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The importance of fulfilling one’s potential in psychotherapy

In the recent issue of the Enfield Haringey Independent, James Cowen wrote an interesting article on the inspirational running coach, Vinod Patel, who had just been awarded the British Citizen Award for his services in the local community. On 23rd of January, Mr Patel went to the Palace of Westminster where he was awarded the prestigious award. For the last 40 years, Mr Patel has been coaching runners in Enfield for free. And, not only has he coached them but he has spent a great deal of time devises tailor-made fitness schedules for competitors in and around Enfield Town. He was presented his metal at the House of Lords by the famous TV presenter Michael Underwood.

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Mr Patel is a well-known character in the Enfield community and he works alongside people from all ages and backgrounds. What is important about this story is that Mr Patel spoke of the importance of helping everyone realize their potential. This is similar to the work that I do as a psychotherapist. As a therapist, I often talk to my clients about realizing their potential—working through problems and then envisaging their desired future. Of course, it is important, during therapy, to isolate troubled issues and anxieties; however, often, the solution to dealing with psychological problems involves devising a tailor-made approach to treatment. This may involve devising a plan of activities to suit the person’s need. Regularly, individuals in therapy talk about things that they enjoyed doing in the past with a sense of longing; and, indeed, part of the psychotherapy is working towards getting individuals back to enjoying life to the full. These activities could be anything—for example doing exercise, playing football, going to the theatre, playing a musical instrument or planning regular visits to foreign cities. But whatever the passion, it is important to plan your schedule so that you can enjoy those hobbies. Fulfilling your potential is an important aspect of psychotherapy.

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