Just because individuals can't say something, doesn't mean what they want to say isn't there.
If appropriate, using other forms of therapeutic tools such as painting, metaphor, music, songs, lyrics, poetry, puppets, sand tray, personal objects, imagery, often can elicit and encourage clients to express themselves in ways words cannot, or in more powerful ways eg a song or piece of music can evoke more powerful meaning, deeper insight than any spoken words.
Client and counsellor gain valuable insights, leading to exploration, raised self-awareness, development, growth, encouraging change yet moving at the client’s pace towards the client-lead goal(s). From experience, clients aren’t always sure, or know, what their goals are but know or sense they want/need something. That’s okay too. Goals often manifest themselves, become clear or clearer, or morph to something else as we work together. That’s okay too.
The quality of the therapeutic relationship is key. Core conditions of authenticity, trust, rapport, congruency, unconditional positive regard, empathy, non-judgemental are fundamental. Yet, it’s also a collaborative, working relationship with sensitive exploration, appropriate challenge, humour too, encouraging the client to also become more self-aware, as that is often seen as curative in itself, as well as change.
During my own therapeutic experiences, I’ve ‘been to hell and back’. I’ve also been a volunteer for a leading UK charity whose client base is survivors of sexual abuse and rape. So I believe, I’m able to accompany clients wherever and however deep they wish to go, journey and empathically work with them while they explore, heal, overcome and achieve whatever they wish to achieve.