“No one ever asked that before!”
These words were said in surprise by a client the other week. The particular question isn’t important but the answer helped me to understand a bit more about where she was coming from and what I could best do to help her.
I was reminded of someone I worked with as a mental health nurse a few years ago. A young adult who had heard voices most of her life. Not voices that were derogatory or threatening all the time like some others I have worked with experienced in fact nearly all the time they were pleasant, causing problems by their content only occasionally.
She learned at an early age to keep quiet about her voices so people wouldn’t label her as, “mad.” I asked her what it was like, growing up, having to pretend these voices didn’t exist, trying not to be distracted by them during conversations or school work?
Her surprise at being asked the question was mirrored by my own that no one else had ever asked it to try and understand her better.
In my Cambridge aromatherapy practice, I often ask questions that clients are surprised by, yet to me they are nearly always very obvious questions. Some are about obvious things like allergies to essential oils, physical and psychological things that affect the choice of essential oils ETC.
Being of a somewhat quirky nature, just occasionally I will ask a question that even I think is unusual though there will be a reason behind it. It is important for me not to assume that the obvious questions have already been asked and are not relevant, just as it is to be open to the new learning that might come from a question that is far from obvious.