• Clients may have differential gender expectations around formal and informal attire and office décor.• Positive therapist energy may be attractive to clients.• Eight elements to consider in an office setting: (a) accessories, (b) color, (c) furniture and room design, (d) lighting, (e) smell, (f) sound, (g) texture, and (h) thermal conditions.• Personal comfort of the therapist may be the best guide to attire and office décor decisions.• Therapist personality expresses in office design and can be a part of therapy.• Clients prefer therapists who demonstrate they are competent, knowledgeable, and experienced about the presenting issue (depression, anxiety, infidelity, academic problems, etc.) or the treatment modality: child, individual, couple, or family.• Topic-Initiation Therapist responses, particularly Topic-Reintroduction responses tend to build rapport better than Topic-Following responses.• Therapists who respond with integrity, honesty, and professionalism to client questions and behaviors are responding appropriately to client therapeutic boundary issues.• Initial Therapist credibility based on referrals and credentials require subsequent appropriate therapist responses to client presentations.• Active early therapy including interventions such as interpretation build rapport.• Building the therapeutic relationship should take precedence over information gathering in early therapy.• Therapist responses to client presentations that show depth and insight build credibility.
license or licensure status,years of experience,the therapist's office being close to the prospective client's house,the therapist having a surname that sounds like the same ethnicity of the client,the therapist being the first to return or happen to answer in person the client's phone call,the name of the therapist being at the top of a managed care provider list or being alphabetically listed first.
Reveal unspoken secretsIdentify puzzle piecesConnect the dotsGuess family of origin experiencesReveal feelings, thoughts, experiencesElicit and honor vulnerabilityChallenge sensitively and respectfullyReveal semi-conscious and unconscious goals- secret goals
"Is couple therapy your idea, your partner's idea, or both of your ideas?"
"Is this a new issue or an old issue that has intensified or gotten worse over time? Or, is it both?"
Why are you coming for therapy now, instead of before, and instead of waiting?"
"You mentioned the financial stress from losing your job about 4 months ago. What does that mean to you? Not just financially, but about who and what you are as a partner, man, and provider? What does your wife think of… expect of you? How does it feel? What do you do about those feelings? Who are you, if you're not working?"
"I see that you and your wife have communication problems. But it's not just that you two have communication problems, it's that you both have hurt from the communication problems. From what you've said, the hurt looks like it's been there for a long time."
"Sounds like your husband is afraid that going to therapy makes him look like a bad guy. Maybe he thinks going to couple therapy is admitting that he's a failure… a screw-up. It'll be hard for him to get here, be here, and stay here."
"It's not just getting past the hurt of the affair. It's also both of you understanding… seeing what the affair was all about. Only then can both of you even hope to problem-solve why it happened in the first place. Otherwise, you'll never feel ok… you'll never will be confident that your partner won't do it again… and you won't be able to heal."
“You said you can’t please her. No matter what you do, you just don't see anything working. So, why do you still try to please her? That must feel awful. What about accepting she cannot be pleased? How about pleasing yourself?"
"It sounds like both of you already know what you're doing wrong and what you should do instead. You don't need therapy or me to tell you that. You saw the problems long ago and you could feel you were doing it wrong back then."