Tips for counsellors and therapists
Friends and I shares a pot of tea and spoke about what our clients really need from us. We can to the conclusion that our clients don’t really care about certificates and diplomas. Yes, they don’t care what we know, but they want to know that we care.
Clients don’t really care about the age of our furniture or the color of the decorations in our intimate workplaces. They want is place where they can feel safe and secure enough to share, pain, mistakes and small victories.
We spoke about our experiences when we sat in the ‘client’-chair and had to face a professional of some kind. We agreed, unanimously, that we disliked the waiting experience, because it aggravated the ‘unwell’ feeling or the uncertainty of the outcome of the appointment gnawed away at any peace of mind.
The conclusion was that every client really needs the following:
- · To be treated with respect and dignity.
- · To be heard, really heard.
- · Validation of concerns and point of view.
- · To be in partnership with you when discussing a problem. The idea of someone else ‘fixing’ the problem is scary and humiliating, because it implies that the client is incompetent to handle life.
- · They want to be acknowledged as the expert on what is going on in their hearts and lives. Academic rhetoric is superfluous and even intimidating.
- · To understand what you say and what you mean. A traumatized client, even a well-educated professional, struggle to sift through intricate nuances. Keep the conversation straightforward and uncomplicated.
- · To have more than enough information about the road forward. Preferably step-by-step information about what to expect.
- · To be able to ask questions and share fears. A client may need a lot of help to find the appropriate words to express feelings, thought and expectations.
- · To be helped to start to hope again.
Clients expect their advisor, counsellor, doctor, therapist, pastor and carer to be well. You are expected to be emotionally, spiritually and socially healthy. It is hard for someone to seek help and then having to comfort and encourage the ‘professional’.
Your client needs to be assured that you care in such a way that he/she can grow health and be responsible adults. It might be a long way to go, but there is hope…