In working with clients I try to use the last few minutes to ask them to relay back to me what was discussed in their session. This tells me what they didn’t hear or take in and it lets them say in their voice what they remember. Many will forget that they have some homework to do by their next session. I always encourage each client to arrive at therapy with a notebook that is used just for jotting down questions, statements or themes of their sessions.
Like most people we keep too much of what we have to do or remember in our short term memory bank. I’ve always been a big list person. Like a calendar on the wall or on your phone with a reminder alarm, you write a note when you want to change something in your life, and then as you practice doing the behavior on a daily basis you place a mark on each day on your list or calendar. It seems, in my experience, that the people that do this get more things done and know their priorities better. For example if your working on growing a better sense of self-esteem, I might ask you just for the week to speak no negativity of yourself for that week. Never mind what comes in your mind, for one week try and not speak badly about yourself. The list is you taking responsibility for wanting to change. It’s there on your mirror or your desk in the same spot everyday just to remind yourself what your short term goal is for the week. This simple tool if practiced, shows your progress, where if it’s only in your mind, you’ll never be truly sure.
John Shinavier, MA, Solution Focus Therapist, Life Coach and RYT