Sunday, July 22, 2012

Too Much, Too Soon

In our rush to connect,  we may try to get the client to reveal themselves and tell their story - too early. 

"We'll get to know your story over time."  This is what my gifted therapist friend, Michelle Post, says to her clients.

If we allow or urge our clients to open up too much, it may leave them feeling too vulnerable and embarrassed.  So much so, that they may not even return.  Or we may find them acting out after our tell-it-all session.

As beginners, we may feel a satisfaction in getting our clients to trust us so much and so early on.  As if it were a sign of our skills or successful engagement with them.  But it is not all about us. It does not have to be the way we feel good about ourselves as (anxious) beginning clinicians. 

As tempting as it may be to get to catharsis and insight in the first session, please resist.  Baby steps.  Pace yourself.  All in due time.  Rome was not built in a day and all that jazz.   Make sure there is plenty of support both in the therapeutic relationship and in the client's relationships outside of the therapy session.  It takes a lot of resources to heal.  This is not a race. Build up first.

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