I had a new client complete her first session with me this morning. I know this person will become one of my favourite clients in time (I know I shouldn’t have favourite clients, that I should love them equally- but I do and I know you do too!!).
I have had quite a few clients like her and I will describe the traits of the group as thus:
- Type A personality.
- Long term pain.
- Has see many health professionals for their perspective with no success.
- Very body aware and a knowledge of anatomy and physiology well above average.
- Able to articulate pain history with great detail and linearity.
- Has plausible theories of why they have pain (theories that differ from those of the health professionals they have seen).
Yes, this type of client is certainly a challenge! They are not my favourite type of client just because I like a challenge. I love training people like this because:
- They will invest themselves fully into the process of getting better.
- They entertain new theories to explain their condition.
- They appreciate my scientific mindset (create a plausible hypothesis, test it thoroughly, objectively analyse the test results, proceed if it seems you are correct, re-evaluate if it does not).
- They don’t suffer bullshit! This means lazy language cannot creep in, it keeps me mentally agile.
Over the years I have learnt how to work with personalities like this, and I have found the following tips to be crucial for the relationship to be successful.
- Listen thoroughly to them, then ask clarifying questions then listen some more!
- Entertain their ideas. Validate the plausibility of them, then test them- even if your gut feel is that they are off the mark (how do you know yourself if you don’t test it?).
- Articulate your thoughts and describe how you intend to test your thoughts out.
- Earn their trust before you challenge their ideas.
- Deliver on what you promise.
Hmmm, these tips could actually apply to any client!
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