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Judge A Book By Its Cover

Each time we meet with a client, we are given a glimpse into their internal world. Like the pages of a book, each session reveals something new, expands on material that preceded it, or give us an intimation of what's to come. Unlike a book, however, we have no idea what page the session will open up to. Nor should we expect that any given session will pick up where we left off in a previous session. The client's unconscious mind is the narrator, and we, therapists and clients alike, are the readers, doing our best to follow the twists and turns of the story, make sense of the plot lines, and pick up on the themes and central messages. From the front cover to the last page, we may find ourselves dropped into any part of the story. Of course, we can always ask our clients to elaborate on what they've shared or explore how they chose to focus on a certain chapter, but we should be minimally directive in determining which excerpts get selected. There is a kind of implicit intelligence at play that will tell us what we need to know. We need only curl up, listen with alert curiosity, and allow the story to unfold.

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