l. Attention to the Counselor

Attracting attention to what is going on at the present moment is the lightest and easiest way to help a client. The first such direction of attention will be to you, the counselor. With a client not deeply involved, a simple greeting which gains a response will often suffice. You can see that this technique is workable and can be passed to try the next heavier one.

With a deeply disturbed person, however, this very step of gaining some attention to you and beginning communication may be a long arduous task and one taxing your ingenuity to accomplish.

2. Calling Attention to the Environment

Once in communication with you, additional attention of your client may be invited to the environment. This may be done by simple direction, by questions, by engaging the client in activity which demands his attention, by requesting his opinion or judgment about present factors, and in other ways.

Every bit of extroverted attention won in this way from the client's preoccupation with his tension patterns is a real gain in rationality, in well-being, and in ability to be counseled at a heavier level. Attention freed in this way is subject to becoming lost again through restimulation, of course, but while free it can be used to make permanent gains.

A variation here is the little "game" of having a client attempt to be aware of as many of the details of his environment at once as possible. Done well, this will often "de-stimulate" a headache tension pattern in a few minutes by calling attention away from it.

3. Making the Environment Interesting

The third approach you can use on a present time level is to change your client's environment so that it is worth paying some attention to. Such changes not only will tend to drop restimulative factors out by the very fact of change, but will positively attract attention away from introversion or aberration. It is much easier to pay attention to a work therapy shop than to a padded cell. It is easier to extrovert to a symphony or a beautiful park than to the faded wallpaper of a dingy bedroom.

Last modified: 2022-03-01 00:50:41+00