Ava, a counsellor, was having difficulty concluding her sessions. Often when the time was almost up, a client suddenly presented a completely new issue. She was thrown off-guard, not knowing how to end that session without cutting off the client abruptly. As a result of engaging with the client on this last-minute revelation, she often went over-time of her session length. As her workday progressed and she fell further behind schedule, her stress increased. In the initial interview, it became clear that she expected a client to stay with the problem first presented. We discussed the nature of counseling: new issues will show up in every process, and this is to be expected. I gave Logosynthesis sentences for “the fantasy of ‘ideal’ clients who stay with their initial issue.”
After this cycle she laughed about the unrealistic expectation she had for her clients to stay on task, and then a new, deeper issue showed up unexpectedly, (much like the last minute revelations of her clients at the end of their sessions). Ava described a pressure around her throat and shared that her grandfather had regularly strangled her as a small child. The resolution was relatively straightforward; Logosynthesis sentences for “the hands of grandfather strangling me” produced a state of deep relaxation.
Cycling back to re-evaluate and discuss the initial issue, Ava had reframed her initial problem with going over-time in her sessions. She now realised that her difficulty was not an inability to set limits, but a lack of professional experience; she did not yet know how to conclude a therapy session with professional finesse. Pro-actively educating herself by engaging in discussions with experienced counsellors, she received a number of suggestions she was easily able to understand and implement.