I was having a discussion with some hypnotherapists the other day when the subject of “joining the client in their world” came up. The idea is that, in order to get rapport and understand a client better, we’ve got to go to their model of the world.
That’s true–to an extent. There’s a balance. There are limits to how much we want to enter a client’s world. If it were possible to completely enter the client’s world and have absolute rapport with them, you would essentially become the client. You would have the client’s limitations too. Where they were stuck, you would be stuck.
So, we need to maintain a resourceful state and have a (hopefully) broader perspective than the client.
If a client is depressed (for example), we don’t want to become depressed. Depression limits a person’s outlook on what is probable, what life will be like in the future etc. Clients come to us to help get out of that trap.
I think it’s our job to sometimes offer clients different perspectives. They often come to us because they’re stuck in some way. We help them get unstuck. One of the ways to do that is to not accept certain of the labels they put on things.
Problems As Abilities
I’m thinking of a client who would imagine bad things happening at his workplace and start to feel anxiety about work. He viewed the entire process as “negative.” I saw it as an ability. He was able to imagine things and they would have a powerful effect on him emotionally. I offered him that perspective. “What’s going to happen when you take that ability and turn it toward reaching your goals–imagining them and feeling powerful emotions that have good feelings attached to them?”
Smoke practically came out of his ears. He began to view himself as not broken, but as someone who had powerful processes inside that worked and simply needed to be adjusted in order for him to have the life he wanted.
Again, it’s a balance. We’ve got to join the client’s world enough to get rapport and understand their processes. We’ve got to keep a part of ourselves separate, objective and resourceful. So how, specifically, do you do that?
That’s the subject for another post…