Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights for August 30, 2003The Supportiveness of Credibility
In the Master’s Degree Course Program, I train my students from the very beginning to work with the verb “suggest”. Without giving away too many high-level trade secrets (;-) , I can share with you that this verb keeps the astrologer from describing, from making pronouncements, from painting the client into a corner. The astrologer no longer says, “You are this or that”, “the horoscope says that”, “what’s going to happen is”.
The verb “suggest” –as in “one of the patterns here in the horoscope suggests that”— prepares the client to start climbing a credibility curve in relation to astrology, to the astrologer. During the consultation, the client will make adjustments to observations as he or she discloses an ever more detailed record of reality experience and development. With every exchange, the astrologer and client come closer together, and the client begins to respect, believe, trust the astrologer and what is being said, the process. The client corroborates the observations and adds to them; the astrologer becomes accurate, credible, valid, true.
As the past leads to the present and into the future, so does the credibility curve extend into time ahead. What the astrologer will share about time ahead becomes eminently credible. The relationship of agreement reaches into plans, hopes, and dreams.
Two powers are at work here: the client wants to believe the astrologer and has established precedents within his or her life to support the credibility; the client begins to project his or her own personal potentials forward
The Key Moment “Now, what do you project for yourself in the next year or so?” --This powerful question taps into the client’s reality plans for the time ahead, and these plans are now formulated upon the base of life-development understanding just discussed with the astrologer, with the discussion fully clarified and corroborated by the client. Everything now seems more reasonable, more secure than before:two people are sharing the plan, the vision, and one of them has been so right about so many things.
The astrologer is not pronouncing a fate. The astrologer is extending the reality of development and is providing a stimulus for further development. The most effective aspect of this consultation dynamic is that the client’s own understandings and interpretative processes are being triggered into action. The astrologer supports that with her or his knowledge, experience, wisdom.
**One of my students wrote me a long, long e-mail, overflowing with gingerbread measurements about a client she had just worked with. The details were too many, too busy, cluttered, and residually worthless, just as two many colors when mixed together become black. My student was simply insecure about the depth that had been reached with the analytical techniques she had learned and her newness in working with them. She knew the answers within the synthesis, but she was reaching out to me for confirmation. She was reaching out with objective measurements rather than empathic understandings and common sense, thinking the former would prove how well she did.
My reply was simply seven words about the client: “What kind of shoes was she wearing?” That’s all I wrote in the e-mail reply.
Well, my student fell off her chair (she told me later)! She shot back with a memo praising the wisdom of her zen-like astrology teacher, how marvelous my deductions were, etc.!!!! –I had simply diverted her attention to her own understandings and feelings. I had given her permission to believe in herself, in her perceptions.
This is what we do with our clients; we support their being themselves, their extension of life development as they have learned it. --The client thinks this way: I believe in you (the astrologer), so, if you believe this is possible for me, I better do something about it to justify that, to vindicate your belief in me! “You are so supportive; thank you.”
This is unqualifiedly real. Client and astrologer become one. --Our clients want us to like them. They wonder how they stack up with all the other people we the astrologer see. The bond with us helps the client feel no longer alone.
***A few days ago in a consultation, it became very, very clear that my client’s life was changing: the suggestions in the horoscope were Plutonic, angular, and everything had to do with her marriage. All of this was corroborated.
I said, “You know it, and I know it. We agree that this relationship has ended, and change must happen.” –But I didn’t stop there. I added, “This wouldn’t be particularly difficult if you were 35 years old, but you’re 52!” There was a pause. [Her not saying anything registered the conviction that, in spite of her age, the marriage must be ended.] I resumed, “And so, we must be ever so much more gentle, careful, fair, gradual about this process.”
This statement “allowed” the marriage to end, because this was an “acceptable” way to do it! This was my suggestion to my client. My credibility ushered it into her personal plans, and its sensitivity promised her a way to get the job done. –Immediately, her planning gained confidence, detail, resourcefulness, and grace.
Persuasion and Probabilities So many times, in the health discussion portion of the consultation (I am not a medical doctor; I clarify that with the client, and then, with their permission, I advance some questions about weak places in their body; see The Astrological Timing of Critical Illness] I have inquired about the symptoms of prostate difficulty or mammogram results and been told, “Well, everything seems fine up to now… but my father and his brother both died of prostate cancer” … or “My grandmother had breast cancer and died.” Or, “Yes, there is a history of diabetes in the family, on both sides!”
The medical profession knows that disease profiles are inherited to one degree or another; that’s why your doctor’s staff takes medical histories during your first visit.
The point for us is that, suddenly, the inquiry about a specific somatic or systemic weakness triggers the corroborative response from the client, and the observation becomes ever so much more persuasive. The persuasion of course is prompted by a patterning of measurements that suggests that a medical check-up is important. Prevention is cure.
Observations come through astrological guidelines that have gained credibility through refinement in life development discussion; family history has reinforced this or that; the recommended referral for an early visit for a check-up gains great credibility; it is a persuasive moment because the probability has been studied carefully. All this establishes credibility.
How practical are the job projections being made by your client? If this can be ascertained in real terms, the focusing of guideline measurements for fulfillment of job objectives can be that much clearer.
So many people feel that by writing a book, it will automatically sell, since it is an earnest personal statement which absorbs their entire being and, therefore should be fascinating to everyone else! --First of all, does the client have writing ability? Has the client ever written anything before? Does the client have the time to write a book? Is the project simply a pipe-dream, a diversion away from more pressing, coping issues in life reality?
In short, our persuasion increases with credibility established through the consultation process. In extending this into future time, we must give enormous respect to common sense, to practicality, and not let fantasy and emotional wish-fulfillment energies flood the outlines of what is real. The medical history in the family and in the client’s life development must give adjustment to the health-profile guidelines; the capabilities for a particular job or job promotion have to be assessed objectively. Then the astrologer can extend persuasion into development time ahead, in the form of support with respect to a time schedule grounded throughout the past. –This is powerful persuasion for the client, to do his or her best; to see the way ahead more clearly; to know what kind of shoes they are wearing.
Next Update: September 30, 2003