May 13 - How do you plan your time for a consultation?

As astrologers we each have our style, preferences, and orientation for our practice. Every month, we choose a question about our professional astrology practice, and collect your responses here.
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Dvora
 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:51 pm
Full Name: Dvora Weil
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

May 13 - How do you plan your time for a consultation?

Postby Dvora » Fri May 03, 2013 11:59 pm

Dear Forum visitors,
The question of this month was suggested by Chris Ferraro. Thank you Chris. Great question. I guess you will find that we all struggle with the same issue.
When you client books a one-hour time slot, how do you plan your time for the consultation so that there is room for what you both have to say so that you still remain within that time constraint?

Looking forward to get your responses that will enrich us all.
All the best to you,
Warmly yours,
Dvora

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Maurice
 
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Full Name: Maurice Fernandez
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Re: May 13 - How do you plan your time for a consultation?

Postby Maurice » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:58 am

the session begins with a general description about my approach to astrology, then I get into the evolutionary dynamics of the chart to describe what are the main themes of the person's life, their direction and essential orientation. After hearing feedback we discuss the specific questions, and (hopefully) offer practical advice to make the best out of their chart and circumstances. and then we close with discussing transits and upcoming influences. It is usually a 80 to 90 min session.

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Dvora
 
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Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:51 pm
Full Name: Dvora Weil
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: May 13 - How do you plan your time for a consultation?

Postby Dvora » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:19 pm

Dear OPA family,

Welcome new members. It is a pleasure to follow each month how our community is growing and expending. Please join us with your responses and your suggestions for new questions.

Here is the question of last month followed by the responses.

When your client books a one-hour time slot, how do you plan your time for the consultation so that there is room for what you both have to say so that you still remain within that time constraint?


Margaret Gray

Aside from consultations with children which are an hour long or with couples which are for two hours, I advertise other consultations as lastip to one and a half hours. Most sessions last about 1.20 allowing some space at the end to close the session off and support the client in returning to their daily life.

In terms of planning the time, I usually map out core themes/issues which stand out from the natal chart and the transits and progressions. However much a client may have written to me in advance why they are coming for a consultation my first question after I go through the basic introductions is always: what feels most important for you to get from our session today? This guides where I go and what I cover.

I learnt a sharp lesson many years ago from my first paid consultation. Having spent days preparing for the reading and ending up with a good 15 pages of analysis I launched into everything (literally everything!!!) that I had proudly prepared, barely stopping to draw breath!! Half way through I noticed that I was getting little response to the few questions I posed and so I launched even more frantically into sharing what I had diligently written out. At the end of the session the client burst into tears and told me that she had just come out of a substance abuse treatment program the day before and that she felt totally overwhelmed by all the information I had ‘fired’ at her!! Needless to say I made her a cup of tea and spent the next hour or so comforting her!!

I realized from that experience that what I prepare is merely background information to draw on when required and that my willingness to be fully present for the individual’s needs during our time together is of paramount importance. So now I follow the client’s lead, trusting their innate wisdom re what they need from our time together and watching and listening carefully for cues as to what they are searching for. There has rarely been a time when we have not covered the most pertinent astrological issues/transits in their chart in an organic way within the session. With Saturn in Capricorn square my Sun I like to be super prepared and then toss my notes and trust the wisdom of the process!!
Margaret Gray
MSW D. Psych. Astrology
Reiki Master
http://www.astrologypsychological.com
Skype:margaret2835
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Psycholo ... 453?ref=hl

Maurice Fernandez
The session begins with a general description about my approach to astrology, then I get into the evolutionary dynamics of the chart to describe what are the main themes of the person's life, their direction and essential orientation. After hearing feedback we discuss the specific questions, and (hopefully) offer practical advice to make the best out of their chart and circumstances. and then we close with discussing transits and upcoming influences. It is usually a 80 to 90 min session.
Maurice

Bob Mulligan
Not all of my appointments are one hour. But the question of being conscious of time constraints when in session with a client is very important.

Although many of my appointments are one hour, some are two hours, or more. And less often I have 30 minute or 90 minute sessions. Regardless of the duration though, we have a responsibility to our clients to be on time and within the framework of the previously agreed upon time.

