First Impressions. Many new clients approach therapy with considerable anxiety and even fear. They often ask themselves whether they can reveal intimate details to a stranger and can they trust. Certainly many other questions as well.
This is a critical moment and can influence progress. I am very aware of this and make it as clear as I can that I am caring, sensitive, and certainly approachable.
Humor can often be helpful.
I try to set a tone.
Repertoire of Skills. I work with a diverse population and it is a given that one modality does not fit all. Let’s use age as an example. An adolescent in treatment may require a different therapeutic intervention than a middle-aged individual in crisis or a couple experiencing relationship problems. It is also important to understand developmental factors at different stages of the life cycle.
My many years of teaching in public schools and university have been extremely helpful in the development of skills.
My profession requires listening and hearing the client and not feeling the need to fill in silent gaps. They are often important times of insight and introspection.
Therapy is a process which rarely provides immediate gratification and this can be very unsettling to clients looking for “a quick fix”. It is important that I communicate what the process is all about such as the need for commitment, time and energy, and perhaps opening that can of worms. All very important, and when we achieve our goal it all is more than worth it.
I am, of course, equally committed and utilize every skill I possess.
The feeling of achievement is incomparable. My work is not a job. It is an extremely rewarding experience.