I was pondering this question last week as I watched one of my clients dig into my bag of goodies and start pulling out drums one by one. He began setting up drums of various shapes, sizes, and colors so it looked like a drum set: large gathering drum in the middle, surrounded by lollipop drums, hand drums, an ocean drum, and a tambourine. Then, he began playing and as I joined in, I would play a pattern (for example, lollipop drum, ocean drum, gathering drum) and he would repeat the pattern. Then we switched and he was the leader who created a pattern for me to repeat.
This was a creative way to work on basic improvising skills, imitation, attention, patterns, sequencing, etc, etc, ETC! Admittedly, I was upset I hadn’t come up with the idea. However, I was pleased that he felt comfortable enough to create this activity himself and that I allowed him the space to do it.
So this got me thinking…are we paying close enough attention to our clients and ‘playing off of them’ (so to speak)? Do we allow them to show us what works and what doesn’t? As someone who is Type A and uber-organized, it is sometimes difficult for me to break free from my carefully crafted session plan. However, time after time, my clients surprise me with a creative take on a movement activity or with a suggestion for a song I never thought to use.
So my question to you is…Do YOUR clients give you ideas?
As difficult as it can be, I think it is very therapeutic to allow clients to take the lead even in creating an idea. I don’t have suggestions as how to structure this, but I have a feeling something told you too watch & observe what he was doing. Trusting that created a wonderful opportunity. So maybe it is listening to that inner voice of making space?
Thanks for your thoughts, JoAnn. I think the nice thing about allowing your clients to lead is that there is no way to structure it, it simply happens. Being in the moment is important, as is flexibility. I look forward to sharing more of these stories with all of you!