In my professional experience, no self confidence that is beyond normal therapy to mend – is rare. Two examples from my client load are Vernon and Kate – whose resources seemed incapable of ever being able to create a life that could bring them an acceptable level of satisfaction and resilience.
Listen to this Twelfth Audio of the “Client Stories” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/download to my audio: Vernon and Kate – when no self confidence really is the problem
Read my Depression Help Blog post: Vernon and Kate – when no self confidence really is the problem
1: Donald’s story of depression creeping up
Audio 2: Experience of Padma and Roberta
Audio 3: Trevor’s recovery from fear of depression
Audio 4: Tricia’s depression recovery
Audio 5: Mike’s reset following retirement
Audio 6: Norman failed by the NHS
Audio 7: Barbara and Ros resetting
Audio 8: Harold’s Diagnosis
Audio 9: Freddie’s failure
Audio 10: Rosanna’s suicidal thoughts and recovery
Audio 11: Fiona’s isolation and stigma
Audio 12: Vernon and Kate – self confidence was the problem
Audio 13: Isobel on the verge of extinction
Audio 14: Rachel on the verge of extinction
Here are two people who came to see me – Vernon and Katie – who though very different, neither had any self confidence at all. (For both I have changed certain details to preserve anonymity.)
Vernon was Welsh, in his late forties and ever since he had been a teenager, had wanted to earn his living as a photographer. In part it was about the glamour of such a life (as he saw it) but this had been leavened by a fair degree of realism as he had grown older. He had no problem as a wedding photographer or working on small local news items, but aspired to more than this. The problem was that however hard Vernon had tried – and by God he had tried, nothing had ever worked out for him. And when he came to see me, it was as if the whole enterprise had defeated him. But to be a serious and creative photographer was all he wanted and he just could not be shifted. Vernon was not a fool and he certainly had enterprise and imagination as well as a talent for photography. He had also been able to earn a reasonable living (when not trying photo ideas out) as a supply teacher. This unrequited passion had also got in the way of at least two relationships. And now in his late forties, he had nothing to which he attached any value. It was as if life had defeated him and he was giving up. His natural optimism and capacities had been drained out of him and nothing I could do would shift that.
Katie was in her twenties. She was from the Midlands but had been living in London for a number of years now. The ostensible reason for seeing me was to get over a relationship with someone who had been quite abusive and she knew was good to be shot of. I helped her let go of this relationship, but she remained very unhappy. And the more I learned about her – her life now, including her friendships, her work and what she enjoyed and indeed much of her childhood and teenage years, the less I found that I could hold onto. It was as if Katie remained a blank piece of paper and she knew this. And so she had very little confidence in who she was, what she could do and how she could attract a satisfying life and relationships to her. And however hard I tried, I could neither find something solid for her to work with nor to clear away something substantive – so to reveal anything underneath that she could use to get her life working.