How do you, and your clients, measure how effective your work has been for them? How do you demonstrate that? If you’re allowed to use the results as part of a case study, how useful would that information be to others – potential clients, other therapists or medical staff?
Is it simply a matter of the client saying “I feel better”? That’s great of course, but how much, and what, exactly made the difference?
Essentially, when you calibrate, you create a baseline and then look for DIFFERENCE. The value of calibration is in recognising a change from one state or measurement point to another.
In order to have a consistent and useful scale to measure progress over time for a particular client, you have to decide a few things first.
- What are you measuring (specific physical, mental, emotional, financial symptoms or states?)
- How will that knowledge be useful for you and the client? Consider if the information will be needed for a medical evaluation.
- Which elements will you look at as a baseline?
- Who is doing the measuring? Is it about your observations, or the client’s experience, or perhaps both? Or a metered reading such as for blood sugar, PH reading, oximeter etc.
- How often will measurements be taken, and by whom?
- Do you have a written intake form for clients?
- What scale will you use? Perhaps you could use a 0-10 for pain/happiness/relaxation. Range of movement might be relevant. Tracking symptoms eg: number of times in a week plus intensity. Hours of sleep. Something you can demonstrate in a graph may be useful. As long as it works for you and makes sense to the client.
- What is the desired outcome?
- How long do you expect it to take? If it doesn’t happen by then, will you keep going, change tactics, or stop? Do you have a referral option as backup?
- Are the effects lasting? Consider a follow up call.
In addition to the larger measurement process, it’s very powerful to be able to notice subtle changes in response to what’s happening as you work with your client. The more you bring conscious awareness to the process, the more you refine your ability to recognise whether someone is moving through a process, resisting it, finding it painful or soothing. The more information you have the more you are able to be flexible and adjust your work rapidly and effectively moment to moment.
Calibrating how a client responds to simple, ‘safe’ topics of conversation where they naturally tell you the truth, maintain their best available state etc, will give you a great baseline. Whatever your technique you will find great value in learning to recognise subtle variations in the following:
- facial colour
- facial expressions
- tone and pitch of voice
- difference between the two sides of the face/body
- breathing: rate, shallow/abdominal, mouth or nose, silent/noisy
- tension level in specific muscles
- posture – shoulder and hip, weight on feet, angle of head
- speed of speech
- particular phrases and metaphors used
- hand gestures, foot or finger tapping
- whatever is specific to your technique
The more you use calibration with clients, the easier and more natural to your work this becomes and the more effective you are likely to be as a therapist. (You can also use calibration on what YOU do as a therapist).
Experienced therapists. nurses etc will use many of these options naturally, but might not know exactly how they do it. This means they are limited in how much they can consciously enhance this skill, or be able to pass on the knowledge.
For more information on learning about or refining this important skill at any stage in your career, please contact Jen Tiller, founder of Healerzone and creator of the Heart Centred Healer programme.
01462 624 160