Clients who live inside you
Those of you in love with Interpersonal Neurobiology have probably heard about mirror neurons. They are those little neurons that help you understand the world and learn to do things through mimicry. They are the reason why when you smile at a baby the baby smiles back.
These neurons coupled with our strong empathic skills as therapists are the reason why when your client has a stomach ache from nervousness in session, you might also have a stomachache. Or why that client that holds his shoulders up to his ears always gives you a headache (have you checked your shoulders?).
We are an amazing tool. Our bodies tell us the details of what our clients experience that our logical brain can't.
Unless we tune into our body regularly, our clients move in and take over.
5 ways to kick your clients out
Waiting until the end of the day to care for yourself, or the end of the week, isn't enough to help you clear your body of the experience of your clients. It doesn't take much though to help you care for your body in between clients.
1. Notice your body during the session
Regularly check in to see what your own body is doing. This will help you care for yourself as well as understand what's happening with your client. If you are suddenly sleepy, you might learn that your client is disconnected from what's happening in the room. If your neck is hurting, your client might be angry and carrying tense muscles.
2. Move during your sessions
Don't sit still during your session. Find ways to move, tense, and relax your muscles while you are with a client. Re-orienting your body will help you to release the tension, as well as relate to the client in a new way.
3. Move between sessions
Lie on the floor; get up and drink some water; stretch your arms in the doorway; do downward dog; stretch your neck; dance; jump; lie with legs up the wall.
4. Practice relaxation so you get good at it.
Relaxation is a skill that is learned and needs to be practice. Set aside time to practice regulating your heartrate and breath. Consider trying out a restorative yoga class, a biofeedback session or some yummy yoga nidra.
5. Build in self care to your schedule
Self-care is much less effective if you use it only when you desperately need it. Learn how to add in time for you to your day so that you don't take your work home with you.
I can talk about this all day. Wanna chat? Hit me up on facebook!