In this issue we are going to be exploring a little about clients who talk more than others and the challenges this may place on our practice of reflective listening.
We are all familiar with the scenario. We invite our client to speak and within a short period of time we are getting that uneasy feeling.........'whoa...where is this going?' . We may start to panic, there is time to keep, the next client will be here in 15 minutes, we need to 'get to the point' but we know the value of reflecting and attending. It can all get us a bit overwhelmed.....
It can be very hard to know what to attend to and what to reflect when the client has done the metaphoric, story-telling equivalent of turning their handbag upside down and letting gravity work its magic. Or man-bag. It would be dangerous to assume that it is only our female clients who can be the talkative ones.
A Strategy to Consider
There are many reasons why some clients talk a lot. One is anxiety. Meeting with a Dietitian or talking about stressful behaviours can be extremely anxiety provoking. Long and complex stories are often a symptom of a hyper-aroused state and can be (unconsciously) functional in providing a great distraction.
Anxiety in our client is important to acknowledge as it points to some ways we can be helpful in this situation. Here's a handy acronym to get a handle on things:
Read on to find out more
Responding reflectively to our clients can be a challenging skill to develop when we are trained in advisory and solution focused models. In the counselling skills training group this week we brainstormed together all of the possible road blocks to reflecting with our clients.
Here is a summary of what was collated:
To bring these road blocks to life, let's consider how these challenges may appear in response to the following client statement:
'My last diet resulted in me gaining 5 kg more than I started with. It was a disaster.'
Read on to learn more.........