So there's an important question to ask those who present themselves as a source of information or help: how do you know?
It's a question I get asked from time to time but really not enough times. It is definitely a question I should have asked much more often than I did when I consulted professionals of various kinds. I would have saved myself a lot of time and money.
Eventually, you find out for yourself if you listen long enough to what the person has to say. It will either resonate with you in that place where you know it's right, and in that way that makes deep sense - or you will come to the realisation that you've wasted some time and probably some money too. Worse, you've wasted an opportunity to make things better.
So you should ask me how I know. And here's what I'd answer.
I don't know everything, of course. Anyone who makes you think or comes across like they do is someone to avoid. Nobody has all the answers, no matter how much education or experience they have. And here's the kicker - even when we do have answers (even the 'experts'), life and experience can reverse or modify what we were so sure of in earlier years.
So within those parameters, here's 'how I know'. It's a combination of over 50 years of study, deep observation, education, training and...
E X P E R I E N C E
We live in a world that glorifies youth and dismisses experience. Silly. Youth is great. But tell me something, how many convictions have you changed your mind about over the years because, although they made a lot of logical sense at the time, real life - experience - showed you what you couldn't see at the time. That other perspective or factor that you couldn't see then, that actually produced different results than what you had expected once you had the lived experience.
God, I hated that when I was 21. The constant dismissal of my generation's input simply because of our age. "Oh, you haven't had enough experience - you'll see..." (It's not my intention to repeat that disservice by the way. I think 21-year-olds have a LOT to contribute to the world's thinking. But that's another post.)
But there is no denying that lived experience COMBINED with education and intelligent observation trumps either one on its own. So this is my answer to the question you have a right to ask: how do I know?
Over 30 years of working with kids, adolescents, young adults, parents, individuals and professionals. Over 30 years of using different human development strategies, theories and methodologies, borrowing from both the field of education and of psychology. Over 30 years of being immersed in - and obsessed with - research, study, observation, trial, implementation of human development findings. Finding out, in real life, what works and what doesn't... and what works for this kind of person/kid, and what works better for that kind of person.
Still, no matter what someone claims, it's just their word, isn't it? So read my blog posts, contact me. Let what I have to say be the evidence you need to determine if what I know can work for you.