Holding space

I coach people who work with animals. One of my clients works in animal research. She wanted coaching because she is having a very hard time working in this environment. I taught her the model and we’ve worked with her thoughts about using animals for research and then having to euthanize them. In some cases she was able to create new thoughts about her purpose in this work (to love them and take really good care of them and then loving them while they take their last breath). I also worked with her to create neutral thoughts about the work and that was not so easy for her.

Working with people who do this work challenges me and every way imaginable and I know I have to hold space and not get caught up in my client’s stories about how awful the animals have it, etc.

I don’t eat animals and she asked me the other day, “If you worked in a slaughterhouse, could you create neutral thoughts about it?”. I know I couldn’t Brooke and it made me think about how I’ve heard you say you could work anywhere and manage your mind around it.

I see that I’m choosing to agree with them and their beliefs (thoughts) and I know that isn’t helpful as a coach but I don’t want to be ok with animals being abused, neglected, suffering and terrified. I’m an advocate for animals and it’s why I work with the people that I do but I’m wondering if I’m not serving them in the best way possible.

How do you hold space when you AGREE?