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Client and Clinician Are Partners

Author:

Jakayla obtained her MSW degree from the University of Central Florida.

For All Intended Purposes

If you are a social work/ mental health clinician or if you are any professional reading this to improve your practice or relationships, 'clinician' is for you. Likewise, if you are any individual reading this to better understand yourself or others, 'client' is for you.

If you are reading for your personal life and are seeking services from a professional you may gain a better understanding of what you are looking for in that partnership. The therapeutic relationship is like any other relationship in that it should be beneficial to you. After truly giving the partnership a chance, if you do not feel any level of comfort or benefit it is more than ok to end it.

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Set The Pace

What I have noticed in working with clients, is that creating a space of genuineness and concern simply for the client's overall well-being as a human, allows room for clients to be themselves, feeling comfortable in their truth no matter who the clinician is.

Knowing this, offering a safe space of freedom destroys walls and barriers the clients may otherwise deal with. For this reason, it is good that we understand the value of professionalism and maintain balance. Remember each of us are human before we are professionals. Remember we are also human before we are clients.

Awareness and Acceptance

It is one thing to be aware of our clients (or ourselves/others) and it is another thing to accept our clients as they are. We are valuable, deserving of respect, and valid in our existence. We should view our clients in this same light.

What I mean is this, in our practice, we want to assess for basic needs and safety before anything else. Doing this is important for us and the client, to establish trust and security. For example, if the client expresses experiencing anxiety and we determine early that they have been struggling to pay their bills or they live in an unhealthy environment, we want to explore that before bringing up something like medication.

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On The Other Hand

However, If the client determines they are experiencing symptoms of depression and are also struggling in their cultural identity we may want to explore this, let the client lead.

Individuals often feel judged and criticized before words are ever even exchanged. This is why the assessment design is outlined, so that both client and clinician have time and room to open up, together.

© 2020 Jakayla