Speaking “the customer’s language
“Customer’s language”, is the language that the customer uses to express his world and his life circumstances. Because the therapist’s world is different from the customer’s world he should never try to intervene in the applicant’s world to achieve change. The opposite is true, the therapist should use the customer’s language as a lever for achieving desired change for the customers. Understanding and using the customers language is important to establish a comfortable position for a change. The following examples illustrate the above:
Example: An applicant, referred by a physician, comes to the therapist. The medical reference sets the applicant’s problem “sickness”. The question refer to the applicant has to be: “What is the relationship between the illness and the appeal to a psychiatrist (or psychologist or social worker, etc.)?”. If the applicant indicates that he hopes to get help in dealing with the tension about his illness, then the therapist has a specific position and has a customer
From the point of view of using the “language of the client”, the therapist is like a marketing person who has to adapt solutions according to customer’s specifications presented to him. If the customer wants a solution, the therapist should offer the options to resolve it in this manner that the client would be willing to accept it. This means that the therapist should “wrap” the proposed solution to be understandable to the customer and of interest to receive it. For that to happen, the therapist should talk the “customer’s language” so it will be familiar to the customer and not only to the therapist. The “customer’s language” contains the customer’s beliefs, values, attitudes and worldviews
Although familiarity with a major client’s beliefs can be reached at the direct appeal, but it is not uncommon that at the first meeting the beliefs come out openly. Such data comes up when the conversation about applicant’s own ways of dealing with his difficulties, in various life events, comes up.
For example, different parents can react differently to a teenager’s rebellious behavior. Parents may see such behavior as an expression of emotional problem. Then, they have to be more close to him. Or, parents may say that they did not monitor the child that’s why he has no limits. In this case, they have to show more parental authority to determine clear boundaries.
In both cases, the parents resolve the difficulties with their son by “arguing” that is reflected in lengthy talks aimed at persuading him he was wrong in his way, showing illogical behavior, etc
It is possible to match, for each pair of parents, a unique solution by preventing the use of circular arguing as a solution; to the first couple we may say that they have to exercise their authority by not enter with their child into arguing when they ask him something to do. When the situation is developing an arguing they may tell him: “We asked you … and we have no intention to enter an arguing with you about!”. The other couple, we may tell that their son is afraid, apparently, the possibility that his parents would lose control because they get into constant arguing with him. That’s how they express weakness. Therefore, they must demonstrate the authority by asking him clearly, without going into complex and tedious explanations why they want it and what does it matter …
Brief-therapy, solution-oriented, therapists, should be attentive to customers basic values, that are expressed through their sessions, so they can use them to “wrap” the proposed solution. In simplistic way it can be said that increasing the use of the ” customer’s language ” can be done by:
Attention to how the client relates to his problem,
approving this perspective,
expansion, or conversion of this aspect to a new direction.