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Demanding clients make legitimate requests

“Demanding” clients are often making legitimate requests. Therapists applying such a label should consider whether it is the client’s requests or the service’s lack of resources which is unrealistic. “Demanding” is a label often...

Tell clients confidentiality has limits

Therapists often assure clients that the information they provide is confidential. Confidential is defined as “intended to be kept secret”. Whether the information will be kept as secret as the client (or therapist) imagines depends upon the therapist and the...

Improve rapport by allowing silences

Clients’ perceptions of rapport may be enhanced by silences. Therapists who are uncomfortable with silence should remind themselves that their client’s interpretation of the silence may be much more positive. A client once asked me not to delay speaking once he...

Beware of unofficial diagnoses & double meanings

Some terms used by therapists to describe clients have meanings which won’t be found in textbooks. Use of these terms is rarely of benefit to the client, although the term may say as much about the therapist as the client. resistant to treatment lacking motivation...

Overusing clients’ names can mask inattention

Use of a client’s name to foster engagement may mask flagging concentration and inattention. Using a client’s name sparingly permits more accurate judgement of attention to the conversation or task. “…a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and...

Using clients’ given names uninvited can backfire

Uninvited use of a client’s given name can impede rapport in a number of ways. Moving from a position of formality to informality and intimacy is easier than backtracking. A therapist’s first encounter with a client usually requires the use of their name, if...