Free Consultation & Discovery Session Questions for Couples Track

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      Alina Frank

      15-20 Free Consultation for Couples Work

      The key with a free consultation is to listen more, ask questions, and talk less. You will successfully enroll more clients and turn consultations into paying clients if you are conveying that you are interested and that you are knowledgeable about the problem. First determine who you’ll be working with – couple or one person. If it’s one person ask if there’s an option for them both to see you. It’s a lot easier to work with both from the start than to bring one person in later but both scenarios can work with good communication. If you are working with both then I suggest setting up two individual consultations.

      Stress confidentiality (minus your exceptions for example finding out that they intend to cause harm to self or other) but also let them know that you are not the keeper of secrets and that in any joint sessions you will might bring up something one of them said to you in private. I learned my lesson about this the hard way when it became apparent that my male client was addicted to porn and his wife didn’t know it. Her issue was insecurity about her body! Needless to say I had to tell him that he had to tell her or I would. It worked out but this really should have been covered in a discovery session. I also had a few incidents where I had to talk a client into reporting abuse… again this would have come out in a discovery session. This is why we insist our EFT certification mentees practice doing these.

      Types of questions to ask:

      Most couples struggle with the same issues – money, sex, parenting, infidelity. Can you tell me more about what’s been happening in your marriage and how does it affect your life now? What is happening right now that was so distressing that you felt you needed to explore working with me?

      What else have you tried? Was any part of that process/technique/method successful for you? What was missing?

      Where you do think this comes from? Can you tell me a little about the history about this issue? When you ask questions like this, you are also listening to their answers to gauge whether the fall within your scope of practice or is the client one you’ll need to refer. If you need more information then take the time or schedule another consultation to be sure. There will be times when you know right away that it’s not a good fit – heed that inner guidance system.

      This is a good time to explain what your role is, “My role is to help you to release years of built up resentment, anger, sadness, fear etc that stand in your way of having the relationship you want or to know if it’s time to end it. I can’t guarantee that you will stay together, no one can, but you’ll have a great sense of clarity and you will be at peace with what’s meant to happen. With the use of my tools including tapping the process you’ll see real results within the first few sessions.”

      After you’ve heard all this useful information and have decided that you should at least move forward with a Discovery Session then explain what your packages are and what the next step will be if they choose to proceed. Naturally working with two people will take more time and my suggestion is a minimum of 6 sessions. At the time that I stopped working with couples I had them commit to 10 sessions and I told them that I’d break it down in terms of how many each person required separately and how many joint sessions we’d have according to what we discovered in the first few sessions. Typically I’d do at least 2-3 sessions 1:1 and the rest jointly. Explain that they’ll also get access to once they book with you so that they can start using that material right away and as homework. Expect that more insights/material to work on will present itself when they go through the program.

      Wrap it but by telling them that you’d love to work with them and ask if they’d like you to followup with your scheduler and new client packet. New client packet can just be an email with your payment link, your legal client agreement, a form that has their emergency contact information, your scheduler, a tapping chart or video you create or even the 12 hour Science of Tapping streaming access link. At this point I’d also include a link to the Love Languages test and ask them to bring the results to the Discovery Session. The email should thank them, state that you look forward to getting started, and invite them to consider all you’ve sent and bring any questions they have with them to the Discovery Session.

      30-45 Minute Discovery Session for Couples Coaches

      Start by addressing any questions they have about your policies and procedures or tapping. Explain that you are just creating a map for where you will go and what goals you are both going to be working towards so that in the next session you can jump right in with the tapping. Tell them that you will not be tapping during this session.

      Explore what resources they have during this journey with you. “I like to ask my clients to commit to self-care during the time we work together and resources are important especially if we get to tapping on some challenging moments you’ve experienced. What would you say are the things in your life that make you feel good and nurtured? Exercise, time in nature, time with friends, regular meditation time?” You can possibly use this list as homework assignments in between sessions. If you happen to get a client who says they have no resources or have no one please see this as a YELLOW flag as possibly being a person who needs more than you can offer as an unlicensed non-mental healthcare professional.

      Bring your notes from the consult to ask them open-ended questions about their issue.

      Sample questions:

      In your own words tell me what works in your relationship and what doesn’t.

      Do you have a sense of when the problems started? What was happening at that time?

      When was the last time this dynamic happened? (This information might be an ideal place to start tapping in the next session).

      Do you have thoughts about the possible origins of this issue? How might your childhood or your parents played a role?

      If you could change one thing about your partner what would

      it be? (Again this is a good place to start in the first session). See Gottman’s 4 Horsemen below.

      Are there any cultural or religious mores you want me to know about? Note that there are some religions where divorce isn’t an option for example.

      How would you know if we were successfully in turning this around? What might be signs between now and fully healing from this that will make you know we are making progress? Come up with short and long terms goals with them based on the answers

      You can also ask them what if anything have they tried in the past and what has worked and what hasn’t. The list of what hasn’t could end up being a fruitful avenue of tapping material in a future session or can be assigned as homework to tap on.

      LISTEN CLOSELY to anything that sounds like a history of BIG T Traumas. Listen to this example of a complex Discovery Session. Yellow flags should have you considering asking them the ACEs questionnaire. There are legal issues with you sending this digitally and why we recommend only asking these in the Discovery Session. Make sure that you don’t sound alarmed but rather something like, “I hear that you’ve been through a lot and so to just take this inquiry a little deeper while keeping you comfortable and safe I’d like to ask you 10 questions and it’s really important that you just give me a yes or no answer. REMEMBER THE TRAUMA PULL AND THAT YOUR PRIORITY IS TO KEEP THEM SAFE BY NOT “GOING THERE” IN YOUR DISCOVERY SESSION if possible.

      Think about what you’d like them to do before you see them again for their first tapping session. It might be for them to create a resource list or to think about doing one of those items. It might be to look at their issue/problem/struggle in terms of how it’s affecting their lives now which is also an ideal place to start tapping in the next session.

      Gottman Institute is known for it’s science-based research on why couples break up. There are predicable patterns in sub-optimal relationships which directly connect to the work we do in L2FL but for a couple wanting to do work on an existing relationship then I’ve found it helpful to share the concept of the 4 Horsemen – criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Dr. Gottman was able to predict with over 90% accuracy which couples would breakup if they engaged in these behaviors when they fought. You may introduce this to your clients. We’ve trained many Gottman trained therapists in EFT and the key here is to find the events and the origin of the pattern to break the pattern.

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