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 is a realistic goal.
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.
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.
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.
Therapists can either work on, or work around, the chaos in clientâ€™s lives. Identifying clients, rather than their circumstances, as chaotic risks disempowering the client.
Introduce yourself with your full name and professional title. Clients can then decide how to address you as rapport builds, especially if you provide a reminder of your name (ie: a readable ID badge).
“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.
Therapists often assure clients that the information they provide is confidential. Confidential is defined as â€œintended to be kept secretâ€. Whether the information will be kept as secret as the client (or therapist) imagines depends upon the therapist and the service.
Clientsâ€™ perceptions of rapport may be enhanced by silences. Therapists who are uncomfortable with silence should remind themselves that their clientâ€™s interpretation of the silence may be much more positive.
Some terms used by therapists to describe clients have meanings which wonâ€™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.