"I APOLOGIZE FOR BEING LATE": THE COURTEOUS PSYCHOTHERAPIST
Psychotherapists may behave discourteously toward clients, often unconsciously and without being aware of it. The effort here is to alert therapists to the simplest ingredient of the positive therapeutic relationship-behaving courteously toward our clients. A limited number of pitfalls are discussed including: tardiness, tiredness and fatigue, in-session electronic interruptions, drinking alone in the presence of the client, checking the clock, and improperly addressing clients by name. This brief list encourages therapists to be alert to these as well as other behaviors that may have the potential to be offensive. When therapist discourteous behavior has taken place, it is important for therapists to do what they can to repair the damage, especially if a rupture has ensued. It is recommended that therapists encourage clients to discuss their feelings about the offending behavior in the presence of the nondefensive therapist. © 2008 American Psychological Association.
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