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The client’s goal was to be an Olympic champion in downhill skiing, and he was among the top five in the country. When tragedy struck and his best friend and colleague broke his back, he lost confidence and left the sport. Though retired, he still held a secret dream of winning the Olympic games. He sought therapy because he still carried this lack of confidence, though he had a new job with good prospects. When he shared with me his unrealized olympic goal I recognized it as unresolved grief. In discussions, he was reluctant to admit that the grief was still there, binding his energy, even though when he watched skiing on tv, he became emotional.

I gave him three sentences for the image of himself as an Olympic champion. The first sentence caused him to shake, and the second gave him some relief. After the third sentence he said: “It’s quiet now, as if fresh snow has fallen.” The fear was gone.

Tags: unfulfilled dreams, fantasy, confidence, sport, coaching