Clarity, One Key to Real Change

January 4, 2019


As most folks have their attention on their goals at this time of year, this is a great time to revisit the overarching goals that bring clients into our offices.

As I scheduled a session with a client yesterday, she said, “Next time I want to address…. I think it’s related to …” This took no more than 2 minutes. Then she laughed and said, “That’s what I want from my clients. I want them to call KNOWING what they want to change, having that kind of clarity!”

This kind of clarity comes from having the experience of actually ACHIEVING therapeutic goals. There are the overarching goals that bring people to our care and then there are the session goals. When we are both on the same page about our clients’ REAL goals – that makes for some pretty sweet collaboration.

Most practitioners are pretty good at identifying overarching therapeutic goals. Most of us take care of that in the intake. It’s the attention to the session goals where things fall apart. That makes little sense to me. If LOVE is in the details, I’d submit that real lasting CHANGE is in clarity.

Asking our clients “what are you hoping for as a result of our time together today?” is a simple way to get at what they really want. It’s a gentler way of getting at “what do you want to change today?” I will sometimes ask, “what do you want to focus on today?” Essentially, we want to both (client and practitioner) align with the intention for the outcome of our shared investment of time and money.

Taking the time to ensure a shared intention and focus is also one way to experientially instill the AAIT principle, taking responsibility for and tending to our state of being is the source of our freedom.

Clients often show up expecting us to know what needs to be “fixed” and how to do it. On the latter, AAIT practitioners are ahead of the game. We know how to effect change. But on the former, it’s important to help our clients take responsibility for themselves. In our offices, this begins with the simple question, “What are you hoping for as a result of our time together today?” Or even more simply, “What do you want to change today?”

That question can simply terrify some practitioners, or at least produce a little anxiety. It means we have to amp up our game and do what we can to help our clients actually meet their session goals. What I love about AAIT is it gives me that confidence. Generally, I know we can realize that goal. That’s not insignificant,

What about you? What helps you stay on track with helping clients realize therapeutic goals?

We’ll be covering this and SO MUCH MORE in the upcoming AAIT ESSENTIALS Training. Email me to learn why this will take your practice to another level.

Melanie McGhee Comment
AAIT EssentialsChangeClient Relationships


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