A client sits across from me. He tells me a story; a story of difficulties, shock, pain, incomprehensibility. We agree on treatment goals: what does he want to experience? What does he want to change? At that moment, we both think that we we know what is required. There is a problem however: oftentimes, the most important goals are hidden out of the view, like the ace in a deck of cards. In cognitive therapy, we strive to reveal the hidden destination in a straightforward manner: sometimes with Socratic questioning which strives to sift between the wheat and the chaff. We also us indirect observation through noting the client’s dress, gestures, voice and even the jewelry and cosmetics that they wear.
Sometimes, such observations reveal much more than questionnaires and inventories.