In the last few weeks I have read a lot and spoken with colleagues on the subject of what has been called the “sizzle” factor. This refers to alternative therapists, life coaches etc. giving their clients just enough of what they need to make them feel good, temporarily fixing the problem, but leaving the client reliant on the therapist for the next instalment, the next “fix” on the road to enlightenment, recovery or whatever it may be.
Most therapists and artists I have spoken to agree there are two groups, those that offer the short lived feel good factor and in doing so almost create an addiction to their services coupled with a healthy bank balance, and those that want to help the client achieve the art of prolonging the feel good factor for themselves, so that eventually, I suppose like good parenting, the child or the client learns to stand on their own two feet, coping with their life situation in a balanced and harmonious way.
The discussion always ends with the therapists with the “sizzle” being frowned upon as they perfect the art of drawing the public in, getting good audiences for their talks, workshops, books and sessions and earning lots of money! This is not to say that the opposite camp of therapists are not successful, but it seems to be acknowledged that the “sizzle” sells! Fair enough, we all want a quick fix don’t we? Why would we pay someone to make us face our own lives and inner turmoil, trusting that if we face it head on and gradually work through it piece by piece we will emerge stronger, in line with our creative path and everything will be fine? That could take a life time, or several. Or could it?
So I started to look at my work and question what I do and from what I can see it really depends on the client. My approach and intention is definitely to help the client achieve a positive state of being for themselves. With Singing Therapy a client learns a series of exercises to address whatever problems they are having, the idea of the exercises is that of self help. The client learns the tools in the session and needs to practise and apply them in daily life to aid their recovery and re-programme their patterns on a physical, mental and emotional level, just like a musician would practise in order to improve their playing. Practise something 5000 times and it becomes habit.
With Sound Therapy my role is usually slightly different, in that I am actually “treating” a client, and using sonic tools to shift their energetic and emotional blocks. However even then, I will try to give the client some breathing exercises, or musical tools to help them divert their attention from the negative issue in their daily lives whatever that might be, hoping that by diverting them enough, they will eventually “see” an alternative route for their journey.
What I came to realise after all these thoughts, was that some clients do not want to take responsibility for their illness and recovery. They go from therapy to therapy not really grasping the concepts and not practising the tools they are given to aid their development in their daily life. They are not questioning what has bought them to this point where they needed to seek help. In many cases they just want to blame their parents, their ex lover, their GP, the NHS and so on. Asking someone to actually be honest and examine their thought patterns, choices and decisions over their life time is not an easy thing, because ultimately you are asking them to take responsibility for their actions in the past and in the present. Of course there are always exceptions where people really are victims, and they have been the object of awful intent, but even then, a person can be encouraged to choose their thoughts carefully at the beginning of their journey to recovery.
We hear it all the time….”the answer lies within”. What does that actually mean? My translation is, “the answer is our responsibility.”
Can we stop looking outside of ourselves for a moment, blaming everyone else, and just sieze the moment and realise we have the power to change our situation? We all have to play the hand we were dealt and the people that do this with acceptance and courage see the most incredible results. They stop searching and needing a quick fix, because they understand that THEY choose their thoughts and how they feel about any given situation. They choose how they see themselves and perceive the world around them.
It all comes down to perception. Incredibly I have heard people say things like, “oh she must be good, she charges over X amount per hour”. So that means, in the way they perceive the world, if something is expensive it MUST be good. Interesting concept, I should put my charges up! Yet this is true in so many fields, not just alternative therapies.
If there are people out there that honestly think like this, then why is it the therapist’s responsibility to persuade them otherwise? If a person wants the “sizzle” and is prepared to pay for it, over and over, than that is their choice. If they prefer to take charge of their own life situation and learn to help themselves, growing and evolving as they do it, then great! If we were all to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions however hard it may be, just imagine the depth of change that would bring to our world! Either way, we should have the choice without the judgement.
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Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling, my journey into Singing and Sound for healing body, mind and spirit of all beings.