Intake is a client’s first experience of you as a healer. It’s the conversation and interview at the start of a session.
When I first began offering energy healing professionally, I had no idea how to do a client intake. I wasted time, missed information, and didn’t have a professional voice.
Today, I want to share what I’ve learned about doing a client intake to help you transition from hobbyist to professional energy healer.
Before the Session
A successful session starts before the session. Here’s what I’ve learned to do to set myself up for success:
Advertise 50-minute sessions. This gives me time to take notes and take a breath between sessions. If a client needs an extra five minutes, I can give a little extra and be OK. (Make sure the client knows you let the session run long.)
Free initial consultation by phone. Clients often have tons of questions. I want to answer everything, but it was eating up half an hour, and we didn’t have time for the energy work. So I started offering a free phone call before the session. This also lets me make sure they’re a match for my work before they walk into my office.
Paperwork by email. Laws vary by state, but you’ll likely have a liability waiver, consent form, and something saying they know you’re not a doctor. Email this before the session and have them sign electronically. It saves 5 minutes and saves a tree. (Great resources, especially for people in California: California Health Freedom Coalition.)
Intake typically takes 15 minutes or less. There are two parts: Asking about their condition, and sharing any useful information about my practice that wasn’t in the phone call.
Client Intake: Asking About Their Condition
Review what the client told you on the phone. Ask if there is anything new or changed. Ask them to rate their pain levels and other symptoms on a scale of 0-10.
Record all that information. It’s easy for clients to get discouraged at minor setbacks, and to forget how much progress they’ve made. Being able to review their condition can make a huge difference in client satisfaction and their eagerness to continue the work.
When describing their condition, clients can have a variety of expressions. Some are stoic. Some cry. Some are upbeat. I always stay sympathetic but stoic. It can be tempting to echo the client’s happiness or sadness, but this winds up being less supportive, especially if their happiness is a coping mechanism for some really difficult circumstances. (Exception to this: In a follow-up session, if a client is excited about progress, I share that excitement.)
If I get the sense they are working hard to be stoic or upbeat, I might say, “By the way, all emotions are welcome here. I want to invite you to express whatever you are feeling as you tell me about your condition.” It’s amazing what half a minute of release can do for a person. Don’t comfort them or touch them, just let them release. And don’t hand them tissues, which takes a person out of their release. (But do have tissues within reach of the client’s chair before the session starts).
Remember that the client came here for energy healing, not talk therapy. If they are expressing something intense, offer brief support like, “That sounds hard,” or, “That sounds like a lot,” give them time to release their feelings, then return to the facts of their condition. Keep the intake on schedule so you have time to deliver the value they came for. If you’re ever not sure what to say, “Thank you for telling me, that’s helpful,” is usually appropriate.
Keep an eye on the time. (Have a clock on a wall or desk behind the client so you can glance at it without moving your head. This minimizes disruption.) At between five and ten minutes, if we are spending a lot of time explaining backstory, processing emotions, or otherwise not on track, I’ll say, “Thank you for sharing all that. I just want to remind you that we have limited time for this session.” That will usually be enough.
Client Intake: Clarify Your Practice
Most of this will have been covered in the free phone call (separate post coming on that). But there are a couple items to cover now:
If they didn’t sign electronically, have the client read and sign the consent form.
Also, even if you mentioned side effects on the phone, talk about side effects in practical terms. Side effects are rare, but an informed client is your best ally in avoiding and addressing them. I’ll do a separate post on side effects, and how I discuss them, coming up.
Learn energy that gets results!
Stronger chi means better energy healing, manifesting, tantra, and more.
At Energy Dojo, we play games that give objective results, so you can strengthen your chi and never have to wonder if you were really feeling energy or just imagining it.
Here’s a game: Blindfold your partner and send energy to one of their hands. Don’t tell them which one, and don’t touch them. Using only your energy, get them to feel it.
Energy Dojo Online is Saturday, December 15, 1-3pm Pacific time.