What Are The 3 Most Important Steps When Starting A EFT Therapy Or Coaching Session?
3 Critical Steps When Starting An EFT Therapy Or Coaching Session
In this article, you will learn how to prepare yourself for EFT Therapy, the importance of Emotional Freedom Techniques, and the 3 important steps when getting started with clients.
These are to establish what they want, listen deeply and repeat to them what you have understood in terms of their current situation (where they are now) and the desired situation (where they want to be).
Sometimes, it can be a little daunting to know where to start with a client. Whether you are new to working with clients or a veteran it can be natural to feel nervous or tongue-tied.
Nervousness can be underpinned by wanting to do a good job and not wanting to fail at all costs, to hold a safe and comfortable space for your clients, and to be present during the session.
Maybe you are just starting as a therapist and haven't yet scheduled your first client session. Perhaps you've already had a few appointments but would need some advice on how to improve your intake process.
Even if you've been meeting clients for months, you might be interested in some advice on how to make the intake process go more smoothly.
Part of the charm of private practice is that you can design your system - within the bounds of your governing board's laws and norms, of course.
One of the best places to get started even before the client session commences is to centre oneself.
What I mean by centring the self is to empty your thoughts and come into the moment so that you can be fully present for your client and yourself.
When you centre yourself, you should feel calm, at peace and in control.
You have the confidence and self-belief and are open to serving the client fully.
There are no thoughts in your mind, other than being fully present for the client.
Before my client sessions. I use the following methods to centre and prepare myself:
- Meditate for at least 30 minutes or an hour, and if I have back-to-back client sessions, I give myself a window of at least 30 minutes in between and meditate in the morning for one hour. Meditation helps keep your mind calm and ready for therapy.
- Prepare the space whether it's online or face-to-face (clean the room, have water, and tissues available, spray a natural fragrance or incense and open the windows to let some fresh air in).
- If the client has faced challenging issues, I might do some surrogate work before starting. For example, I might do surrogate tapping with EFT Tapping; with Journey work, I might open the consciousness of the client and complete a Journey process on the client; or if I'm coaching, I might open into the awareness of the client and ask their soul what they need and make the intention of it happening.
For those new to EFT, it is also known as Tapping Therapy, which combines tapping on acupressure points while saying statements out loud to accept situations.
If you would like to experience the power of EFT Tapping first hand, just download the EFT Tapping Booklet below.
New to EFT? Learn how Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping heals, including Anxiety.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.
A couple of techniques to centre yourself:
- Take a moment to close your eyes and breathe in and out.
- Meditate for 30 minutes prior to the session. Use your favourite meditation technique. There are so many online.
- Do some EFT Tapping on yourself before the session. For example,
- “Even though I feel nervous, I love and accept myself.”
- “Even though I doubt myself, that is ok, I love and accept myself."
- "Even though I sometimes question if I can do it, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
- Make yourself like an empty channel where there is total acceptance of what is, and you can let the session flow through you, where there is nothing to do other than be present. I love this Empty Channel Meditation (let us know in the comments how you liked it).
IMPORTANCE OF EFT THERAPY
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a breakthrough therapy method that promotes physical and emotional healing.
This type of acupuncture employs the fingertips to activate energy points on the body instead of needles.
This technique, created by Gary Craig, is simple to learn and can be used almost anywhere. "The cause of all bad emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system," according to this treatment.
EFT is a very efficient means of clearing feelings, and after an uncomfortable feeling has passed, the client's limiting beliefs are released as well.
Newer, more positive self-perceptions can emerge. Because the client may tap on a sensation whenever they want to shift out a painful feeling, learning EFT allows them to take control of their emotional state.
3 MOST IMPORTANT STEPS WHEN STARTING AN EFT THERAPY OR COACHING SESSION
The thought of conducting the first therapy or coaching session in private practice is always terrifying. During my first time, I felt as if I didn't have any suggestions for the first session.
It appeared like a gigantic black box with the opportunity to make so many mistakes because no one handed me a systematic and scientific intake process to follow.
EFT Tapping is all about the connection of the mind and the body. So, the practitioner needs to maintain the mental, physical and emotional calm for the session to go smoothly.
Every trainer, practitioner or medical expert should keep this thing in mind before working with oneself or others, the most important base is to create a safe space that is non-judgmental, accepting and understanding.
Whether you are using EFT on yourself or with others the same rules apply. From now whether you are self-applying EFT Tapping or working with others we will use the term client to refer to the person receiving the treatment and practitioner for the person facilitating the treatment.
The same applies when you are self-applying EFT as we recommend you take on both roles. Consider what environment you would like to create for yourself when you receive the treatment.
So, below in this article, are some of my top ideas for therapists and coaches on how to prepare for their first therapy or coaching session, so you'll be ready to see clients for their first session with you!
STEP 1: ESTABLISH WHAT THE CLIENT WANTS
Assuming you have already completed an Intake Form with the client, the very first step, when you meet with them, is to establish what they want and build a rapport with them.
The act of having a rapport is to have a connection with your client where they feel safe, reassured and connected.
You could build a rapport by the match and mirror method, where you match and mirror them with your body language, tone and pace of voice.
For example, if your client is speaking fast, match them where they are. If they are speaking slowly and your tendency is to speak fast, then slow down your pace to meet them where they are.
The truth is people like people, like themselves. It makes them feel safer as it's what they are familiar with.
The questions you can ask to get started are:
- "How are things?"
