Monday, April 20, 2015

How Not to Run Out of Things to Say

     Another name for a therapist is counselor. A counselor learns counseling. In counseling, there are many different styles that, when matched to the appropriate clinician/client relationship, can yield positive responses. I think that we sometimes forget that there is more to therapy than these theories. In fact, no new counselor is trained in any theory, really. We forget that counseling itself has its own questions to be asked and is a support that any clinician of any theoretical orientation can fall back on when their theory is not working.
     One of my own faults has to do with "seizing up" when I realize that I don't know were to go during a session. Frequently, I find myself running out of things to say which puts both parties in the uncomfortable situation of awkward silence and can undermine the relationship as a whole. I think that there are important questions that need to be answered: These could be:

  • What are you looking to get out of counseling?
  • Why did you choose therapy?
  • Do you have any supports in your life?
  • What are some advantages/disadvantages of that situation?
  • How are you feeling about that now?
  • What are some changes you can make to meet your goals?
  • How did that affect you?
  • What is your biggest concern?
  • What changes between then and now?
  • What's that like for you?

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