I remember clearly in my training placement, and also still as a newly fledged counsellor, feeling as though I had a whole raft of techniques and processes up my sleeve to work with and wanting to use as many as possible with my clients to achieve some progress for and with them.

My supervisor had other ideas of course!

I think it’s very natural and easy to want to use techniques that we are familiar or comfortable with, and that we like, to either facilitate some progress for your client, or somehow feel that we are developing in our professional work.

But, it takes time to learn that it all takes time.

No technique or process is any use if the client doesn’t connect with it or if they are not at that stage of readiness to work with it.

I used to find it particularly difficult in supervision sessions where my supervisor simply sat with some detail or process of one of my clients without suggesting any specific technique to get the client to explore further.

It was a way of mirroring with me, how I might be with a client.  And it took me time to get there.

I experienced it first hand as well with more experienced therapists when I was in therapy myself.

And I recognise that that element of waiting can feel very frustrating and disorientating at times.

But just pause here, slow down, and reflect on firstly who is doing the work; and secondly ultimately what a client wants and needs.

Above all things, therapy is not about the therapist is it?  It’s entirely about the client.

And that means I, and you, need to wait.

We need to wait for the client to be ready to take the next steps for themselves.

We need to wait for the process to unfold at their pace, not ours.

And we may need also to acknowledge that that wait extends beyond the end of that client’s time with us.  And that the work with us may be one small part of a much bigger and longer overall process for that particular client.

So how are you with waiting?