Marjorie was clearly distressed as she left my office. This rarely happens, hardly ever. We all know it happens sometimes. It seems to be part of the journey of walking deeply into the hearts and minds of our clients.
This time, however, I think might have been preventable.
In our next visit, we discussed what happened. As it turns out, I made a HUGE assumption about what she knew about how treatment looks with AAIT. She had previously shared that she read my blog and my website and I made some assumptions about what that meant.
It came as a surprise to both of us that we weren't quite on the same page. After all, overt collaboration is key to the success of this model. She summed up the disconnect beautifully, "I came for treatment, thinking that you would just DO something and I would be better. Now, I've come to understand that treatment and training are NOT mutually exclusive."
Holy cow! I neglected to take the time to explore the principles with her and discuss how our work would unfold. I did a lousy job of client engagement through informed consent.
My colleague, Sara Ridner actually taught me quite a bit about informed consent, especially as it relates to clarifying expectations with new clients. She does such a great job with informed consent, it ensures the kind of client engagement that makes for strong collaboration.
Though I had GIVEN Marjorie a document with info including the principles, I neglected to make sure she understood and had a chance to ask questions.
One of the principles that inform the success of this work is "taking responsibility for and tending to our inner state is the source of our freedom." You can rest assured that at this next session, Marjorie and I took the time to share a conversation about the principles, phases, and theory of AAIT.
How do you ensure optimum client engagement and collaboration?
What kinds of challenges have you encountered with informed consent?