Sometimes through Online Counseling people don’t always “like” the advice they’re given.
This was the case recently with M., a 31 year old professional saleswoman who had a small high end sheep leather coats import company. M. had recently lost here dream contract in early 2008 doing ‘big business’ with a nationally known prestigious clothing store. Since that time she had moved around a bit job-wise and slowly gotten herself into debt.
At the time when I starting communicating with her she had reached the point where she was willing to work part time for others, in a commission only based job. She was currently four months behind on her rent and was exhibiting the beginning stages of clinical depression.
M. lived in New York City by herself, most of her friends and family lived overseas. She did have a few friends in the area but she hadn’t seen very much of them recently because in her own words: “What friends I do have here, I rarely see anymore as I have withdrawn into my apartment. A typical weekend for me will be to stay up all night Friday night only to sleep for the next two days consecutively until I have to return to work on Monday.”
Through our introductory Online Counseling session M. revealed that she was falling into a type of depression and having all sorts of strange dreams whilst sleeping (12-14 hours). She could not afford health care at this time and did not know what she was going to do financially. The weekend she had contacted me she had simply decided to discontinue eating and stated that she, “did not even feel that hungry anymore.” It was later revealed that she had also been engaging in other activities that pointed to sings of her depression. She showed signs of drinking binges beyond socially acceptable standards; there were also some concerns about promiscuity (with one of her potential client).
I assessed that M.’s life was spiraling out of control and the things that provided her with a feeling of self worth i.e. her job, her apartment, her standard of living in general - were all dropping significantly. She was trying to get past these difficult times and just reached the point where she did not know what to do.
Three Online Counseling sessions were needed in order to formulate my assessment and professional advice; generally speaking, I appreciate someone who is having a true awareness about him / herself and wants to take the right steps - and she falls into this group.
I had the feeling that M. is having 'an o.k. personality’ and therefore is capable of getting through the current situation, if major changes would occur in four domains:
A. Drinking should be a definite target for a change in her life.
B. Job and Business re-structuring: This economy has no room for many high end products; leather sheep coats are definitely within the heavily affected range. Use your sales ability, and move into another area. You are good in that line, so do high commission jobs.
C. Love / Sex / Relationships - no more and never again with clients or potential clients. Adopt therefore another mission: to look inward for your 'self assets' and thereafter outward, to find the right one.
D. New business location - no chance in NYC. Costs are too high and market trends are alarming. You are single, I told her, with no real supportive social circle around your location. Transform this “negative asset” into a big “plus” and move int to a growing areas, economy wise. Neither you nor I are going to produce miracles that would beat the economy trend. Since I'm not a magician, only a professional, I could see no reason to support an effort to swim against the stream when she could float on it instead.
So the strategy is:
- Look for another business and or job, elsewhere in the US.
- Establish a new 'you' - no drinking, financial responsibility and healthy relationships.
M. questioned me on the necessity to move out of New York; she was slightly agitated by my recommendation. Our Online Counseling work has ended; the Small Business Advice I could give her was left untouched.