Saturday, 16 April 2011
Door Handle Psychotherapy..
In order to work with further depth in my clinical practice I have formally and humorously banned the use of the word 'fine'. What does this word mean? Does it really mean I'm not happy? Or does it mean, I am angry - or, I am sad - or, I am stuck and I don't know how to express myself at this moment? I often times say that if you choose to use this word you must provide me with a full explanation its meaning to you on this and every subsequent occasion. Are you really fine? Are you angry-fine? Are you irritated-fine? Are you ambivalent-fine? How many times have you met with a client or friend and asked how they are feeling only to be met with this expression, “I'm fine”. Those I have had the privilege to work with will know this to be true. The irony here is that it is the lack of expression which fuels my curiosity. I want to avoid 'door handle' psychotherapy as it seems to waste the time of my clients. 'Door handle' psychotherapy means a client will wait until they are almost out of the door before they express what they are really experiencing or wanting to discuss. At this point there will be little time to discuss any of the client's feelings as they are about to leave the therapeutic space. By tackling the 'fine' issue I hope to encourage the client to explore their inner selves whilst in the session and not as they are about to leave. I always encourage a multi-sensory exploration; enquiring into feelings in the body, thoughts in the mind, body held memories, adjectives and pictures to explore experiences, visual images to unpack feelings. I hope this has given you something more to think about. My emphasis here is to remind you, we are more than cognitive. We are able to perceive on so many levels. Let's utilise our multi-sensory resources to serve our clients and patients well.