It is important in psychotherapy to consider your time management; and, indeed, this is an interesting and useful discussion point for both therapists and their clients. For example, planning your day strategically is helpful to do. If I am working at one clinic, I try to have breaks between sessions. I work in 50 minute blocks, and so I usually have a ten minute break between clients. However, this doesn’t always happen: people turn up late, I sometimes overrun, and, on occasions, it is tricky organising the next appointment. And, in order to give one’s best, one must be fresh for each client. I tend to schedule further breaks in the day so that I can get lunch and have time for reflection over a cup of coffee. I also need time for correspondence and for writing the psychotherapy notes. Further complications may arise if you are doing home visits, therapy in the business setting or going from one clinic to another; and, in all cases, it is very important to add extra time to your journey so that you are not late. Your clients can be late, but you can’t! Actually, sometimes trains get cancelled and life happens, but it is best to be there on time as far as is possible.
It is also important to consider your time management during sessions. If someone has clearly come for hypnotherapy, and they spend a great deal of time talking about their issues, it is helpful to mention this at some point during the session. I might say something like:
‘I am conscious of the time. You clearly have a great deal to talk about today and I know that you want to do some work in the hypnosis to effect some change in your life. Perhaps, today will be a psychotherapy session, but if you would like to do some hypnosis, please let me know’.
If someone is very distressed during therapy, it is not good practice to end the session with your client in total despair. Keep an eye on the clock, and make sure that you give some positive suggestions or ego strengthening to boost your client before the time is up. As a psychotherapist it is your responsibility to help your client to move forward and feel better about his or her life. Dealing with difficult subject matter is sometimes inevitable; and, in most cases, tackling this in the consulting room will be helpful to your client. They should feel free to talk about anything that is important to them—however disturbing. But it is important to boost them at the end of the session so that they know that they have your unconditional positive regard. Similarly, if you client wants to do a range of exploratory work in the hypnosis, make sure that you allow enough time to do so. It is good practice to allow at least five minute before the end of the session so that you can deal with any further issues before the time is up.
David Kraft, Enfield Psychotherapy
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