I don’t want to be a good client!

I don’t want to be a good client! (A client is a person who is being facilitated.)

After years of being on both sides of numerous facilitation, I had a revelation a few months ago. As I was being facilitated by a wonderful facilitator, I realized that for all this time I have been
focused on being a ‘good’ client rather than an honest one. What I mean by that is that I am often trying hard to listen to facilitators and trying not to go into a story. I see that I have been forcing myself to be open-minded even when I really didn’t want to or was not ready. As I realized this during this facilitation, I decided no more ‘good’ client for me!
This resulted in an amazing experience…clientone where for the very first time, or so it seemed, I felt held, heard and supported by someone doing The Work.

“Is it true?”…“Of course it is!!

For this particular facilitation, I had created a worksheet on my mother-in-law. During the facilitation, I probably looked like a very closed-minded person to some people but I didn’t care. I wanted to honor the part of myself that believed that I simply wanted her respect.

During this experience, when the facilitator asked me, “Is it true?” I became very annoyed. My mind was screaming “Of course it’s true!!”and I sensed the anger building up inside me. I started feeling as if she was forcing me to say “No.” I felt very isolated and not safe being with her. I even told her that I was not sure if she was on my side. At that point, tears started welling up and I needed her to assure me that she was on my side. It was quickly becoming a shocking experience.

Soon she asked me, “Who has disrespected you in the past?” which was a great question. The response “My parents!” came to mind immediately. Then, she switched the concept from “I want my mother-in-law to respect me” to “I want my parents to respect me.” It was perfect.

When she asked “Who would I be without the thought—‘I want them to respect me–?’” I became fearful. I felt it would be dangerous to drop the thought (even though the facilitator hadn’t asked me to). I didn’t want to see who I would be without the thought because if I did, I thought I’d become a doormat.

I am done being your doormat!!

client“I don’t want to be a doormat anymore!” I screamed at her. I was very emotional. I needed to hear myself say it. I really believed that I was a doormat for my parents, and a part of me still believes that some people try to use me. I can see clearly how the thought “I don’t want to be a doormat” still plays out in my life. And until I really Work on being a doormat, I can’t be open to “who would I be without the thought–I want my parents to respect me–?”

She was finally heard.

My patient facilitator heard me out. She gave me the space to marinate in my story. I am so glad I did not allow myself to become the typical ‘good’ client. I needed to loudly express that I was really sick and tired of being a doormat for my parents (and others). This little wounded girl needed to be heard. I think the little girl in me can finally take a backseat and relax a little bit now.

Something really shifted in me from this experience. It is totally okay if I am not ready to be open to the possibility of ‘who I would become if I didn’t have the thought’. Sometimes it takes time to get to the other side of a situation. That’s totally okay by me. I will take time as much as I need. No rush, no hurry Tamami. I am always here for you.client


  1. Steve Hayes

    I’ve been to a lot of therapists and soul workers in my life, known many many more, even dabbled in the field myself. They’re generally well meaning people who have a positive benefit. I’ve also learned they have their limits for hearing truth or at least what’s believed to be so. I’ve had more than a few go running for the locker room on me. Once one of the most brilliant and accomplished psychologist in the world melted down, threw a fit and had to be led away when I asked him a simple and very earnest question at practicum. I’ve learned, no matter what they say, you have to be careful with them, be they a psychiatrist or a soul retriever. Most people working in these fields will train you and very quickly let you know the parameters, that’s been okay with me as I’m there to learn what I can and accept the limitations for the sake of progress (?) :). I understand the intentions of this post, but with a smile would say be careful what you ask for and prepared for what you get :). Very good and well intentioned article and a great conversation started. Could I hear a Brad Blanton??

    • Tamami Fujiwara

      Steve, I love that “that’s been okay with me as I’m there to learn what I can and accept the limitations for the sake of progress .” That’s so kind to me. Loving what is…loving what is… xoxo

  2. Wendy

    Thanks Tamami,
    I am always busying myself being a “good client”!
    I love how In the rare moments as a really difficult client The Work holds the space and catches me as I fall.

    Once I witnessed a really explosive angry person lose it, really lose it big time. Yelling, screaming and raging. Many in the room seemed frightened. The facilitator was so still, calm and kept asking the questions. The facilitator simply held the space for this person to rant, scream and yell her way through enquiry. All that pent up anger allowed to be free. And what a place to do it with a facilitator strong in The Work and in no way taking it personally.

    Cheers to the difficult client. Another path to freedom.

    Love Wendy xo

    • Tamami Fujiwara

      Thanks for sharing this, Wendy. Yes, indeed. Cheers to the difficult client! Sometimes, we need to say what we want to say all the way!!

  3. Edie

    I love your sharing, the image of your meeting you as lose to reality as possible with love and care fullness. XO

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