Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights February 28, 2005Hearing the Answer within the Question
There are questions and there are questions. –Factual questions are answered with facts; judgment questions, opinion questions are more complex … they are asked with varying levels of emotional content, and the answer must be framed to appreciate that.
The client helps us in this process: the body, the feelings, our awareness so often knows the answers to things before our minds do! Some of us call it intuition; and in some of us it is very highly refined.
Since the asking of the judgment question is using emotional fuel, we can indeed often hear the questioner’s emotional awareness of the answer to his or her own question within the question itself! The client knows the answer, in the subconscious or just behind the words coming through the ego; the asking of the question serves other needs or is a stepping stone to recognizing the answer within.
Not two hours ago, in a consultation: the client is pressing a divorce formally against her husband, while he and she are trying to sell their sizeable business, and both are discharging personal anxieties onto the other. I adopted a “first things first” strategy –facilitating and concluding sale of their business— basically burying the hatchet to accomplish the sale as well as and as soon as possible. This was clearly of paramount importance, and we had to clear the air to make that work.
But there was a built-in emotional strategy here as well; it is very important since, in my opinion, there were minimal astrological indications of divorce at this time. Acknowledging that husband and wife were both in the same foxhole, helping each other get out and win the business-sale project, could possibly allow a mellowing, a forgiveness, a supportiveness to return to their relationship. Getting rid of the business anxieties could alleviate the emotional discontent. Judgments would/might change over the next fourteen months.
My client said to me, with a subtle change of voice color, “Do you think then that I should withdraw my divorce motion?”
Now this is a key question. In my opinion, the client is not just asking about strategy ---and I could hear this: she was asking about how she could feel good about herself, feel honorable in this sell-the-business, table-the-tensions period! --My reply was –and note my words-- “You’re a big lady, bigger than this situation; it can wait; you’ll be showing the best of intentions by withdrawing the motion.”
The major point here is that I knew this was the answer the client was giving herself.. Certainly, a “Yes” or “No” answer by me would be practically meaningless after the consultation, in the next hours, the next days. But she could hold onto the answer I did give her; that I did reflect back to her; it was the one working itself out inside her. She just couldn’t get herself to say it directly, so out it came, “Do YOU think then that I should…?”
The Doubting Question and Probability Answers We hear so often the question, “Will I get this job?, The interview is just as you said, in three weeks, but will it come through?” --This is a “doubting question.” Sure, it is natural question; it is born of anxiety, which the client wants alleviated right then and there.
The doubting question is a fear/hope question; and the answer is, I think, best answered with a statement of “Probability;” the probability recognizes the emotional anxiety but also accommodates the astrology in a practical way! --“Well, if the interview goes as well as we expect, the probability is probably 80% that you’ll get the job within 10 days thereafter! That’s what’s suggested here.”
The client can work with this; the astrologer can live with it. It’s reasonable; circumspect; manageable. It’s objective.
And during this, we can listen carefully: in the question, is the client believing the interview is going to go well, that he or she will be getting the job? --This is a terribly important mind-set, isn’t it? I maintain that the more reasonably the client projects getting the job, the higher the probability that that will be the case! The client can “see” it taking place … or not!
You can train yourself to listen for answers! Spend one or two days listening strongly to the questions people ask you. Listen to their word choice, their tone of voice; hear something in their eyes. --You’ll be amazed how rich this subliminal communication is; we just have to tune in to it. When I’m “working,” I do this all the time.
How many, many times has a woman in her early forties, never having been married, not (or never) in a relationship, having never been pregnant, showing a 5th House of difficult circumstance, asked “Will I have a child?” --Just think how complicated this question is!: age, medical profile for a dangerous birth process, a challenged baby, and so much more. Is this a high-energy need-for-motherhood speaking? –Why had it not spoken before, earlier in life? --Is the concern not to have a child but to have something to do to establish identity; is it to end the long long times of being alone?
Again we have a fear/hope question, which can be answered in terms of scientific fact and low, low probability, low, low feasibility.
Again we can listen for the answer within the question –almost always “No; I will not have a child.” --With grace we can say, “You do know the answer to that question, I’m sure. The probability is very low.” The key of course is to have the woman listen to her own inner voice, to do her own research, to appreciate reality.
Impossible or Impractical Questions We astrologers do have our limitations(!) Complex medical questions, questions about spousal motives, about long-distance relatives and their health … these may be very important for the client, but completely out of reach for the astrologer. –Listen for the answer within the question and … please … choose the words of your answer with grace and realism. … Oh! How all-important is the way we speak … This defines who we are and qualifies our astrology.
Next update: March 31, 2005