Being a therapist does not make me perfect. In fact, the thought that I should be immune to the difficulties of every day life makes me laugh frequently.
And yes, I’ve actually had to have that conversation before.
One of the benefits of being a therapist, however, is that through my work, I’ve learned to be very aware of myself in addition to my clients. I am attentive to my feelings, my processing, and my mistakes. If not, I’d never be able to differentiate if a behavior was my client, or my client responding to me!
One of my biggest downfalls as a therapist and business person?
I have to take a lot of time to process my verbal output, especially when dealing with detailed matters. Many of my clients can tell you of their initial phone call to me. It likely went something like this;
“Hello, Mrs. Mullis? This is _____________ and I’m interested in _______ receiving music therapy/music lessons. “
“Oh wonderful and nice to meet you! Can you tell me a bit about _______?”
(list of details about child and reasons for pursuing therapy/lessons)
So at this point, I’m doing pretty well. I can quickly organize details about people, as well as appropriately respond and ask questions. We’re about to get to the nitty gritty though.
Client: “Wonderful! So, our schedule has us available on x,y,z, day at x,y,z times. When could we see you? We also live in ______ how much would it cost for you to travel to us?”
Me: “Uhh.. buhh. uhm.. calendar.. yeah.. err.. rates.. gas.. google maps.. mileage… EXPLODE”
Yep. That was my head exploding just there. What actually happens, is that I politely tell my potential client that I do a much better job organizing the details and delivering them through e-mail and would they kindly provide me with their e-mail address, or send me a message through the contact form on my webpage.
Delivering details over the phone is where I can mess up badly. I can get confused, give bad information, and am a giant helpless mess. What are the areas you struggle with? How do you deal?