• People act, and react to fulfill needs. When you better understand their needs, the better treatment strategies you can implement. Ask questions, repeat what has been said, and talk about their treatment goals.
• Take into consideration the client’s state of being. Are they stressed, what is their pain level? Remember pain is subjective, so a client’s pain level is their own, not your interpretation of it. (It might seem like a level 3 to you, but to them, it’s a solid 8 level). Respect that.
• Communicate on their level. Most clients won’t know the difference between Rectus Femoris, and Gluteus Medius… so don’t expect them too. Do not act superior, nor inferior. They will know when you are doing this. Explain things in both laymen and mid-level medical terms.
• Be honest. What can you help with and what can’t you do. Ex: Arthritis. You cannot ‘fix it’, but you can aid the muscle tissue around the affected joint, with the hope of easing some discomfort.
• Know their opinion of you. If they don’t know you, you will need to build trust, and expertise with them. If they know you, you don’t have to continually remind them.
• Have good timing. Be on time, all the time. Keep sessions a fluid as possible. Timing, with focus, is everything!
• Separate your emotions from the facts. Never come from a reactionary position.
• Ask questions. The client will lead to the questions they want you to ask.
• Listen…. Always listen. Listen for those cues!
There are so many facets to Communication, that often we can forget ourselves on what Good Communication is, and the differences between Therapeutic Communication with our clients, and everyday communication with our friends, colleagues, and family.
This is verbal and non-verbal.
One of the first things about this is to watch your non-verbal when speaking with a client. Your body language speaks volumes! By keeping your eyes on the client, and acknowledging what they say, tells the client you are listening to them.
When taking notes, ask questions about the area of concern, or sum up what they have said. In doing this, the client feels heard and understood.
Always watch body language!! Here’s an example:
Therapist A: is on the phone with a ‘difficult’ client. The next client walks in the door, and the Therapist looks at the client and rolls their eyes.
What has the Therapist just communicated to the client that is physically present? (Please, answer in the comments section what you think).
Therapist B: a client is explaining pain in their low back as being absolutely excruciating. Yet the client is walking upright and seems to have a good stride.
The therapist says, “It can’t be that bad… your walking”. What is the clients’ take away from this response? (Let me know what you think).
Why is communication so important?
As you develop skills in Therapeutic Communication you will start to discover, for yourself and your clients’:
• Improved results
• Time saved on discussion, more time for treatment
• No misunderstandings
• Productivity increases
• Less stress
• Establishes a rapport
Clients are more likely to re-book and refer others if all of their boxes a checked off in a positive experience. Communication is the first step in making that happen!
Let me know what you think about Client Communication in the Comments Section Below!
Thank You and have an AWESOME DAY!