chapter  10
16 Pages

Dealing With the Overtalkative Client

WithWilliam J. Dorfman

Typically, novice therapists approach the initial interview fearing that the session will be filled with long silences, unanswered questions, one-word replies, and premature termination. Having begun to master the skills of effective listening, empathic reflections, and probative inquiry, the enthusiastic new therapist looks forward to working with the client who is spontaneous, can explore feelings and conflicts freely, and is willing to report difficulties and relevant history with minimal prompting. These clients are ideal; they seem able to take responsibility for the interview process and reduce the therapist's anxiety about saying and doing "the right thing." They can maintain a nondirective role, listen and respond attentively, and leave the session with a feeling that something was accomplished. Therapists are not forced to structure the interview or be responsible solely for its content when the client does most of the talking.