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Ensure that your client can say stop

Ensure that your client can tell you to stop or to go away. All but the most severely disabled clients should be able communicate these instructions and should be encouraged to do so. Professional codes of conduct require informed consent to treatment. Clients with...

My client won’t do as I say

One of the major challenges to the therapeutic alliance arises when the client fails to follow the therapist’s advice. Therapists can often be heard to complain that clients reject their instructions (sorry, “advice”) out of hand: Don’t they want to get better? Why...

Aim for reliability before availability

Reliability is more important than availability in the long run. Clients who know when you are not available can make informed choices regarding alternative sources of support. I once worked with a client who rang her GPs so frequently and insistently that they...

Check your client can read and write

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. Literacy isn’t essential in therapy:...

Think before you act for your client

Stop and think before you take action on behalf of your client. You may be depriving them of the opportunity to help themselves (with appropriate support). Therapists are people who want to help. People of equivalent qualifications in other fields are usually paid...