Learning to deeply connect with our clients:
A successful outcome for clients means that they have felt acknowledged, received seen and heard by you, the therapist. How does the practitioner achieve this and feel enlivened by the session?
First and foremost is Presence. In the body, the mind is settled; all personal concerns, as well as technical skills are “put behind the curtain”, (a phrase Rollin Becker, D.O coined) resting firmly in the moment with you. You as a client can sense that, and so you begin to settle.There is a sense of safety, as one begins to let go.
As the practitioner, are you attentive to your breathing? Are you allowing yourself to experience your breath just the way it is, without trying to change it? What is the quality of your mind? Are you anxious or calm? What are you feeling in your body? Hurried or rushed? Tense or constricted in some part of you? Are you aware of anything in yourself that is preventing you from being fully present in the moment with your client?
“Contact” is everything that happens from the first telephone call to the time the client enters the office up until you apply your healing hands or therapeutic problem solving skills to the person. So much of our work as healers is to listen. But before we can listen to what this Being is presenting, we need to be aware of what’s happening within us. This listening to ourselves is happening through our breathing, and through the sensations and feeling tones in our body. We are attentive to and aware of our thoughts, but it’s through the body that we settle. Then we come into a place of Being-ness. Then we can begin to resonate with the person across from us (and sense what’s going within their minds and bodies). It is from that place of Beingness that we relate as Human Beings. We relate on an inter-being level. And in order for that to be successful, we must negotiate the connection, the physical and attentional boundaries with our client. We need to check out with our client; are you ok? Am I too close on a physical or energetic level? This is perceived by the client both through our physical hands-on contact and through our intention. Our client may feel crowded in by our intention to fix, to be helpful, even though physically we are giving lots of space. Once our client feels met, safe and seen, she can begin to drop down and make contact with herself,and the sensations and feeling tones in her body. And that’s when the clients own Healing Intentions can emerge.
What is the client’s role? She is a willing and able co-creator in the session, whose input and participation is necessary if we are to fully “engage” her system. She needs to feel into and make contact with herself, on a gut level ( the seat of the second brain). Learning how to create this “holding field” and nurture this connection is fundamental to being in the moment. It affects our work with clients, and enlivens every connection in our lives- our spouse, child, employee or boss.
Edward Feldman, D.C.,R.C.S.T. offers transformational individual sessions and mentors other practitioners in the art of making contact. He can be reached at feldmanchiropractic.com or 609-252-1766.