Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights - September 30, 2010Reframing Client Questions
"When will I meet someone?"
--Oh my! How frequently the astrologer hears this question, usually at the end of the consultation, when it threatens to topsy-turvy [allow the verb] the consultation.
We know that the question emerges from the difficulty of being alone, being without someone with whom to share life, to gain understanding and support. --It is certainly not unreasonable.
But the "when" word rivets the question to a frame of assured prediction.
At the end of a consultation, the client discussion usually has established an important scheme/program of reality activities that will strategically fill out astrologically measured time signals; the plan is to fulfill a probability of change and development. When this extra question is introduced, things can be jarred considerably; we feel that everything we have discussed in the consultation is really nothing; that finding "someone" is all that matters.
Over the years, with much study and experience, I have formulated a helpful response, I think: "As we've discussed carefully, the months ahead promise conspicuous development. All of this will change the vibes you give off. You are changing, and you will attract a different kind of person! --The client will agree with this because it confirms personal growth and the probability of beneficial change; and it says new relationship interpersonally and with the world is probable.
What this answer does: it reframes the question. It adds dimension to inquiry that makes answering more practical.
If someone asks, "Will I get the job I am applying for?", the question implies that they are powerless, that they must sit and wait for something to happen. This situation is presented to us often. --I have developed a reply to this as well ---and it is very effective: "Let's remember, please: Isaac Newton had to enter the garden in order for the apple to drop!" --Stop talking. The client will get the message about becoming involved.
With the "meeting someone" question, we can go further: we can reframe the question this way: "What will attract someone to you? What do you have that you can provide to someone else in this process of getting together? --What can you do about this?"
In reframing, we have to show that people affect their lives --there is no pronouncement from on high! It's been said so often: Change yourself and you change the future. Every decision affects outcome.
Involvement. Activity. Purpose. These are powerful concepts all too easily forgotten by people under tension, living with insecurity or fear.
Every time I hear about a protracted sense of futility . within an extended Neptune Arc or transit, for example, I acknowledge the client's "bewilderment." But I also reframe the situation as best I can: "What are we discovering within this period? How will you emerge from it in 8 months or so?"
That's a powerful question.
Creative visualization is a very substantive part of helping the future to happen. When we assist a client by reframing a pressing question or complicated objective, we are inviting fresh, practical creative visualization, imagination, into the mix.
When we are building a client's vocational profile, for example, we are opening the door to a vocational scenario that will bloom to fulfill the client's resources and needs. This is our imagination at work .and it becomes very real.
Isn't it interesting how often we describe someone as "having no sense of humor." This tells us that that person is dry, tight, less than circumspect, etc.
Isn't interesting how often we describe someone as "having no imagination."
You go to a new doctor, you will know quickly about his or her "beside manner"; how the two of you will communicate on the sympathy/empathy level.
People with problems in these areas will almost always dismiss these areas as unrealistic, unimportant. They will go on their sterile, cold way and isolate themselves within a secure routine. After all, humor, imagination, caring are not really real.
But they are.
And the reality is within. If you visualize improvements in your life --i.e., reframing your life profile-- those improvements are bound to happen, and they will pay off to one degree or another.
Please review related essays to this important issue: in the Archives following the present essay, find "Hearing the Answer within the Question" --2/28/05; "Making Decisions or Waiting for Things to Happen" --7/31/04; "Therapeutic shifts of Mind" - 1/30/04.
Next Update: October 31, 2010