Intuition is the knowledge within us. Look at the word: INtuition ->INside. To use intuition, we have to trust ourselves and follow our feelings. In general, as a society, we spend so much time focusing on logic and what “makes sense in our heads,” that we neglect our gut feelings. Research is showing the body has neural fibers associated with communication and memories located OUTSIDE of the brain. This makes sense! We are not just heads hovering around, but whole people with whole bodies! Research has also shown vertical integration, listening to feedback from our bodies, is vital for brain development and is a function of secure attachment. With all this, there is no way I am able to ignore my intuition, least of all during sessions.
So, how do I use my intuition as a therapist? I pay attention to how I am feeling during sessions and listen to my brain chatter. I follow my clients’ leads and trust them to show me what they need most during our time together. Sometimes what they need is not verbalized or readily apparent. This is where my intuition is really important. I offer words and activities that feel true to the client’s predicament. I recognize that “feel true” may be a bit airy-fairy for some people, but I firmly believe in its power. Sometimes, I ignore what feels true and play it safe by following my treatment plan to a T. I have to be honest here, when I do that, the sessions are not bad, but they lack something that those, where I follow my intuition, have.
Active listening within sessions shows me if my intuition is correct: the client will always make it known if I am following her/him or leading them to a path that feels incongruent. If I find I am leading more that aiding, I pull back and readjust. Likewise, active listening shows me if I need to follow my intuition more: sometimes I follow all the “right” interventions and they just do not work as well as I hope.
My feelings on intuition during sessions can be surmised as this: I trust that my client and myself have the knowledge within to facilitate growth. The client, deep inside, knows what feels true to him/her and I, following their lead and my gut, can offer therapeutic interventions to aid their growth. These interventions can include, following my treatment plan exactly, venturing away from it, or even referring to another therapist.
I would love to hear your thoughts and stories about intuition and sessions! Email me at: [email protected]
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA