Many people come to us after already engaging in normative counselling and psychotherapy having found it unhelpful, or not right for them.
Whatever your reason for seeking support, we are committed to ensuring you feel safe, valued, and have a confidential space to inspect your own mental environment.Our person-centred approach to supporting people, is key to achieving positive outcomes for our clients.
In order to assure ourselves that our approach is truly person-centred, our facilitators abide by the following principles:
A client who feels threatened or in the wrong will be distracted and will no longer feel safe in the session. Even praise may be taken as an indication of being judged and may engender fear that the next judgment may be less favorable. Some schools of therapy encourage the therapist to respond with feelings about what the client is saying or doing, or to give “feedback” to the client about what s/he is doing right or wrong. This can involve the client in trying to please the therapist or facilitator in order to avoid disapproval.
We do not engage in such practices – approval and disapproval might be appropriate in a context where one is trying to control behavior, but where the goal is to increase self-reliance, perception, ability, and awareness, it is completely counter-productive. The aim of the session is for the client’s own mental environment to be changed, by the client, not by the facilitator.
We never attack, punish, belittle or criticize the client or his/her concepts, perceptions, or actions, and we don’t praise them either. By “judge” we mean to suggest in any way that the client is wrong or right, good or bad, as a person, or in regard to something s/he has said or done.
A client who feels threatened or in the wrong will be distracted and will no longer feel safe in the session. Even praise may be taken as an indication of being judged and may engender fear that the next judgment may be less favorable. Some schools of therapy encourage the therapist to respond with feelings about what the client is saying or doing, or to give “feedback” to the client about what s/he is doing right or wrong. This can involve the client in trying to please the therapist or facilitator in order to avoid disapproval. We do not engage in such practices – approval and disapproval might be appropriate in a context where one is trying to control behavior, but where the goal is to increase self-reliance, perception, ability, and awareness, it is completely counter-productive. The aim of the session is for the client’s own mental environment to be changed, by the client, not by the facilitator.
This allows the client to put all available attention on themselves, without the distraction of worrying about managing the session. Conceptually, the facilitator, is like a personal secretary or office manager who handles and screens all phone calls, keeps the files, and reminds the executive of all appointments so that the executive (in this case, the client) can smoothly do the job.
If we become interesting to the client, we will act as a distraction, pulling attention onto us instead of on the material being viewed. Our interest in what the client is doing and saying will reinforce his/her willingness to view and report on the material being viewed.
WE MAKE SURE THAT THE CLIENT IS IN OPTIMUM PHYSICAL CONDITION FOR THE SESSION
We will need to be sure that the client has had enough sleep, is not hungry or under the influence of alcohol psychoactive drugs (except when drugs are medically prescribed as an absolute necessity), and that s/he is not physically tired. If the client is in urgent need of immediate help, this rule can be relaxed. It is better to help in an emergency under less-than-optimal conditions than not to help at all.
Nevertheless, drugs, tiredness, and hunger tend to lower a person’s awareness, and a lowered awareness is counter-productive in a session. Sometimes it is necessary to delay a session for periods of anything from a day to several weeks or even months, until the effects of exhaustion, drugs, or medication have fully worn off. Precisely how long to wait is a matter of judgment but in most cases, it seems to be around 24 hours for alcohol and longer for drugs with longer-lasting or more potent effects. The exact amount of time depends on the dosage and on the way in which an individual client is affected by a particular drug.
We will ensure that the viewing environment is safe, private, quiet, a comfortable temperature, and comfortably lighted, although in less formal circumstances this may not be possible. We will also ensure that the time is safe. Neither we nor the client should have conflicting appointments or be under time pressure that could cut the session short before it reaches a suitable end point or cause worry about time that would be distracting. Whatever its merits may be as a point of convenience in scheduling sessions and billing for third-party payments, the conventional 50-minute hour is completely unworkable in TIR. Taking the time to bring every session to an end point gives a client a series of successes and a strong sense of confidence in the technique and in his/her own ability.
WE WILL ACT IN A PREDICTABLE WAY SO AS NOT TO SURPRISE YOU
If we engage in unpredictable actions, the client can become distracted by wondering what is going to happen next. Part of being predictable is that we never let anything other than a real emergency cause us to cancel a session appointment once made. Experience has shown that even the inadvertent breaking of an appointment can have detrimental effects on the facilitator-client relationship. When a facilitator breaks an appointment, the message conveyed is that the client is not very important. Being “stood up” for sessions can therefore do serious damage to a client’s confidence in the facilitator.
Sometimes a relative or friend can persuade an unwilling person to engage, or other pressures can be brought to bear on someone to undertake a session against his/her wishes. Under such circumstances, sessions do not work well or at all. A major purpose of a session is to reduce the stress in a person’s life. Being forced or coerced to do viewing increases stress. What applies to the whole process also applies to each step within it. Once a session has started, we will not force or rush the client. We will allow all the time necessary for answering every question. If the client feels we are demanding a quick response, the pressure of time will interfere with the major beneficial action of the session.
Any facilitator who, during a session:
- engages in social chit-chat
- talks about him/herself
- makes random comments
- gives lectures or advice
- laughs excessively or inappropriately
- indulges in emotional reactions toward the client (such as anger or expressions of anxiety)
…will distract the client and disrupt the safe space needed for the client to achieve a positive outcome from their session.
We will be constantly observant of the client and do not say or do anything when a client is engaged in finding an answer to a facilitation question that was asked or is carrying out the facilitation instruction that was given. As long as the client is still looking inward, we do not distract or interrupt the client in any way. Also, we do not interrupt or stop the client from reporting what is going on, explaining, or making him/herself understood. Such interruptions can be quite distressing or distracting.
For this reason, sessions are not fixed in length. This requires that both the client and facilitator must have somewhat flexible schedules. We take responsibility for ending the session when we decide that the client has reached an appropriate end point. It is important for us to show the client that we have the courage, patience, and confidence to face the difficult material we are hearing.