I’m writing the blog this week on ‘distraction’! This may seem a strange thing to write about but in Ben’s Centre we find very often that clients want to distract us from what is really going on in their livesI guess Gordon Brown would appreciate a distraction this morning to give him some breathing space, and for him not to deal with the real issues in his party. Our Clients often do not want to face what is going on in their lives too. Often by acknowledging the truth of a situation, leads to clients having to make a choice what to do about their situation, or just to ignore it and hope it will go away! Often it is at these times that they will use alcohol to take the sense of reality away. We are faced with this dilemma on a regular basis at the centre. Do we go along with what they are saying, in the political world this is called spin, or do we actually listen but begin to address some of the issues that are presenting themselves. Would we be helping clients in the long run? It would be much easier to go with the spin and not challenge the distractions and allow us a modicum of popularity. We have one client who has been coming to Bens for a long time and the first sign we have that all is not well is when we hear him ask everyone ‘what’s the capital of a country or a region? It sounds like a game that client’s initially want to play. This will go on constantly through the day if the staff doesn’t close it down. You may say well if that’s all he does then it is harmless enough. In itself it is but firstly clients get thoroughly fed up with this constant and in the end meaningless conversation and often it gets to boiling point and clients begin to lose their tempers. Secondly, are we really helping this client if we perpetuate these patterns that in the end become very destructive. By gently closing this client down we then allow him some space to find himself. Just to stop and rest not only their bodies but their minds is so important and quite remarkably it makes the client feel secure and safe. Not allowing ourselves to become distracted by client’s smoke screens is an essential part of our job. So, although it’s not the route to raising our popularity stakes it is a route that brings hope and restoration and relief to client’s who often have forgotten who they are, and are so weary with carrying it all around with them constantly.