YIKES! I know, most of us are not ‘allowed’ to diagnose.
But, hear me out on this because it is super-important that you understand you MUST know what is going on your client’s heads when they come to see you.
They might be coming to you as:
So, if we can’t give them a diagnosis, what can you do?
(First, of course only do what you’re qualified to do.)
If you are trained to assess or evaluate the client — do it.
Come up with your observation / conclusion of what might be the cause of their situation (mental or physical, based on your training) and let them know it.
I believe it is our ethical responsibility to let our client know what we think is going on!
Notice I didn’t say to “diagnose” — it may be semantics here, but it is a critical piece to understand. If you are qualified and legally licensed to diagnose — by all means, do it if you want, but if you are not legally allowed to diagnose, you still can give your client’s your expert opinion, based on your clinical training.
The key is to not state what’s ‘wrong’ as fact, but with confidence.
I often say things like, “It seems like your neck pain may be coming from your old sprained ankle which effects how you’re walking and moving.”
(Yes, I actually talk like that to clients)
And then I go on to briefly explain what I think needs to be done to get ‘rid’ of or at least reduce the causes and the symptoms, I tell them how many sessions it will take, etc.
If you begin by helping them see what you believe to be causing their symptoms, you then can offer a therapy plan to help them address the cause, and not just slap a bandaid on their aches and pain!
Therapy plans are the best thing for both of you. When you have your client on a therapy plan, there is a beginning and an end. The end of the therapy plan is they have accomplished their clinical goal.
If you don’t know how to create effective therapy plans, you can learn a done-for-you therapy plan for your clients in pain or who have restricted movements as part of the training you get in my up-coming The Diamond Method seminar!
In my Active Myofascial Therapy seminar – you will learn not only what to do with your hands but you’ll leave with a pre-made therapy plan, client hand-outs, and resources to offer your acute and chronic clients.
Just To Be Clear:
Regarding the cause of your client’s pain or restrictions, if you don’t know why something is the way it is, or where it stems from, or what-ever, just tell the truth.
No one will ever fault you for saying you’re not sure why it is — they just want someone’s help in figuring it out.
When a client comes to you for therapy, they want relief. If you are not able to help them understand WHY they are hurting, they will not see what is needed from them / for them to treat the issue. (Uh-Oh, another word we are not supposed to use!)
If they don’t know what is needed to take care of their symptoms (and hopefully reduce or remove the under-lying cause) it is very likely they will NOT see value in returning to you for additional sessions, nor will they see the importance of doing their home exercises or other home-care suggestions.
(Yikes, Irene — stop prescribing! If it’s out of your scope, of course you will NOT prescribe, instead, you’ll suggest what you think they should do.)
Our clients, like ourselves, want answers.
If they don’t get it from us (within our scope) they will look elsewhere.
If you are not the practitioner that gives them an understanding of why they are feeling what they are feeling, they will either go to another practitioner in your same industry, thinking you just must not be very good. Or they will look for another modality or specialty that will hopefully finally solve what is wrong.
You’re more likely to help a client resolve their issue AND retain them easier when you give them knowledge, education and your clinical opinion so they know what the cause is, and what is expected of them regarding number of visits, frequency, and clinical goals.
Are you knowledgeable, educated and able to share your clinical opinion?
If you don’t feel confident in your clinical skills, get trained!
If you call yourself a professional therapist — be a professional and learn what you need to provide clinical assessments and design therapy plans.
Know what it takes to get your clients out of pain, more mobile, and less cranky.
You MUST know how to support your clients to get them from where they are to where they want to be!
When you have your clients on an appropriate therapy plan, the clinical results you are able to help your clients attain, will blow your mind!
If you want to be one of the elite practitioners who has the confidence to assess, educate and suggest therapy plans, come and learn new clinical skills right now.
If you want to retain clients and give them great results, tell them what’s wrong with them, and how to change it.
Join me in my Pain Relief Seminar for clinical practice owners and therapists.
When your client’s see YOU as the solution to their Pain or the support to move more easier or function with less strain and stress — They will WANT to return for more visits. You will have clients seeing great results and loving you for helping them!
Do you think this is an effective method for better results and more retention, or am I suggesting a tactic that is too close to the gray area of the ‘not allowed to diagnose, prescribe, or treat”?
Give me your honest feedback below.
Business mentor, Educator and Inspirer to Clinic Owners & Solo Practitioners. Love to hear from you ~ Please share your thoughts in the comments below!