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Most clients have abnormal daily routines

We base our assumptions about normality on our own experience and risk mistaking the norms of our immediate social circle (or movies and TV) for demographic reality. I was asked to help stroke ward staff manage a patient who took his bed very early in the evening and...

You can always be misunderstood

There are two aims in any conversation: unambiguous expression of your own position and complete comprehension of the other person’s views. We should always remember that neither of these aims is a realistic goal. A client told me of an ante-natal appointment at which...

Be on time for your clients

Be on time for your appointments & consultations. Punctuality conveys professionalism, respect and allows you to address & manage possible resistance on the part of the client. There’s a Catch–22 type joke (at least, I thought it was a joke) about clients’...

In the Room

A blog focussing upon cognitive behavioural & psychodynamic techniques & issues “in the room” rather than case or theoretical discussions. Chris Allan is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of the Psychology Clinic at the University of Wollongong in New...

The Golden Rule is universal

Treat others as you’d like to be treated is a universal principle. Therapists who avoid working with other faiths and cultures can be assured that there is common ground to work from. Working with people with different beliefs can be challenging, especially for...

Set limits on diaries & records

Set clear limits on diary-keeping and other journals. By asking for the minimum amount of information necessary, you increase the chances of obtaining reliable data. Journals and other records kept by the client are a useful adjunct to most therapeutic approaches and...

My client is dead

Sooner or later, one of your clients will die. Waiting until it occurs to consider how this might affect you would be unwise. Death of clients might be inevitable (f you work in palliative care), an acknowledged risk (if you work in psychiatric settings) or very rare....

You will upset your clients

Apparently innocuous comments can upset your clients. You can’t avoid triggering issues unknown to you, but you can be ready to respond if they are brought to light. One participant in a relaxation class became increasingly agitated as the relaxation script was read...

Check you have the right client

Check you have the right person before you begin your session. There is scope for confusion in busy clinics, but mistakes can occur even in otherwise empty waiting rooms. There was only one person in the waiting area. I said her name and she followed me into my room....

Dibs In Search Of Self

A detailed, session-by-session account of a therapeutic intervention. Written by the therapist and detailing all the detours & blind alleys that never make it into textbook accounts of the therapeutic process. Many clients, some famous and some not so famous,...