Do you have a client who is simply not taking the advice you’ve put together for them? While everyone has a tough client every now and then, it can be a challenge if you want to help someone and they don’t seem to ever put your carefully researched and designed plans into action.

So if you feel that you have a ‘rebel client’ on your hands, this is what you need to look at.

What reasons do they give for not wanting to adhere to the advice?

Sometimes, we can get frustrated with clients and not realise there are real reasons they are struggling to comply. So make sure that you’re exploring the reasons for not adhering to their plan. For example, are they:

  • Finding the plan too involved or too complex overall?
  • Struggling to understand a particular part of the plan, which has made it harder to put everything else into motion?
  • Not sure of how the plan is going to help them with their health goals specifically?
  • Being held back by their symptoms such as low energy or flat mood so they haven’t been able to put it into action yet?

Our clients are humans with complex lives, just like us. So it’s important that we take time to understand why they aren’t taking the advice, or at least what they perceive as the reasons.

If they find it difficult to explain why it’s happening, then it’s time to look at some deeper drivers behind the behaviour.

Is there an identity at play?

One theme I often see pop up with these rebellious clients is that there is an identity they have that is driving their responses to you.

Maybe they were always told they couldn’t do something, or that they always give up. Or perhaps this is an identity they formed in response to how they thought others perceived them, rather than it being directly said to them.

This needs to be uncovered. If someone identifies as a failure, a self-sabotager, a rebel, whatever the label might be – this is what is stopping them from becoming truly healthy. And it doesn’t matter how good your treatment plan for them is if they’re not going to put it into practice.

Have they shown previous patterns of self-sabotage before?

Sometimes you can find evidence of self-sabotaging behaviour in your clients. It might be something they tell you they do, or you might spot it through other things they tell you.

For example, they might say they’ve worked with heaps of practitioners before and it’s never made any difference. Or they say they’ve tried every diet under the sun and none have ever produced weight loss.

The behaviour might not even be in their health story, but in their everyday life. Not following up on opportunities, making poor financial decisions, even relationship patterns could signal a pattern of self-sabotage.

Why does this matter? Because it could explain why they are doing it with your treatment now.

Now the driver could be anything – something that was said in childhood, a limiting belief, an emotion that was never cleared or even trauma. That’s where using a tool such as NER can help to identify what the problem is and allow the client to process & clear it.

Are they ready to make changes?

This is a two-part consideration. Firstly, if your client is there because someone else has booked it for them or pushed them to see you, it may be that they genuinely don’t want to work on their health. This is common in teenagers and young adults or partners of clients. In this case, you need to respect that choice – although you can certainly help them with what they do want to work on.

But even in those who say they are ready to make changes, it may not line up with their unconscious beliefs. So while they are saying they want change, their nervous system is stepping in because some part of them is not ready for the change. This is where I use NER to clear whatever might be holding them back.

A reminder: a rebel client is not a naughty child!

This person has come to you for help with their health challenges. They aren’t deliberately rebelling against what you recommend – there is something driving that behaviour unconsciously.

I found that this is a common issue for practitioners, which is why I created Naturopathic Emotional Release – so that we could do something to help even the toughest of clients.

Want to add Naturopathic Emotional Release to your clinical toolbox?

The place to start is with my NER Training Course, which is run online and in-person. To learn more about the training and check out the upcoming workshops, click here.