Making the most of therapy/the therapeutic use of self

two people talking animatedly (from cyh.com)

If you’re anything like me, as a trainee you met the thought of therapy with a bit of excitement (yay – I get to work on some stuff) a bit of apprehension (oh – I get to work on stuff) and a bit of annoyance (damn it. I have to spend lots of money on working on stuff).

But equally, if you’re anything like me, although you might mostly like the idea of therapy, you often find it difficult to process.

I was recently reading Val Wosket’s ‘The therapeutic use of self’ and in a chapter (pp 76-77) about interpersonal process recall (IPR) conducted with a client, she writes a list of questions (reprinted here with her permission)

  • The most significant thing about the session for me was…
  • Something that I found helpful was…
  • Something that I found unhelpful was…
  • Something I wanted from the session and didn’t get was…
  • My counsellor could have helped me get this by…
  • Something I would have liked to say but didn’t was…
  • My counsellor could have helped me to say this by…
  • I would describe my relationship with my counsellor in this session as…
  • An image I have in relation to the session is…
  • A theme of the session was…
  • Something that occurs to me about the session or my counselling is…

These seem to me to be really useful questions to look at therapy with. She suggested for her client that this was done within 48 hours of a session (each session for her had parallel ‘my client’ questions, also to be completed within 48 hours). I think I might take it up. And whilst I don’t necessarily think that I will adopt it for every session with every client, I think it might prove a useful point to ‘jump off’ from if I am otherwise out of ideas!

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2 thoughts on “Making the most of therapy/the therapeutic use of self

  1. John Wilson says:

    Thank you for the reference to IPR in Val Woskets work, heading to Amazon, need this in the Temenos library 🙂

  2. It’s a great book. I’ve really enjoyed it!

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