This is achieved by being clear in our own thinking as to what we are doing with our client and then being very specific with our clients as to what they can expect from a session.

At the time of booking an appointment I ask my client several questions about the nature of why we are getting together. After clarifying our purpose for the session, we determine how much time it will take to achieve our goal. This process is different for a first time client than it is for someone that I see frequently.

Most real mental healing happens in an astrology session through dialogue. Usually I will give a short exposition of the chart dynamics and the circumstances of their current life situation. Then I will offer some ideas than require some response from the client. This becomes the gateway into a deeper aspect of the work. Years of experience have taught me how to pace the dialogue so that we work together to discover solutions, strategies, and planned expectations. Sometimes a client interjects things that I hadn’t considered and then the time gets reapportioned as we go. Generally I plan on dealing with the most important or most pressing issue first; sometimes delicacy is required and I purposely deal with less loaded issues first as a method of establishing trust and report.

When I first started doing astrology for my life’s work, back in 1974, all of my sessions were 90 minutes. It was not uncommon for me to run beyond this time allotment….often I would be as much as 2 hours late by the end of the day and inconvenienced many people who would be sitting in my waiting room for their appointment.

Now, I am almost always done right on time. This has come to me through years of practice and the necessity to make the work fit the time frame. I monitor the time all throughout the appointment. Even when I have a client sitting right in front of me I am very practiced at discreetly eyeing my wrist watch which I wear facing in toward my body. Also, my internal clockseems to function so I almost always know when it is coming close to the hour. As I approach the end of a session I start the wind up; it may be a recap, it may be just getting closure on our final subject.

Before my client arrives, I have a rough outline of the points that I wish to cover….I always have the client state what they are looking for from the appointment at the time of the booking; I will sometimes ask for a restatement of this at the very beginning of an appointment. I will list out mentally (and sometimes in written form) the topics I wish to cover. If the client gets deeply involved in a particular subject, I may edit the scope of the session on the fly. Usually my client is completely satisfied at the end of a session because we handled the most important topics first.

In the process of tying up the loose ends of a session, I will make notes about where to go in future sessions. Even if a client hasn’t seen me for 10 years, notes in their file tell me what I must tell them when they come back; these are often things that are added in, regardless of why they come back. By the end of a session I want my client to have a feeling of completeness. Usually we have achieved this.

For A Better Astrology,
Bob Mulligan
President of The Astrology Company
Theastrologycompany.com
239-261-2840



Patrick Lewis
I always make an open 2 hour time slot for clients. I make an one hour CD, which I give to client, and then after recorded session, spend time answering questions. The average person can't concentrate for more then one hour. According to teaching profession, one hour of concentration is about right. After one hour the attention span of the client drops off dramatically.
Patrick

Richard Smoot
My appointments are generally an hour and one-half, which I generally state at the beginning of the session. I have a pretty good idea of what they are seeking and their expectations from a pre-consult interview. However, at the consult, I try not to have any agenda where I “must” tell the client something. In addition, I let the client know we are not constrained by what was discussed in our pre-interview. Much could have changed and there is something new the client wants to work with. I listen to what they are seeking and the concern behind what they are saying and allow the client lead the conversation. After that period I can look at the client charts possible determinates (first in the natal chart and then by progressions and transits) and work with the client to conclusion. Of course there are clients who “just want me to tell them” about what is happening in the life. That is okay, however I still want the client to focus on the “here and now” of their situation. Things need to end naturally and be flexible with the time.

Richard


Cheryl Hopkins

I ask beforehand what the client would like to focus on even though the transits to the chart will tell me and insure I speak to that even if I do not address it directly. I ask if what I’m communicating is clear and understood during the session. I have tended to use the full time we are together and ask for questions at the end of our time. I am modifying that so that I can ask for questions/ comments 5 minutes before our time is up.

