If you’ve been to counselling before, your counsellor may have taken notes in front of you.

Or you may have seen it on the tele.

I’ve been there. I’ve had a breakthrough and the counsellor scribbled something down. At the time, it made sense, but I was also distracted and wondered what they were writing.

Other times I have just been talking about nothing of consequence, and the counsellor scribbled something down. Wait, what?!

It’s easy to distract yourself with what the counsellor is doing.

Isn’t that the case with life? … easier to notice what something else is doing rather than focusing on what’s going on for you.

Anyway, I’m getting side tracked.

I wanted to create a short blog today to discuss note taking, and how I do it.

In our office, I have a side table next to my chair with a notepad and pen. There are some days when I scribble furiously, and others when I don’t pick the pen up.

I take messy notes, and then type them into a secure online platform later on. So, they’re often illegible on the paper but; mean something to me.

I know of therapists that use the scribbles, and file them away in a locked filing cabinet. We’re all different.

In the past week, here’s what I’ve scribbled down;

A Word.

You may have used a powerful word that I loved. That meant something. That I want to bring up with you later. I’ll pop that work on the paper to remember it.

A Name.

Your world is important to me, and I don’t want to forget your new puppy’s name, or your best friend.

A Theme or pattern.

Something may pop into my head, that’s a theme – or I might start to see a pattern. I’d like to discuss this with you at the right time, which may not be now. So I’ll write it down to come back to. An example is, avoidance. You may tell two stories that aren’t related but in each you left to avoid something…I may hear the pattern that haven’t yet.

To Remember The Milk.

Honestly, a few times something trivial and personal pops into my head while you’re talking. In this instance I will write it down immediately so I can focus on you.

Aside from ‘milk’ scribbled on the page, you may want to see your notes.

Did you know they’re yours too? They’re a little summary of our session, and can help show you your progress over the time we work together.

If you’d like to see your notes at the end of a session you can always ask your counsellor to share, or in session you can even take your own notes!