Ask for what works for you

It's Friday and it's a great day.  Is it not?  It is especially so when you are in charge of your schedule and you are doing what you love.

But, you say, Barb how can I live this way?  You decide to!

I was leaving a client meeting today and we were discussing how often to meet.  The client hesitated but then spoke their truth "how about every other week?"  They'd mentioned this before so I knew this was their preference.

I didn't see any reason that wasn't appropriate.  I told them so.  This is someone with depression that is quite deep at times.  I said I felt okay with this given how they are doing, but left it up to revisiting if their situation changed.

Often when I am working with clients, they are looking for me to 'set the terms'.  I usually won't do that unless there is a serious reason for me to do so, such as client safety or if I know they are wanting a certain rate of change.  Either way, I want  my clients to choose, as long as it is safe for them to do so.  

This is okay for the most part because my clients are at a routine level of need.  When I worked in other settings (such as inpatient or IOP - intensive outpatient) the discussion might be more intense.  However, either way recovery and growth entail allowing clients as much 'agency' and independence in thoughts and actions as is possible.

Lastly, I have worked with this client awhile and we have the rapport and mutual trust that I felt necessary to agree to their plan.

Food for thought: It's okay in your life to ask for what works for you or to say what works for you.  If others disagree, then they will have to let you know.  My point is that most of the time, we can have more of what we want (or less if that's true at this time), we just need to say so.  Many of us who have spoken up and then were 'shot down' sometimes give up and don't ask or speak again.  I would encourage you to push past that fear and go forth.  

If you are truly present in your mind, body and soul right now: what do you want?  What do you need?

Speaking up is great practice for creating more of what you want in your life, including when that 'more' is 'less'.  And it all starts with building a closer relationship with yourself.