Don’t Fix Anything
When someone is hurting or struggling and they want your help, your impulse may be to go for the quick fix, to offer up some advice or to try to solve their problem. It’s natural to want to fix what’s wrong, to make it feel better, to make it go away, and this is why one of the most basic instructions I give to my counseling students is, “Don’t fix anything.”
Trying to fix a problem often runs counter to a much richer kind of activity available in counseling relationships, that of deepening a person’s relationship to the problem. Often, however, people don’t seem to want this. They want you to fix them, and they want you to do it by understanding and working with the problem in exactly the terms they have come to understand it in. Don’t fall for that trick. Whether or not they know it, you have something to offer them far more beneficial than a quick fix . . .