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.
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.
Prevent clients from panicking by keeping your room cool. Overheating clients can misinterpret a rise in room temperature as the onset of a panic attack.
Asking when you don’t understand benefits you and your clients. Pretending to understand can discourage disclosure and support poor decision making.
Checking that your client can read & write assists both you and them. Attempting to use questionnaires, journals or bibliotherapy with someone hiding their illiteracy could end your intervention before it has begun.
Making notes of information incidental to the case enhances interactions. The more personal details you retain, the more intimate the interaction and the greater the sense of personal attention.
Use your notepad to claim your chair before the client enters the room. If you can sit where you need to be, there will be no unease to be misinterpreted by the client.
Unfamiliar co-therapists can use code phrases to transfer control of the session. Both they and the client can then focus on the client’s issues rather than the dynamics between the therapists.
Be prepared to deal with the companions clients may bring to therapy. Dealing gracefully and helpfully with them can’t hurt your relationship with the client.
Some rules of thumb are derived from experience, accurate or otherwise, (eg: the praecox effect) and some from hard research (eg: people with memory problems donâ€™t admit to them), but all have a common flaw: even if true, they are both generalisations across a population and specific to the circumstances of their origin.