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Moving Through The Deep Waters of Collaborative Agreement


Embedded in the AAIT model is a strong client practitioner collaboration. This is especially important when we move in deep waters.

This collaboration begins with a clear understanding of what the client would like to focus on during our time together. Pausing about five or so minutes in to ask the client, “Is this what you would like to focus on?” can reveal surprising answers.

Clients often will smile and say “no.” This gives us a wide open space to ask them what they would like to change.

How do they want to be different?

If they could feel better about one thing before they leave, what would they want that to be?

This narrowing of focus gives us way to make real, measurable progress. Identifying a clear problem and a clear goal gets client and practitioner on the same page. We have a shared intention. We are paddling in the same direction.

Collaborative agreement is one of the five phases of AAIT. Discovery is another. This past weekend, one of the students in the AAIT Fellowship Training Group shared an insight that most talk therapy stays parked in Discovery.

How do you move your clients forward, out of discovery?