Interact Journal Integrative Ideas for the Process-Oriented Psychotherapist

Categories Supervision Dialogs

On client questions

How do you respond to a client’s general questionings?

Anyway you want to: be serious, get creative, lie, tell the truth. Keep putting the attention back on the person and work with the responses.

Answer simply and directly, truthfully or untruthfully; then put the attention back on the client.
(Give your answer, then pause), “What’s your response to that?”

Respond to the process.
“What do you want from me right now?”
“What do you need right now?”
“What is your concern?”

Deflect the question.
“I have total trust that you already know the answer. Ask that question again, out loud. This time pay attention to your internal experiences both as you speak and immediately afterward.”

“Name some of your other questions.”

What if they ask you a direct question?

Answer it, then put the attention back on them.
“Yes, I do. How is that for you?”
“No, I don’t. How is that for you?”
“Actually, I don’t know. What happens when you hear that?”

Do not answer it, then put the attention back on them.
“What do You think about that?”
“I’m not certain. Let’s see if we can find a way to find out.” (Then make use of art supplies, sand tray, found objects in the room, furniture, metaphors, etc. to tease out a possible answer.)
“What would the perfect answer be?”
“I’m not going to answer that. Describe what it is like for you when I don’t do what you want.” ¯

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