You can always be misunderstood

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.

Improve rapport by allowing silences

Clients’ perceptions of rapport may be enhanced by silences. Therapists who are uncomfortable with silence should remind themselves that their client’s interpretation of the silence may be much more positive.

Closed questions can be supportive for clients

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.

Writing when you speak preserves eye contact

Writing only when you are speaking maintains normal eye contact. This serves to normalise the interaction, reassures the client that they have your attention and that you are writing what they are saying.

Eye contact tells you when to speak

Steady eye contact from a client is your prompt to speak. Attending to eye contact helps us to minimise interruptions of the client’s train of thought and to be more comfortable with silences.