Issue 5: Being Warm and Real with our Clients
In this Issue of Practice Pavestones I am going to be discussing the core client centered attribute: genuineness and warmth. A subtle and sophisticated attribute, I’d like to start by considering this dilemma, I am sure familiar to many of you:
Your client comes in to session – all smiles and energetic. You are welcoming and reflect her positive state in your body and voice. You begin to explore together the reason for her coming to see you and she shares her enthusiasm for getting your help to ‘lose weight’.
You start by inviting some story telling. You might say… ‘Have you tried to lose weight before? Can you tell me a little about those experiences?’
What follows is a long tale of repeated failures, weight cycling, suffering and self blame……and yet the client seems completely unmoved – ready to go again, smiling ….
Something in you says ‘This doesn’t match!’ You are reflecting her positivity but hearing her desperation. You might be aware of a weird kind of strain or a sense of confusion in you. You know in yourself the client is incongruent. What she is saying and what she is feeling don’t line up.
At this point, as the Dietitian, we have a choice:
We can ignore what we feel and continue to fall into the client’s slip stream of blind faith. Result: two people pretending in the room!
We can recognise the opportunity to be genuine. We can lean into our sense that something isn’t right and be transparent with our client about what we are sensing.
I hope you enjoy pondering the benefits of being warm and real with our clients in this issue of Practice Pavestones…
#authentic #congruence #core attribute #empathy #warmth