As a complementary therapist, your clients come to you with a variety of issues, seeking your expertise and guidance to help them feel better. To provide the best care possible, it’s essential to have a thorough intake consultation process. My initial training was in the US where we are really well-versed on conducting a thorough consultation process, but in my 10 years working with professional organisations in the UK, I quickly learned that consultations in the UK (and in Europe, generally!) are quite limited to non-existent.
I am a strong believer that the initial intake process is the foundation of a long-lasting relationship with your new clients. The intake consultation is an opportunity for you to get to know your client, gather important information about their health history and lifestyle, and create a tailored plan of care to meet their unique needs.
Here are some reasons why a good intake consultation process is so important:
To gather information: A thorough intake consultation process allows you to gather all the necessary information about your client’s health history, lifestyle, and current concerns. This information will help you to create a plan of care that is tailored to their specific needs.
To establish rapport: Taking the time to get to know your client builds trust and rapport. This connection is important in creating a safe and comfortable environment for your client, and because the majority of our modalities work best with no conversation during treatment, the consultation is that opportunity to chat and build that rapport with clients. This has been a regular conversation in Parliament with GPs, and they have said repeatedly that they thoroughly believe that the catharticism that clients get from simply talking (without needing solutions) is a huge part of their well-being process, and that our super-power as complementary therapists is the time that we have with clients that they don’t have the same luxury of. So don’t underestimate allowing that time in consultations for your clients!
To ensure safety: Gathering information about your client’s health history and current medications can help you determine any potential contraindications or risks. This information is essential to ensure that you provide safe and effective care.
To manage expectations: A good intake consultation process allows you to set realistic expectations with your client about the results they can expect from your treatments. This helps to manage any unrealistic expectations and ensure that your client is fully informed about the treatment process.
Here are some basics of a consultation process:
Health History: Start by gathering information about your client’s health history, including any medical conditions, injuries, surgeries, and medications they are taking. This information will help you to determine any potential risks or contraindications for treatment.
Lifestyle: Ask your client about their lifestyle, including their diet, exercise habits, and any other factors that may be contributing to their current health concerns.
Current Concerns: Ask your client about their current concerns and symptoms. If appropriate then conduct an assessment. Be sure to gather as much information as possible to create a tailored plan of care.
Treatment Plan: Based on the information gathered during the intake consultation, create a tailored plan of care for your client. This plan should include specific treatment recommendations, as well as any lifestyle modifications or self-care strategies that may be helpful.
It should be noted that this is very much just a basic and superficial outline of a good consultation. If you think you could use more help with your consultation skills, then I encourage you to check out my Consulations That Convert Program. It is one of my absolute favourites and, in my opinion, one of the most powerful programs!