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Effective Client Engagement

Diverse client groups need diverse strategies for effective engagement.

Many practitioners are trained in a very limited range of client engagement strategies, but usually learn on the job that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works. Almost all therapists are taught the value of a therapeutic relationship based on the idea of 'unconditional regard', yet there are many cases in which this approach will fail or cause therapeutic rupture because this is deeply incongruent with the client's self-regard and/or threatens their attachment style.

This is particularly true when we are trying to engage groups of people with chronic and serious mental health issues, impoverished life circumstances, trauma or personality issues. These groups often require the therapist to be flexible in and creative in how they engage.



​The short answer is that this varies from client to client, but there are some patterns of engagement that we can learn which greatly improve our chances of success with different populations and presentations.

​Meeting: Some clients arrive with a fairly good idea of what they need and how they need it. What they need from therapists is to be 'met' where they are and to enter into a collaborative relationship. This usually underpins solution focused and CBT approaches.

​Matching: Some clients arrive with little insight or knowledge of their own needs, and require the therapist to 'match' to their experience and gradually lead them out of it into a new perspective. This underpins interpersonal and humanistic approaches to therapy.

​Leading: Some clients arrive in intensely polarised and limited states, and need a therapist to model, direct and lead the client into explorations of other parts of themselves. This approach is common in psychodrama and process-oriented therapies. 

​Containment: Some clients arrive with fractured boundaries and unstable identities that require the therapist to contain and hold their experience until they can reintegrate themselves.

​Ignition: Some clients arrive in states of extreme deficiency and shut-down, and need the therapist to provide some fuel to restart the fire inside themselves.


People are complex, but not infintely so. When dealing with human behaviours its useful to have a map of the territory that makes it simpler to navigate. The 20th century Psychologist and contemporary of Freud, Carl Jung, provided us with such a map, which he called Archetypes. 

Archetypes are metaphorical representations of common human behaviour patterns. They are useful because the human mind makes sense of the world by the stories they tell. Archetypes draw on this ability and give us characters and stories that help us to quickly identify the behaviour patterns and the underlying issues. This training uses The archetypal work of Jung and Robert Moore to Create a map for client engagement that is simple, easy to learn and remarkably effective.


​This is a one-day intensive workshop that provides skills in the understanding how to successfully engage with diverse and difficult client presentations and needs.


Archetypal psychology uses metaphorical maps as heuristics that help therapists and clients to navigate the landscape of their functioning. They contain rich understandings that make it easier to forge pathways to additional resources and more empowered psychological states. 


  • The four essential archetypes and the underlying processes they represent

  • The eight pathological presentations and how they map onto archetypal understandings and personality

  • How to assess for pathological inflations and deflations in the client

  • How the therapist can position themselves archetypally to respond to inflations and deflations

  • How to lead the client from one archetypal state to the next, including:

    • Which questions access each archetype​

    • What sort of energy the therapist needs to offer

    • Navigating around resistance and shut down

    • Inflating and deflating archetypal states

  • How to help clients access and anchor archetypal states to become personal resources

  • How to give clients and peers a common language to describe their experience


Duration: 1 working day

Times: Typicaly 9 to 5 but can be varied by arrangement

Audience: All frontline staff, supervisors and managers of frontline staff working with Complex Trauma Clients

Cost: By arrangement with the organisation

Numbers: The workshop can be for up to 50 people (Share the cost with peers organisations)

Facilitator- Adam Blanch

Adam is a psychologist with 30 years experience treating trauma. He holds degrees in trauma and psychology and specialises in working with complex trauma and personality disorders.

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