In some cases, initial short-term denial can be a good thing, giving you time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue. It might also be a precursor to making some sort of change in your life.
Refusing to acknowledge that something is wrong, either physically or mentally, is actually a way of coping with emotional conflict, stress, painful thoughts, threatening information and anxiety.
You can be in denial about anything that makes you feel vulnerable or threatens your sense of control, such as an illness, addiction, eating disorder, personal violence, financial problems or relationship conflicts. You can be in denial about something happening to you or to someone else.”
… That is the official description of denial.
But this is not the only form of denial, or perhaps we should phrase it differently; clients have this amazing ability to either not tell you when they have problems, or forget – “No I am fine, I am just here for an energy boost”, or on subsequent visits for treatment cannot identify a positive change in their condition?
In our practice it amazes us how many people fill in our 4 page medical questionnaire showing everything is normal, yet when they get into the treatment room the therapist manages to extract from them that they have had whiplash 4 times (they are visiting for headaches) or in another case coming in for ankle pain and declaring no incidents; then saying “oh, yes I have broken it twice in the last 6 years”.
The main problem you need to look out for is clients inability to recognise change during a course of treatments! You must remember to ask and analyse the answers regarding how they have been since the last treatment. Ask them on a level of 1 to 10 (10 being most painful) what is their pain level? Do this before and after the treatment.
Don’t forget that the initial pain or point of complaint does not necessary have to change immediately. There is a cycle of healing where other changes indicate healing. For example, if a client comes along with lower back pain, pain in the hips and they keep wetting themselves (so weak bladder control), if at the second visit there is no change in the lower back but the client has gained greater bladder control then that is a significant change in the healing cycle!
You must become a master at asking lateral and extracting type questions to enable you to trigger new and essential information from your clients. The change in your clients condition in the early treatments may not be obvious or in the ‘obvious’ location of pain.
The next treatment should now be able to take effect on the back issues. Also remember that the pain can also shift from one location to another i.e. from hip to the leg. This again is indicating the body is working its way through the healing cycle.
OBSERVE | ASK | ANALYSE | QUESTION
The power of SCENAR…