Should I allow counselees to phone between sessions?

There are counselees who will "drive you nuts," if you allow it. They phone about every change or variation that takes place during the week. They "must" get your advice about how to handle it! Then, others see an emergency in every event that takes occurs. They call frantically trying to get "help."

Make it clear at the outset that you set aside a time for a session each week, and that you do not counsel on the phone. The only phone call you accept is when there is a true emergency. Have your secretary screen others. After a while, you will find that there are very few true emergencies. Have your secretary tell those who phone, "write the problem down, describing exactly what happened and what you did about it, and take your notes to the next counseling session."

Have your secretary explain that you consider people's lives too important to try to counsel during a phone call; you simply can't gather enough data and give good advice in the time allotted. So you don't attempt to do so. To do otherwise might lead to serious harm by leading them astray. Be firm about the matter. With a persistent counselee, who won't take "no" for an answer, explain that you have other counselees to meet with during the week and that if you counseled everyone between sessions, as he wants you to, no one would be counseled! As a final measure, you may have to terminate counseling with a counselee who will not follow rules. A person like this probably wouldn't carry out homework assignments anyway. Until he is willing to cooperate, there will be little use in attempting to counsel him. You will waste everyone's time if you make the attempt.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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