Set clear limits on diary-keeping and other journals. By asking for the minimum amount of information necessary, you increase the chances of obtaining reliable data.
Ask clients stuck awaiting change to keep a prospective diary. An explicit account of life after the hoped-for change can help clients unstick themselves and start changing now.
Deductions impress clients, but incorrect deductions can be disastrous. Deductive reasoning has its place in therapy, but only as a means of generating hypotheses on which you can work with clients.
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).
Many therapists set explicit goals and use treatment contracts with their clients. Goal setting provides a focus for therapy: contracts indicate that both parties have agreed to the terms of the therapy (or should: the contract you use does bind the therapist as well as the client, doesnâ€™t it?)
If you donâ€™t know your clientâ€™s strengths, how can you capitalise upon them? Client factors account for 40% of the variance in outcomes and a wise therapist will play to their clientâ€™s strengths.
Judicious use of open & closed questions can empower clients. Restricting the range of responses when some are inappropriate or unavailable demands more of the therapist, but can be more supportive for the client.
The Miracle Question can elicit negative responses from some clients. These negative reactions can be avoided by rephrasing the question without the miraculous element.
Having too many goals can be as bad as having no goals. This is as true for therapists as for our clients, yet therapists may enter into a session with far too many goals to achieve in one sitting.
Solution oriented Therapists ask clients how they will know when they are better. Therapists often wish to be better in their role, but few ask the Miracle Question of themselves.