Cheryl Hopkins
Evolutionary Astrological Consultations
PSYCH-K Facilitator
cheryl@cherylhopkins.com
cherylhopkins.com
804-306-9055


HAVE YOU EVER REFUSED TO DO A READING ON SOMEONE'S HOROSCOPE? IF YES, DESCRIBE THE SITUATION AND WHY YOU REFUSED. IF NO, WOULD YOU? UNDER WHAT KIND OF CIRCUMSTANCES?

I ask this because in the last few months, this situation has occurred 4 times in my practice, and it has been very rare in the past. This has caused me to reflect on why this is happening, and why now. Is it because I currently have Prog. Moon and transiting Saturn in my 12th house, and I am consciously avoiding anything which pushes too hard on my boundaries? Is it because there is more pressure/desperation 'out there' at the present time? Am I getting old and crabby? None of the above?

Jacqueline Janes
Hi, Dvora. I'm actually going to explain how I do the session. Forces me to think about my process....which is good.
Thanks for keeping faithful to this process.
Jacqueline

When your client books a one-hour time slot, how do you plan your time for the consultation so that there is room for what you both have to say so that you still remain within that time constraint?

First, I book an 80 minute session given that the CD holds that much time. I have always given the client about an hour and a half.
Every session starts out differently given the client's stated purpose and whether the session is a first time consultation or an up-date on the chart.
Often with the up-date, and because I work extensively with the Huber Age Point Progression, I will start with asking the client themes in their life in particular past years given the possible relevance for the present time period. These themes are written down on a white board if the session is in-house. (In a phone consultation I write down the themes on my end.) I use this technique also when there are significant aspects with a Saturn Cycle. This engages the client from the start talking about what is most importantand allows for in-depth astrological reflection and reframing.

A first time consultation usually has me doing more talking than the client just because the experience is new. However, I frequently stop in the astrological flow of information to check in with the client to get feed back. Doing so gives the client aa natural time to comment and ask questions which can deepen the session.
I believe that the more consultations one does, a skill develops for a natural flow between information giving and comments from the client. Often I realize that I probably prepared too much information and really all I needed to do was respond to the astrologically significance of the client's comments and questions.


Jacqueline Lindley Janes, MA., LPC
Psychotherapist & Consulting Astrologer
http://www.astrotherapist.com
860-423-1932 & 860-617-7906 (cell)
"On your spiritual journey, true delight comes by completing the tasks you are presented with to the very utmost of your abilities, without evasion, aided by the illumination that reveals your best."


Arlan Wise
I have learned through the years that you can't pre-program the reading. I prepare and know what I want to say, but sometimes the client needs to talk and it's best to let him/her get it out. What they have to say can be so much more important to the client than what I think I should say. I keep the readings to an hour and find that the important information gets covered during that time. If not, we can always book another session.

I had an experience yesterday when a woman came for her reading. She has the same name as a woman I've seen before. I had a few moments of concern when she called I couldn't find her file, but got her birth information and got the chart ready. I was very surprised when she came to the door and I realized that this was a different woman who had the same name as the one I pictured in my mind and all my expectations and thoughts about the reading needed to be dropped.

I let the session flow and come back to what I want to say when there is a pause in the conversation. I don't plan out the time and haven't ever felt that there was a need to do so.
Arlan

Dvora Weil
Since my sessions are a combination between astrology and psychotherapy I plan them accordingly. Sometimes I had seen the client for a while before looking at their chart. Sometimes, I have just glanced at the chart while the client comes for therapy sessions. When a client comes for the first time for an astrological reading I plan for two hours session. Though I ask them ahead of time what they want to focus about, I explore with them their major concerns before starting to share the information I got from the chart. My aim is to first create human connection with them and to demystify the experience of being analyzed through the horoscope.
Twenty minutes before the end of the two hours I notify them and ask if I have answered their concerns and if they have more questions. I will conclude with food for thought and with a strong positive traits they have, which they recognize to be true for them. If they continue with psychotherapy. future sessions can last between an hour to an hour an a half which we decide ahead of time. The charge is different in each case. In general, I try to customize the length of time, since some are saturated after an hour and some are still "hungry" for more after an hour and a half. My main goal is to maintain personal rapport at all times.
Dvora


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warmly yours,
Dvora


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