What is the Waiting Period for Response?

What is the time gap we are supposed to give after asking a question to the client? I have experienced some situations when the client remains silent and I get stuck there. Whether I need to ask further questions and wait for his response? Kindly share your experiences regarding this. Is 10-15 minutes long time? Do we lose the client if we wait for long time?


Deekshitha once you ask the question you have to be patient with the client look for any eye movements or abreactions …but during the wait you can after about 5 mins rephrase the question and also ask them to breathe in and out deely a few times to deepen …10-15 mins without any reaction and as you mentioned you may lose the client and they may just snap out of the session , though that doesnt happen easily…they may just not be wanting to speak about what they are experiencing or resisting viewing a specific scene , then it is upto your judgement whether the scene is relevant to the process at that point , you can just say “Stay calm and relaxed , breathe deeply and you can go slowly and be in that event and see what happens, let me know ( with IMR) when you are ready , and tell me what happens”…Sometimes I feel they go quiet when there is fear involved…at such times we ( Therapist) have to reassure them that we are there to help them through whatever they are facing …making them concentrate on breathing in golden light helps at such times.
I hope this helps :slight_smile:


Thank you so much…I never thought in that direction…I will apply your suggestions in the upcoming sessions…


Very well explained and thanks @Brinda_Vijayan for sharing your insights. Just to add from my experience, in such cases, I do the following:

closely watch eye movements - moving eyes suggest the client is searching for an answer or gathering new information to support her reply
repeat the question softly in case client has not heard it
reframe my question so that client can understand in a better way or remove any confusion in my wordings
asking - what are you seeing or experiencing right now…
use a deepener - count from 5 to 1…when I say 1, you will remember everything in fine detail…
if I sense any signs of abreaction, asking to breathe…

In my view, 10-15 minutes is a very long time…I prefer keeping the client engaged through breathing, deepener, reframing my question etc…at the same time it is very important to give space between my question and the client response…if I hurry, I will lose rapport with the client…so it’s a fine balance…and every session is one more step in our learning.


Thank you so much for the suggestions…

Yes Abhinav, 10-15 mins is too long a time frame and the client will be lost so either one does the deepening or as you have mentioned keep the client engaged by asking a few questions spaced well and watching for any reactions/ gestures/facial movements etc , I also have realised to change the tone of voice to a softer more compassionate tone gets more responses most times .

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