Establishing rapport (an anecdote)
“I’M THE NEW PSYCHOLOGIST,” I screamed. “DO YOU HAVE A HEARING AID?”
“What?” Ms. Oakes replied.
The rest of our first session went downhill from there. I stopped at the nursing station on the way off the unit. “She never wears her hearing aid,” the nurse reported. “I’ve got it right here but she refuses.”
The following Thursday I approached Ms. Oakes with the hearing aid box in my hand. “I’M GOING TO PUT THIS IN, OKAY?” I pointed to the box, to my ear and then hers.
“All right.” She allowed me to fumble with the device and stick it in her ear.
“Can You Hear Me?”
“You want to know if I can hear you? Yes.” She looked worried. “I can’t find my glasses.”
“When Was The Last Time You Had Them?” I asked.
“When the girl took me for a shower this morning.” A pair of unmarked glasses in the shower room could disappear forever.
“I’m Going To Look For Them. I’ll Be Right Back.”
I returned a couple of minutes later with the glasses in my hand.
Ms. Oakes looked at me with amazement. “Lord a mercy, I didn’t ever think I’d see them again!”
I cleaned them off and slid them into place. She beamed.