How Can You Know?
Posted on 16th November 2021
How can you possibly know?
That is amongst the first questions I get from a new client.
Whether I am sitting with a client seeking counselling through Daniel Picave or family court support through McKenzie Picave, the process opens in the same place.
I meet them face to face and we chat for an hour. I explain how we work, the confidentiality they are guaranteed, the fee structure.
They have this first opportunity to share with me all the issues that have brought them to my door.
Do they share all their issues with a perfect stranger during the first hour of meeting? Of course they don't!!
Hence the question, "how can you possibly know?" referring to how can I know where to go with them at the end of one hour.
Well, I have a little advantage on my side and I have some skills that I use - be honest, you are relieved I have some skills, aren't you?
So the advantage? It is in two parts.
Firstly, they opted to come and see me and so either consciously or more likely subconsciously, they have decided what they will tell me. What they will allow me to know at this opening session.
Secondly, there is an unspoken acceptance between us that they can put some trust in me. We tell priests stuff and we tell doctors stuff because there is an acceptance that the dynamic requires it.
Counsellors are the same. We have a voucher to get some free inside information and then we must earn the right to get some more.
So, back to that nagging question, "how can I possibly know?"
If I only have one hour, I have to limit what I say to the bare minimum, I need them to fill the time not me.
I listen and I observe. When I say I listen, I mean I listen to what the client says and I listen to what they don't say. Observation is a powerful tool for me during that first hour. Body language can say a lot while you may be saying nothing at all.
What are your hands doing? What are your legs doing? What are your eyes doing? What is the tone of the voice, the expression, the choice of words? Where are the pauses?
I don't learn it all in that first hour but I learn enough to form a roadmap. When we set off again we may go down a few blind alleys and stop on the services for a coffee and a crispy creme doughnut but we will get to our destination.
Everyone should consider counselling at some point in their life because none of us have the necessary resilience to go it alone for all our life.
Message me if you want to stop on the services for a chat.
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