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How do I manage a healthy relashionship with my clients if i'm a therapist?

Is it possible to make my clients feel really close to me so maybe they'll open up more? #career

The more you better connect, be human, and practice your conversational skills, the more trust you will build. Connect - Find common ground or something that you can connect with your clients on a personal level and make it a point to be open to talking about your experiences and getting feedback. Be Human - Practice organic conversation and show real empathy and enthusiasm with your interactions. Show genuine interest in the well being of your clients and give them your undivided attention. Conversation Skills - Practice your conversation skills and be aware of your presence within your conversations. How do you show up to your clients? I recommend "Fierce Conversations" by Susan Scott as some great reading material. I hope this helps you along your journey, good luck. Daniel Patterson

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Lashay’s Answer

Hi Haley: Great question. I used to think that this would work well also but it is a dangerous compromise to overshare for the sake of getting a client to open up. Instead, there needs to remain some level of professionalism and readiness on the therapist's and client's behalf respectfully. Instead of sacrificing your personal information, examine why the client does not feel ready to open up. For instance, "When you do or say__________ I feel that you are not ready to open up, why is that?" I believe this will serve you and your practice much better. It is my belief that you can share minimally so that you won't have regrets later. Most often, the information that you share will be repeated to friends and family, often out of context, like in many "grapevine" scenarios. I recommend erroring on the side of caution and only share immediately and directly related stories from your life that can help to move the client forward and not distract from the growth process. Since you asked this question, I am confident that you have already been doing so and will continue to take great caution. Keep up the great work!

Lashay recommends the following next steps:

Try using the phrase "When you say or do______________________, I feel that you are not ready to open up, why is that?"

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Kristen’s Answer

What I always find more helpful is to build the relationship organically by not forcing any the client to open up about or do anything they don't want to do. You should work on building trust and rapport with your client by getting to know them, being non-judgemental, showing a genuine interest in them and being consistent. Sharing personal stories to connect can be useful but should be used with caution and lots of careful judgement about what and why you are sharing. The question I ask myself before trying to relate with a personal story, over asking a question or responding to the clients last statement, is "How is what I am going to share going to help this client in their treatment?". If you can't think of a good enough answer, it probably isn't a the best route to share that story and instead should focus the talk on the client.

Kristen recommends the following next steps:

Think to yourself "How is what I am going to share going to help this client in their treatment?"