Unconscious communication in therapy

A friend of mine recently said to me:

“You know Tony, what you do is you look at me, work out what I want and then give it to me.”

This comment, that was made in passing resonated with me and I felt touched by it and gave it some subsequent thought. I finally concluded that she was right and I do do that (at least sometimes).

Now I am not noted for having a please others driver. Indeed over the years some have complained that I could actually do better with some more of a please others driver.

But I did muse about it and this is exactly what I do at work. As soon as the client walks in the door I am listening to their words and watching their behaviour to work out what they want and to give it to them.

But it is at two levels.  I work out what they are wanting at the social level. This is relatively easy to do by asking them what is their contract and then doing contract clarification work with them.

Day of dead

But also I am observing (and listening) to what they want at the unconscious and psychological level. This is harder to work out because it is being expressed by the client’s unconscious. So it is all the non verbal stuff that is taken into account. It is more intuitively understood by the therapist, which means the therapist must be able to know what their intuition is saying. This is harder of course to understand.

The vast majority of human communication is unconscious – we are not aware we are communicating it.

Percentages of human communication

7% – verbal words

38% – paralanguage

55% – body language

Paralanguage – the vocal component of speech which includes, pitch, resonance, articulation, tempo, volume & rhythm.

Body language – Body movement such as facial expressions, gestures and posture.

Spatial language (1) – In one to one communication how much physical distance you put between yourself and the other.

Spatial language (2) – In groups of three or more how you physically position yourself in relation to the others. In the middle, on the edge, addressing an audience, create a sub group, etc.

Only 7% of human communication is conscious

Perhaps one could draw this transaction. The therapist needs to develop communication between their unconscious (Child ego state) and their conscious (Adult ego state) so that it can begin to understand some of the unconscious communication that is happening as this will tell the therapist what the unconscious of the client is wanting.

Intuition in therapist Jpeg

Sometimes the social level and psychological levels want the same thing and sometimes they want the opposite. So sometimes I end up giving clients what they don’t think they want but their unconscious does want it.

If the conscious and unconscious want different things always give the client what the unconscious wants.

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