Therapists not only listen but also have superior observation skills. These act as powerful tools for them to understand more about their clients.
It is indeed a bold step to acknowledge the need for help and visit a therapist. Even then, it is tough for people to open up and share what’s on their minds instantly. However, for therapy to work efficiently, therapists must be aware of what’s going on in one’s mind and how they’re feeling about it. Having such bits of information greatly aids in their approach to making sessions productive and helpful. @therapytothepoint shared five ways therapists find these bits of information. The counselor shared how the most subtle signs can reveal more about a client than one would think.
The first thing therapists notice is the seating and pillow arrangement. Though a lot may be going on in the client’s mind, the therapist begins their observations the minute the client sets foot in the room. “Therapists are always curious to see where you sit on a couch and how you arrange the pillows,” the counselor revealed. He pointed out that the aforementioned elements help them gauge the level of comfort a client has. The next factor is punctuality. The counselor mentioned that therapists check on whether the client is consistently late or on time for their sessions.
“Therapists pay attention to this because what tends to happen inside the therapy session can also happen outside the therapy session," the counselor highlighted. He added an example, saying that a person who is late to therapy would likely be late at arriving at other events as well. The third factor is body language. The counselor explained that therapists often observe body language during sessions. “We pay careful attention to whether you cross your arms or your legs if you’re fidgeting; we notice all the subtle signs,” he said. He also mentioned that the reason behind the same was to get access to one’s thoughts and emotions.
“Therapists pay close attention to the tone of voice,” the counselor said, mentioning the fourth factor. He suggested that a higher tone of voice could point to the fact that something is emotionally triggering or important. Contradictory to this, a lower tone of voice indicates that the topic is something the client is ashamed to share or is trying to shut down, as per the counselor. The final factor the counselor pointed out is eye contact. They focus on whether or not the client can maintain eye contact while conversing about different topics. “Eye contact can reflect a sense of security that you have in yourself, the rapport or relationship you have with your therapist, your interest or disinterest in the session, among other things,” the counselor concluded.
Commenters were educated about the many signs and were stunned by the profound observation. Many pondered over their actions during sessions to connect with what the counselor shared. @frostclair1 joked, “I’m going to stand in the corner and start waving my hands in the air. Let’s see what happens.” @moomin_cats.dogs said, “I knew about body language but my therapist must have thought there’s someone wrong with me because I didn't make eye contact even once.” @jj_177 said, “I don’t make eye contact and play with my wristband the whole time.”
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