Having gone through several transcripts of sessions conducted by my students I thought of sharing this quintessential point.
When we start practicing PLRT and our client has elicited a far memory and revealed something on that front. Our next instinct will be to get more details and in this desperation we might end up asking, “what else!”
But let’s remember the golden rule for a therapist is, “Utilize everything.” So applying that we can get some momentum by pacing.
Let me demonstrate it with an example
T: Go back in time to where your fear of drowning comes from…
[In a few moments client is pensive]
C: I feel restless in my heart…
can feel being water and…
I am drowning!
[gasping for breath]
T: What else?
I am sure that if you were the client you’d feel awkward at this question as it doesn’t reflect empathy.
But instead “What else?” can be replaced with pacing, which is, narrating to the client a summary of what they’ve said so far for the question you asked and leading into asking "what more comes into your awareness…
Empathy is perceived understanding
And Understanding Conveys Trust and Trust Conveys compliance
In the above scenario, as an emphatic therapist we can wait for a few moments to get the clients response and can use IMR to confirm if they are comfortable to answer a question and then say,
“I understand you are feeling anxious”
“Having gone back in time to explore where your fear of water comes from, you have a sense of drowning… gasping for breath”
We can pace by paraphrasing followed by leading them to getting more details with, “… is there day light?” or “What kind of a body could you be in…” and so on…
I would like to know what you would ask and elicit more material in such a scenario. Remember there are no right or wrong answers.