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.
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.
Be aware of clients’ information sources in addition to your own. Newspapers, magazines and online forums vary widely in quality, but may contain information of use to you and your other clients.
Experience suggests that receiving compensation for physical or mental injury or distress is often followed by a significant improvement in the client’s symptoms. Many therapists decline to take on clients with ongoing compensation cases and some question the honesty of clients who make such recoveries.
Setting “homework” for clients implies that no relevant work would otherwise occur between sessions. When clients fail to do their homework but achieve positive change anyway, the focus may fall on the former rather than the latter.
Therapists should encourage and support, not dread, “helpful patients”. Internet or other research by the client can indicate active involvement in treatment.
Therapists should be aware that clients may see them in a very different light. They should also be aware that these impressions are a matter of perspective and there may be fewer real differences than either therapist or client imagines.
Continual improvement in therapy is the exception, not the rule. Stalls and deterioration may indicate a problem with the client, therapist or both, but may also be a sign of progress onto dealing with greater difficulties masked by the initial problem.
Therapeutic change is due more to factors outwith therapy than any one aspect of therapy. Factors outwith the session are at least as important as our rapport with our clientsâ€¦and much more important than our years of experience or the technique weâ€™re using.