By Marija on May 6th, 2012
Iris Barrow is a Platinum Author on EvanCarmichael.com – to view her articles click here. We asked her how she made her first sale – here’s what she said:
Talk about being thrown in the deep end! I’ll never forget my first session as a counsellor.
I’d just started a new job and the secretary who assigned the appointments had not been informed that I was still technically a trainee. Imagine my surprise when two couples, glaring at each other, turned up at the consultation room. The two husbands were particularly upset. One started to accuse the other of ‘stealing’ his wife for an affair. The liaison had only just been discovered and emotions were raw. I could see that the men were close to exchanging more than angry words.
It was a very complex case for a new counsellor to handle, but somehow I managed to restore some calm by separating the four. Speaking with each one individually, I began to get a clearer picture of what had happened and the feelings involved, and could then make a start. Of course, I have had to deal with many demanding cases since, but this one, being my first, will always stick in my mind.
In the 80s, I wrote my first self-help book. I had already been counselling for some years but always had difficulty finding the right sort of reading material to give clients as ‘homework’ after sessions. Many of my clients came to me because they were experiencing difficulties in their marriages. There weren’t many books available in those days that looked upon marriage as an equal partnership so I decided to write my own. Most books back then favoured the man as decision-maker with the wife obeying her husband and keeping the peace.
A publisher recognised the book’s potential and it wasn’t long before it was in print. A nationwide tour of New Zealand to promote the book had me interviewed on the radio and for articles in magazines and newspapers and there were speaking events and book readings. There were also signings, and it was at one of these that I sold my first book, to a man. I remember him quite well because he told me he was eager to read the book as agreed wholeheartedly with my approach. He considered that women should not be the ‘junior partner’ in a relationship and should have equal rights and an equal say. Of course this thinking is very mainstream now, but wasn’t so common in the early 80s. I was not surprised to learn from this man that he and his wife shared a very good marriage. That sale was the first of many, and I have since written 13 books on all sorts of topics including how to overcome anxiety and depression, increase self-confidence, handle difficult people, and how to lead and motivate others.
About Iris Barrow:
Iris Barrow, counselling services, seminar presenter and author, believes in giving people the tools to help themselves. When she couldn’t find the right reading material to give clients, she decided to create her own. Iris has drawn on over 20 years of counselling experience to produce resources that are easy to read and offer practical solutions to life’s problems. Her library of self-help resources includes books (and ebooks), CDs (and downloads) and personality tool-kits for individuals, families and businesses. For current titles, free content and to sign up to receive Iris Barrow’s newsletter, visit http://www.irisbarrow.co.nz
Tags: 80s, angry words, appointments, calm, consultation room, counselling, counsellor, decision maker, emotions, feelings, homework, keeping the peace, liaison, marriage, nationwide tour, new job, reading material, self help book, sessions, two couples