- "How are you?"
- "What has been happening?"
- If it's your second session, "What happened since the last time we spoke?"
These are some easy questions to establish where the client is now.
Let the client answer.
“When you listen deeply the words between the words become alive and palpable.”
Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)
STEP 2: LISTEN DEEPLY WHEN YOU GET STARTED WITH A CLIENT
Listening deeply means listening to the exact words while observing the client's body language and tonality, as well as listening intuitively to the words, feelings and thoughts not spoken.
- Spend more time listening to them, than talking. Hear the exact words and the most important ones.
- When you listen intuitively, you can hear the words spoken and not spoken.
- Listening for the tonality, pace, speed and volume will give you clues as to where the client is currently, and how are they feeling.
Once you have listened deeply, you can either reassure, congratulate, rephrase or empathise as needed.
Empathising would mean letting the client know that you understand what they are sharing. It is not the same as sympathy.
Empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of another.
Sympathy: Feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.
STEP 3: PLAY BACK TO THE CLIENT WHAT THEY SHARED, AND CONFIRM IT
The reason to play back to the client what they shared is that it builds an instant rapport and shows them that you have listened to what they have to say. There is a skill in listening and using their words when you play it back to them.
The technique of playing back to them what they have shared also creates an environment where you can ask deeper questions to get to the root cause of what might be underpinning the surface issue.
For example, if the client says, "I feel pain in my heart", you may compassionately change the tone of your voice and say, "Thank you for sharing you feel a pain in your heart, tell me more?"
In the first part of your response, you acknowledge what they have shared and then you ask for more information. The reason to thank them is that it lets them know that everything is welcome.
Once the client is ready you can then ask the next question,
"What do you want to work on today?"
or if they have already indicated what they want to explore, clarify it and give them the option to also explore something else.
"You mentioned that you are (.....your client's words, for example, bothered, concerned, worried ......) by (...your client's words...) and want to explore it. Is that what you want to work on today or is there something else? Tell me more"
Listen to them and repeat it back to them,
“So you want to work on (.....play it back to them in their words ...)," and they will either confirm or correct you.
Chances are, the client will let you know within the first 2 minutes what they want to work on and will also give you clues on the root cause.
The magic is to listen deeply.
If what they have shared is in line with your agreement with your client, you can continue.
In the event that the issue or the goal they want to work on in the current session has changed from your original agreement decided in the Intake Form, then you may want to check that with them and ask them what they would really want to work on.
For example, if the client had booked 6 sessions with you to resolve their relationship challenges with their spouse where they wanted to be more accepting of themselves and their partner, but they showed up for their second session and wanted to work on weight loss.
So you might like to ask,
"Thank you for sharing that you want to explore weight loss in this session, which we can do. I just need your permission to check one thing with you first."
If they say yes, ask them, "What's the reason you want to work on weight loss today and how is it related to the reason you signed up to this 6 session program, which was the relationship with your husband?"
You see, weight loss can be related and unrelated. It can be related because the theme is about self-acceptance or it's a contentious point in the relationship or it's the reason she might feel the relationship is not working.
It could be so many different things that only your client will know.
It can also be unrelated, which means you might need 6 sessions just focusing on that, to reach their outcome.
So it's about understanding their perspective, checking in with yourself if you are able to fulfil what they want and (if needed) having an honest conversation about what is possible or not.
This is how you can respond if:
- The area is unrelated and they want to shift focus, "I understand that your desire to explore weight loss is unrelated to working on the relationship and you want the focus of our next 4 sessions to change to this and will pause the work on your relationship. There might be some overlapping themes and there might be some completely new areas."
- The area is related and they want to continue with the new theme under the umbrella of the original agreement, "I understand that in today's session, you want to explore weight loss and you feel it's connected to the relationship challenge because (... client's words...). Is that right?" Get the confirmation and proceed.
The client's needs, desires and wishes are central to any client session and are the best starting points before any proceeding into the main session, whether it's online or face-to-face sessions.
Whew! And that’s about it!
These are the three important steps when starting a therapy or coaching session to be kept in mind.
Working for yourself may appear to be a dream come true, especially if you already enjoy your job as a therapist.
Private practice, on the other hand, necessitates a healthy dose of business savvy and adds a slew of new duties to your daily routine. But the above steps are very important to head towards a great session.
Ultimately, the most crucial marketing approach is to provide excellent service to clients for whom you are qualified.
When you make a significant difference in someone's life, they are more likely to tell a friend about you.
Supporting someone as they make positive changes in their lives may be quite rewarding, making it easier to balance the numerous tasks you must serve in private practice.
I hope you found these 7 tips for the first therapy session helpful as you prepare to see clients in your practice.
Have amazingly great sessions ahead!
Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)
P.S. Want to discover if EFT Tapping is right for you? Book a complimentary Discovery call.
How To Self-Heal & Become An EFT Practitioner
Discover how EFT Tapping can help you to self-heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.
In summary, before starting any session with a client, centre yourself so that you can be present for yourself and your client. Then the first 3 steps to get started, are to establish what the clients want through questions asked in rapport, to listen deeply to their answers and replay back to them what they shared. This way, you will be in rapport with your client, they will feel safe and listened to and both will be clear on the purpose of the session.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is purely for educational purposes and does not in any way replace the requirement for medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment. Please seek professional medical and psychological diagnosis and advice for all medical and mental health conditions. It is advised to always book any consultations with qualified professionals.
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