Aha… “But which chair?” I hear you ask……” the therapist’s chair or the client’s chair?”
Many years ago I read a book by Irvin Yalom entitled “Every Day Gets a Little Closer: A Twice-Told Therapy”. The first half of the book consists of Yalom’s notes and reflections on sessions with a particular client. The second half of the book consists of the client’s reflections on those same sessions.
It makes for a fascinating read.
I once accompanied a member of staff as support and advocate at a meeting with a Head of Department and HR. When the minutes of the meeting were sent to that staff member, she commented to me that the Head of Department must have been at a different meeting from her!
One event, but two very different views and experiences of that event.
That concept of one event described differently by each of those experiencing that event is a recognised process. There are many examples in history and in literature.
But back to therapy.
So, you write up your notes at the end of the session. Perhaps your client goes home and writes up his/her account in a journal.
Just imagine that somehow you got to read each other’s notes….!
Just the thought will help to smarten up your note-taking any way!
And whilst it’s an unlikely occurrence in itself, it should at least serve to encourage us to check-in with the client about their own experience.
Be congruent and share your understanding of something and check it out against the client’s experience. Share a feeling or impression, and check it out against the client’s own feelings. Be bold, and ask the client for their feelings and reflections on the shared process and check it out against your own.
It opens up a whole new part of the process within that therapeutic relationship.
What’s your story of your day today?