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The Building of Rapport Is Often Considered one of the Most Important Aspects of a Hypnotherapists Work, Discuss.

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The building of rapport is often considered one of the most important aspects of a hypnotherapists work, discuss.

Introduction what is rapport

In order to discuss the building of rapport we first need to understand what is rapport? Rapport can be seen as the development of trust, understanding, respect and a mutual connection between two people. It is essential for there be rapport between the client and therapist as this allows an environment for the client to be relaxed and honest about their problems as well as being open to suggestion from the therapist. There are times when rapport might be built with minimum effort. We can all remember situations when we have just clicked with people that we had met for the first time. However we can also remember times when we have met somebody for the first time that we have instantly jarred against, these moments can be awkward. It is the responsibility of the therapist to take the ownership for building rapport and to negate any possible idiosyncrasies that might get in the way of building rapport. When you build rapport between the client and therapist you cross barriers and build that foundation for growth and change.

The first client interaction therefore is a very important meeting, this is where you as a therapist will make your first impressions and the client will decide wether they can feel comfortable enough to go through the vulnerable process of therapy with you as their therapist. There are many areas to consider when preparing for a first meeting with a client to ensure it goes well, considering how you should dress and your demeanour are important factors to ensure you are not to distracting in building rapport. Your environment needs to be clam and inviting. It should be an environment that the client feels comfortable in and not distracted by clutter or obtrusive noises. The temperature of the room is also equally important as this can also be a distracting environment for a client.

During your first meeting you may also want to fill out a notation form. This will be helpful as it is a way of connecting with your client and gathering information to help you reflect and build your therapy based on the answers during consultation and gathering information in your notation. This can be used as a way of building rapport but equally it could prevent the building of rapport. It is useful as it gives you a record of the initial facts and goals for the client, something that you can revisit before each client meeting. This helps to build that rapport with your client as you are asking questions to find out about them and that you care enough to record those facts, meaning that the client and their wellbeing is important to you. However this can also be a potential barrier for clients as you may become too involved in taking those notes and lose that human connection with your client. I would say it is important to position with your client that this is the part of the consultation that you will be making notes and that you are listening, as it may appear to be disconcerting to the client and detrimental to the relationship. I would say that asking the relevant questions is extremely important but the depth of your notes from your consultation could vary from client to client depending on how the client is reacting to the note taking. It is important as a therapist to be perceptive of your client so if you feel the rapport is being damaged by notation you could minimise this and revisit your notes when the client session has finished to add more detail.

During your notation or throughout your conversation with your client it is also important to consider the flow of your conversation in how you build rapport. There are several techniques that apply structure and help us to remember the information given as well get in touch with the feelings of the person and to ensure that our understanding of what is being said is correct.

This simple structure is by using reflection, paraphrasing and clarifying. Reflection is the basic skill of empathic understanding and at its most simple involves reflecting the content of the other persons utterances back to them (first steps in counselling p108) This enables the therapist to understand what the client is feeling and to validate to the client that the therapist is listening to them. I imagine that it can be quite hard initially not to sound too parrot fashion in initial consultations but with practice this would soften and become more natural. Paraphrasing and clarifying come thereafter refection and build into the three basic skills of the therapeutic relationship condition of empathy (first steps of counselling p109) used together they help to communicate your care and attention for your the person you are trying to help.

Paraphrasing is repeating back your understanding of what the client has said, in your own words or by using the clients words. A paraphrase reflects the essence of what has been said. This focuses on the content of what is being said rather than the feelings in the conversation. It helps to build rapport as it relays the content of what the client has said showing them that you have listened but also allows the client to correct anything that has not be understood in the meaning that it was given.

Clarifying is to seek clarification of your own understanding of what the client is saying. This helps in building and showing empathy because the client will feel that you are truly trying get to grips with how it feels to be them. You may also help the client to understand their situation better by getting them to explain in more detail. As sometimes when situations are explained to you in a confused manner helping to clarify defines the detail in the situation between both parties.

As well the setting and discussion in your first meeting with your client therapist behaviours also impact the ability for building rapport, these behaviours may be body language, posture or speech and these can be summarised as attending and non attending behaviours. Attending behaviours are as exactly as they sound, this is when the therapist is attentive so modelling behaviours such as maintaining a good level of eye contact. Sitting next to the person or side on to the person so that their are no barriers between you. Using attentive body language such as an open posture and using encouraging body responses such as a nodding head or smiling when appropriate. Making sure that all potential distractions such as a knock to the door, turning mobile devices off and asking the client also to silence any technology are all examples of attending behaviours. Non- attending behaviours would then be behaviours that would distract or make your client feel uncomfortable. Examples of these would be fidgeting with objects such as jewellery

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