Working in the field, particularly ‘part-time’ can be a balancing act. There are many factors that need to be considered before heading out:
- Health of the therapist or coach is the number one priority.
- Calendar of appointments on certain days of the week pre-planned
- Times scheduled with 15 mins in between each session of 45 minutes (10 mins note-taking; 5 minutes meditation). The next client may like to share a cup of tea or coffee
- Fit in a one hour break in the middle of the day
- Preferably no more than 4-5 clients per day
- Availability – only certain days per week, considering other commitments. Having a calendar is vital, being flexible is a necessity.
- Parents collecting children from school
- Preparation of the room, 15 mins prior and 15 mins at end of day or evening, particularly if children are involved.
- Marketing and maintaining clients – who is your target audience?
- Reminder of appointment sent (day prior)
- Client arrival, process information form, confidentiality statement
- Allowing yourself to get into the frame of the client via body language; rapport building.
- Focus on unconditional positive regard; non-judgemental environment in a growth-promoting climate with empathy; congruence; calmness.
- Switch off from one client – prepare for next by quick meditation process at least 5 minutes.
- The range of clients is limitless, whatever they have come to share is complete in your time.
WHAT RANGE OF CLIENTS IN A DAY
Below are 5 instances of 5 completely different clients that could be presented in a day of a therapist i.e. counsellor or coach and being mindful of ethical, moral, legal ramifications (these are just examples):
- Young man concerned about gay relationship and partner not wanting to commit– PCT (Person Centred Therapy).
- Woman who is trying to give up smoking in an experiential psychodynamic therapeutic process– GT (Gestalt Therapy).
- Interstate client managing relationship building from afar – SFT (Solution-Focused Therapy).
- Mature-aged woman attempting online dating site – NT (Narrative Therapy).
- Weight loss for health reasons with internet offers bombardment – CBT (Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy)
The next week, there are (or might be) another 5 different clients (examples only):
- Maori girl challenged with cultural differences and her clients
- Male supporting parent balancing engineering work and parenting with what he really wants to do i.e. counselling.
- Young man considering helping young people and drug challenges after experiencing counselling when he was 15 and information received from prisoner.
- Middle-aged woman being controlled by her partner with subtle domestic and family disruptions bordering on abuse.
- Group work
You can see how note-taking is vital for when the client has fortnightly or sometimes monthly sessions. Remembering the story can be tricky when you have an array of clients’ stories and then remembering them for next time. What’s ‘slightly’ frustrating is if/when clients may take offence at you not remembering some details like the name of their pet (even if it is a lizard).
When you’re ready to balance a range of clients for your own practice, contact me to arrange a coaching session: