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Educating the Client

Educating the Client

When clients come to us for many issues they already know the theory of whatever the issue is. For example, few weight control clients don’t know which foods are healthy and which aren’t and all smokers know the health risks.

However, anxiety clients are different. They often don’t understand the physical or psychological processes that they are suffering from. It is part of your job to explain these. Simply by building an awareness of what is actually happening, the client can begin to make progress. If you think of the physical symptoms of a panic attack for example it is clear to see how much worse they must be if the sufferer doesn’t realise that much of it is due to adrenaline and that their body is preparing to fight or flee, which in most situations is completely inappropriate.

If the client can understand that the physical response when thinking about giving a presentation at work is the same as meeting an armed man on a dark night, and that running away is what her body wants her to do, then she can begin to understand why she feels so bad.

Clients also benefit from gaining an understanding of possible reasons for their problems having begun in the first place. This is a difficult balance however as you, as the therapist, must avoid implanting the suggestion of a cause that may be inaccurate.

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