I have worked at a variety of places since I started out on my journey, and it took me some time to realize that it was up to me to create the space where I felt best at my work. Other therapists may find this right away working with a group practice, but I did not. I felt the need to create a relaxed, friendly, positive, open culture, where clients are valued and each practitioner has his or her own style that reflects the way that they can help others.
We are energy. With each interaction with others we share an energy. My hope is that my clients feel appreciated and cared for when they leave my presence. I feel honored that they have chosen to seek help with me and thank them for trusting me with their story. I leave them with hope that together we can figure out how to have better relationships with our family members, and feel confident about ourselves.
To connect with clients, or any other person, we need to understand them. To understand we need to listen, in fact, listen more than you speak. Listening conveys interest, care, and concern. When we begin to relate to people this way, they begin to respond. With our clients, this starts with the first phone conversation regarding treatment. People are reaching out when they are hurting. They are looking to be understood. When you come from this place of understanding and listening, it will come across even over the phone. This is your beginning session of therapy, and can transcend a simple phone call to a feeling of hope and trust. When we can do this on the phone or in the office, we are providing true healing.
If we are to heal, we must recognize in us what heals and move from that place. When I do that, I immediately connect, and when I connect it is gold. This is where the magic happens.
People know when they have connected with you. They know when you have taken a step into their world, seeing things from their point of view. This is how we walk with them towards a better place. We don’t drag them, we walk with them. And “walking with” can look different with each client, sometimes they need a push, sometimes they need comfort. When you are truly connected, you will know what they need.
Vivian Morgan, MS, LCPC | June 6, 2018