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.

Work with, not around, chaotic clients

Therapists can either work on, or work around, the chaos in client’s lives. Identifying clients, rather than their circumstances, as chaotic risks disempowering the client.

Use your casenotes as a Foley file

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.

BPS Research Digest

A newsletter-cum-blog from the British Psychological Society. Summarising a dozen psychology journal articles each month in accessible prose, the Digest is a good light read and a useful pointer to the full articles.

Setting homework has negative implications

Setting “homework” for clients implies that no relevant work would otherwise occur between sessions. When clients fail to do their homework but achieve positive change anyway, the focus may fall on the former rather than the latter.

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).

I have to breach confidentiality – part 1

Disclosures requiring that confidentiality be breached are rare. A little preparation should permit you to focus upon supporting your client through the process, preserving your therapeutic rapport.

Give clients your full name and title

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).

Claim your chair with your notepad

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.