“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
You were the first counselor I ever saw. I never thought I would need a counselor. I went through the employee assistance program at work because it was free and no one would find out. My primary care doctor had to convince me to see you.
I had hoped I would get a nice woman. But when you called my name, my throat dropped into my chest and I wanted to leave. You were a man. I did not want to go with you. When you came out to get me, you did not even introduce yourself. You just called my name.
I don’t even remember what you said, but when I talked I rambled about my job and my life, how unhappy I was with it. You did listen, thank you, but you did not interpret what I was saying. If you had read between the lines you would have understood the real problem.
When I finished you said, “Well, you just need to find a new job and exercise.” I sat there astonished. I will be honest, I did not know then what I know now. I had no idea I had a trauma history. It would take another counselor months to uncover.
So, I understand how you would assume it was my job which needed to be fixed. I also now know exercise does wonders for your brain. I believe you answered with the best answer you could at the time.
Next time you encounter a new client, please remember it may be their first experience. It may be their hundredth. Either way, please introduce yourself. Put them at ease, and give them a warm, assuring smile. Allow the person to choose their own chair in the room, and then share a little about yourself. Put them at ease.
Listen intently. Without interruption, and ask questions when they are finished before you provide any suggestions. Get a feel for what they may need. Find out a little more than what they shared with you so you have a larger picture.
Once your session is over, ask if they feel comfortable seeing you again, and if they wish to set up another appointment. Then, if they do you can proceed. If not, then allow them to simply leave.
Most of all, show compassion, through your words and actions. This will reach them more than your words.
Your Client only once,
Do you have a counselor experience you need to release? Write or record it as I’ve shared before in previous posts. Once you’ve had time to process your first letter, try rewriting it with a new perspective. I think you’ll be surprised how your feelings may change over time. I do realize this may not always happen. Healing takes time.
© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.