining a Healing Relationship:

  1. Take time to slow down. The tendency is to find a solution fast. My experience is that faster and better results arise out of slowing down. So, if your brain is swirling to find the answer, pause, breathe, take a sip of water. By slowing down, you’ll be able to see more, share more, and make a bigger difference for your client.
  2. Speak their language. Try not to use jargon-y language if your client doesn’t understand it.
  3. Don’t Freak Out. 🙂 Oftentimes where you might see a compensatory strategy is not the place where your client will feel it. Don’t worry – this is normal. It is a great example of where the pain is is not the problem. The key is to notice that there is a correlation, so as you help your client move better within a more effective range, what they feel will also likely change. So instead of trying to make the client feel what you see, note the relationship.
  4. Embrace Your Doubt. The very best health professionals acknowledge that they doubt themselves. The distinction though is they don’t get drowned by it, nor do they ignore it. They notice it is present and continue to see and act. Here is one of my tricks – When doubt shows up for me, I get excited that I am being asked to pay close attention, to be gentler with my gaze and to settle down. When I do, I am able to see more and choose better, and my client often “gets it” faster.

If this resonates with you and you want to get better results and a more sustainable client base, scroll down below for information on the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive this October in Calgary.

We’ll spend a lot of time on this concept of the Healing Relationship, among many others.

Have fun exploring!

Note #1: If after reading, you have any questions about the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive, contact us  with your question, or if you prefer, we could schedule a time to chat. Zero pressure because I’ll be the first one to say if I think something is not a great fit.

Note #2: I do have 2 openings for this same Intensive in Toronto on September 22-27, in case that works better for you. If you might be interested in that, please reply to this email and I can let you know if they’re still not taken.

Growth and Learning Opportunities with Susi
The Therapeutic Yoga Intensive

I have offered and refined this program over the last 14 years. It remains one of the best foundational programs for becoming a truly spectacular yoga therapist. What do I mean by spectacular? Being present so that you can truly be with the person who is in front of you, and not having to rely on the latest trend, or research paper to choose movements, breathing and stillness techniques.

Yes, trends and research are interesting and important, but the magic happens when you are truly with your client. The participants who have taken this program are amazed at how being present really is the missing link – not only in their ability to help someone get well but to do so consistently and not burn out. AND, to help their own self heal and get well again.

This program is for you if you believe that healing is possible. You want a no fuss, candid and truly loving approach to being real about “what is”; to dig in and explore yourself in movement, breath and stillness. You know that your level of awareness, connection and integration has a direct impact on your results with your clients. You recognize you can’t ask a client to do what you aren’t willing to do for yourself. You understand that if pain can change, pain can actually change.

This program is not for you if you are looking for a quick “fix it”, in the form of “when you see this, do that” black-and-white templates. Also, some people don’t recognize there is magic in healing and would prefer a “power over” approach, which suggests they know more than their clients. They won’t enjoy this experience.
Group size is limited to 18 people. Payment plans are available.

The Therapeutic Yoga Intensive is Level 1 of my IAYT-Accredited Yoga Therapy Certification Program.

Following the training you will be able to begin teaching 1:1 and small group therapeutic yoga classes.

Click here for details for the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive that is running this October 20-25, 2018 in Calgary. I do give discounts to people who register early because it saves me time and I like to have my events filled early–it allows me to get back to what I like to do, and that’s to help people through my writing and interacting with them.

Early bird registration is available until August 31, and class size maxes out at 18 participants. Payment plans are available.

Reviews of the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive

“. . . I was out of pain, off all medications.”
I took this training and within three months (after 8 years) of chronic pain, I was out of pain, off all medications. I used the principles outlined here and dedicated time for my personal practice and healing. And now I’ve taught these same things to my students, helping others find their way out of pain! Thank you. ~ Cathy

“What is this stuff? Magic?”
Ah-Ha! So, I’ve just returned from my client with Parkinson’s. She’s been quite depressed about how her leg is starting to drag. Today, after a while doing stuff on her back, I got her up and asked her to walk around and tell me how she felt. “Oh Gillian,” she said after a couple of minutes. “Can you see, my leg’s not dragging nearly as much!” What is this stuff? Magic? ~ Gillian

“. . .never before have I felt I’ve learned so much”
THANK YOU for teaching me to look beyond the books and seek the knowledge that is deep within my body. I appreciated that you spent lots of time to show us what to do, how to do it and told us why we might choose one exercise and not another, but most importantly for me I appreciated that you left the discovering of what to feel or not up to us. I’ve taken lots of courses and read lots of books and watched lots of videos but never before have I felt I’ve learned so much that is right now applicable and beneficial to so many. Although I took notes and re-wrote them after the training, I feel I have a sense of what to do – what a great feeling! Thanks so much. – Maureen

Click here for details for the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive that is running this October 20-25, 2018 in Calgary.  Early bird registration is available until August 31, and class size maxes out at 18 participants. Payment plans are available.

Inspirational Quotes