Your growth is not just for you

A lot of times people come to therapy because they are distressed, burned out, worn out, depressed, anxious, can’t sleep, traumatized or in problematic relationships. But sometimes people come into therapy because they want to be a better parent, a better partner, a better manager or boss, a better team member or collaborator. Some people see that they are responsible for the welfare of others and their mental health has a direct effect on other’s welfare.

A friend recently talked about, when he was young, was the assistant to a Hollywood producer. When the producer walked into the room the energy changed to a chill of fear. He yelled at people, insulted everyone in sight, and nothing was ever good enough. Everyone in the room found their own way to deal with the onslaught. People didn’t last long and did not do their best work. The most they could do is hunker down and survive. No wonder the producer was not satisfied with what people did. However, he was not one to look at his own behavior as the cause of their poor performance.

When someone comes to see me, it is always interesting to me to see what happens in their business or their work performance. One measure is sales figures. Another less measurable thing might be amount of conflict on a work team, the number of creative ideas or sense of work satisfaction of the employees. Even though these things have not been a focus or even interest of the therapy we are doing, the changes are remarkable. You can see a chart of sales shoot up, or the productivity of a department be rewarded.

What a lot of people have told me is that in dollars and cents terms, the best investment of their money has been in their mental health. The amount they invest in therapy is returned many times over.