One of the best webinars I attended was provided by the EMDR Association by Naomi Fisher. If you haven’t seen it, email me and I’ll send you a link (Hannah@drhannahbryan.com) One of the first things Naomi said was to prepare for things to go wrong, this was such helpful words of wisdom and it’s so helpful to think that way.
Generally in the first Zoom session it has always taken a bit of time to be able to see and hear my clients. We talk through different things, ‘click on the mic button’, ‘make sure you’re not muted’, ‘click on the arrow next to the mic’, ‘check you’ve got it connected to the right speakers and earphones’. Still not working, ‘maybe leave the meeting and come back in making sure you click on the join with computer audio button’. Any of this sounding familiar?? There have been some memes going round about this, very funny!!
This was just what I had happen this week, I exhausted all my usual options and I still couldn’t hear my client, honestly 10 minutes of the session had almost gone by. I was starting to stress, to panic. Then I unplugged my earphones and I could hear, unbeknown to me, there was a little button on the earphones where you can turn the volume up or down, who would have thought!! I felt so stupid. I could have covered up my mistake (like I tried when I forgot to get my husband liquorice allsorts from the shop, I pretended they hadn’t got any but I actually forgot to look!!) but that’s just not me. I explained and I was apologetic. DId my client end the session and think I was ridiculous, incompetent? (this is definitely what I thought about myself!) No we carried on as usual, she laughed. I am only human, we all make mistakes and most of the time I think clients benefit from connecting with us on a human level.
So I have definitely learnt a lot about troubleshooting tech issues just through it not working and having to try different things to make it work. As long as I learn from my mistakes it’s all good.
But I wasn’t expecting what happened this week …
Well, as a family we are adjusting to working from home. My husband uses the kitchen, I’m in the living room and the kids tend to be in their room. I’ve usually done half a day’s work before they wake up! But they know if the door is closed to not shout as loudly as they usually do and definitely not to open the room and come in! But apparently this rule does not apply when searching for the xbox controller! So, I was just coming to the end of a session when I heard the door slowly open and gentle footsteps creep in. I use a screen but just in the corner of this screen I could see a little boy, in his pants and a big red Santa hat!!! I am still not sure why he had the hat on but to be fair he does spend most of his time in his pants! Honestly, it’s hard work!
Again I could have tried to ignore it and be all “professional” but authenticity is so important to me. I explained and apologised. My sense again was that my client understood and could see the funny side. In many ways experiences like this can strengthen the therapeutic relationship.
So yes Naomi was right, expect for things to go wrong but know that you will find a way and even if things do go wrong they soon get sorted out!