Benchmarking a Client: Before and After

Readings

One technique I like to use is benchmarking a client: helping her to see how stressed she is, and then checking in with her at the end of the session to see if her feelings have shifted.

In a recent session with K, I asked her at the beginning how anxious she was feeling about her life on a scale of 1 to 10. One meant she was completely at ease, and ten meant she felt terribly anxious, and she answered "8.5."

Her Guides answered her questions one by one, we did follow-ups in which she was given specific instructions about how to raise her young daughter, where to do her MBA, how to resolve a conflict with her partner and another one with her supervisor at work.

Towards the end of the session, I asked her how her anxiety level was doing, and she said, "It has dropped to a 5, but I now feel overwhelmed. What should I do first? How can I have it all?" So because there was still time left, we prioritized her action steps and set markers on each one in terms of "urgent" or "for later." The Guides gave her a three-year timeline so she could have a sense of the larger framework and not feel that she had to start and finish everything by that afternoon!

After that segment, I checked in with her again, and she gave me a benchmark of "2" for her anxiety. I double-checked that she wasn't just trying to make me feel good, but she said she felt calm and sure and could see the big picture and the immediate next steps.

Benchmarking is excellent for the client to see progress and it helps me sort out whether the client is ready to be "released back into the world," if she has understood the messages and if she truly knows that she is guided.

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