There are several accredited bodies to which practitioners may choose to become members, but it is not obligatory. Also there is a Code of Ethics of which the regulations ‘are designed to avoid the misdirection of clients’ (Code of Ethics: National Hypnotherapy Society: Accredited Voluntary Register). Following the code of ethics is not a legal requirement. In this essay I will explain what is meant by an initial consultation and describe how it assists both client and therapist. I will then demonstrate some of the ethical issues therapists are challenged with and how these can relate to the initial consultation.
The initial consultation will usually be the first time that the client and therapist meet and therefore represents an opportunity for the therapist to assess the client and assimilate relevant information regarding a treatment strategy. Based on this, the therapist will be able to make an informed decision, firstly as to whether to proceed with therapy, and secondly how to proceed with therapy. The initial consultation is therefore vitally important if therapy is to be effective, beneficial and ethical. Clearly the more information that can be gathered regarding the client’s problem, the more the causes can be understood and the better the problem can then be defined and resolved . As well as the initial consultation providing an assessment forum for the therapist, it should be remembered that the client will also make judgements relating to the therapist.
It is the most important meeting and these issues addressed should be of benefit to both parties. I will, in this essay, discuss and explain what should happen during the meeting and highlight some of the ethical issues. This initial meeting is also to ascertain personal circumstance and the communication and understanding between client and therapist. The initial consultation is to find out why the client feels he/she needs therapy and to establish a rapport. As it is the first meeting it is good to determine the continuing relationship which will progress during the therapy.
Both clients and therapist benefit from the treatment plan as it helps both to focus and think about the therapy outcomes. As clear objectives are set ones client can channel their efforts into achieving specific changes that will lead to long term goal or problem resolution. The assessment process is an integral part of beginning to formulate a treatment plan. Noticing how the client is along with what they are saying, and recognising that the real reason that brings one to therapy may not emerge until much later in the relationship with the client. Berne emphasised the importance of the very first moments with a client (Berne, 1961).
ESSAY Building rapport is often considered one of the most important aspects of a hypnotherapists work, discuss Building rapport with your client begins the instant you meet them. We all know about first impressions and how they shape what someone thinks about us but in terms of a therapist/client relationship there are no second chances at the first impression. If you are to successfully build rapport between you and your client then you must be aware of and address any initial obstacles that could hinder the rapport building process, for example the therapist must ask themselves questions such as ‘’am I dressed appropriately?” If the therapist is dressed in a sharp black suit for instance, then this would portray power (we have all come across the term ‘power dressing’) and the client would feel immediately intimidated. To facilitate the building of rapport the therapist’s aim would be to make the client feel equal. In the same respect, how we conduct ourselves as therapist is also key to this.
For the hypnotherapist the initial consultation is all about gathering information, exploring the client’s history and most importantly deciding on an ethical level ‘can I treat this person?’ So let’s take a look at each aspect of what the initial consultation entails and how each in turn takes place within the first meeting. The Initial Contact between the Hypnotherapist and the Client. Meeting someone for the first time in a therapeutic setting can be daunting for some, so it is the hypnotherapist’s responsibility to ensure that the client feels at ease at the very first point of contact. I feel also by congratulating them for seeking treatment in the first place sets the conversation on a positive note. The client needs to feel that they are dealing with a professional and that they are interested in what they have to say and accepting of their situation, but also important that they feel they can trust in the abilities of the hypnotherapist and that the treatment shall be kept confidential.
Why is the initial consultation so important? The initial consultation before therapy begins is important as it will form the basis of the therapy. It is very important for the therapist to begin gathering information on a patient from the moment they first walk through the door. The correct steps that need to be taken in order to ensure the therapy is a success can begin to be formed from this point on. It is really important for the patient to make a positive
This information will aid the hypnotherapist in building a rapport with the patient; also allow a connection trust to be formed. Of course the information acquired on the patient is the key to the initial assessment and to establish if the therapist is necessary but inevitably it comes down to the therapist and their manner. The reason why an ethical therapist would offer a free initial consultation is because it would show the commitment to the client through devoting their time to them, to talk, get to know them and make them feel comfortable. A hypnotherapist can find out why the client has come to see them, what their problems are and whether or not hypnotherapy is right for them, and whether they have had hypnotherapy before if not then the therapist can explain to the client what hypnotherapy is and how it can help them, they also will need to find out whether they are on medication or not, and to see if they will need their gp’s permission before giving hypnotherapy. The first consultation can be free and last up to 30 minutes.
* By checking his medical history, remembering neurosis not psychosis. * Ensuring that there is no physical attraction which could deter from the treatment. * I would establish the costing of the treatment, so prevent any future embarrassing, misunderstanding. * I would fully explain what Mr X could reasonably expect to gain from the treatment and the timescale in which to see his desired results, clearly outlining any limitations. * I would explain the parameters of the confidentiality; that everything Mr X told me would remain confidential unless he disclosed something that would either harm himself or another person.
Secondly, the therapist and client forge what is called the Therapeutic Alliance, an agreement on the desired outcome and how they will work in partnership to overcome it. Costs, expected number of sessions and likelihood of a positive outcome will often also be discussed.”(Code of Ethics) Why is the initial consultation so important? This first meeting between therapist and client is probably the most crucial meeting of the