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Lack of Self-Expression

If you can observe that a client habitually – i.e. independent of a particular situation – does not express one (or several) affects, then this can be a reason for curiosity on the part of the counsellor. “How is it that I never see you laugh?”, “You never seem relaxed and free, why is that?” If someone never shows something, there are reasons. These could be functional (that is rare) or dysfunctional. It is rare for a client to raise such things as an issue himself (“I cannot be sad!”). Therefore, it is even more important that the counsellor has techniques available to him for noticing such phenomena, for giving them meaning, for addressing them and for having the possibility of negotiating a focus on them (see <a href=””>Vertragsarbeit</a>). Many counsellors address such phenomena in supervisions or in tales about clients, but do not utilise such observations in the counselling situation itself. “You told me that many employees react with fear and uncertainty to you. I actually never see you friendly and open, but only ever uptight and distant, even when you are here with me. Maybe this has something to do with it?”

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