Eclectic Human Solutions is a specialist Vocational Rehabilitation company. Our referring customers represent clients who have been affected by a serious injury or illness. Our job is to provide high quality vocational and functional assessments geared to help the clients towards successful return to work outcomes.

Whichever assessment we are requested to carry out, it is our priority to ensure that we establish a good rapport with the individual that is being assessed, right from the very beginning. The assessments that we undertake are:

· Career Redirection

· Functional Performance Screening

· Complete Functional Career Redirection Profiling

But what actually helps to establish a good rapport? How can we engage these clients who have no idea what to expect and how can we develop a trusting relationship with them?

Here are our Ten Principles of Good Client Rapport. These Principles work well for us and we hope other practitioners would find them useful, too.

1. Listen. Listen to the client’s concerns. Show your recognition of the client’s fears and what is important for them in their life. Learn “global listening skills” and pay attention to the client’s body language and things that may be not expressed explicitly – or even at all.

2. Respect. Show your clients that you respect their choices. We are there to support them with their return to work, we are not there to tell them what to do. Not everyone may wish to engage in work following a life changing accident, but everyone is entitled to know which career opportunities are open to them. We are there to help our clients make an informed choice – whatever that choice might be.

3. Do not judge. Empathy is crucial. Understanding the client’s point of view and showing them that you genuinely care about their situation is important, even if you may have a different point of view about what your client should do and which career choices they should be making.

4. Challenge. Challenge your client’s limiting beliefs. “Who will employ me?” “There are no jobs out there for me”. Help your client to avoid generalisations and separate facts from fiction and opinion.

5. Be positive. Optimism is infections. Help your client to “look out of the box” and realise the possibilities outside of their comfort zone. Help them to identify a career based on their current functional abilities, skills and interests.

6. Be confident. Being confident when delivering a vocational assessment is important. Our aim is to improve our clients’ quality of life by helping them to consider a suitable career and a return to meaningful work. Be confident to deliver the important message that: “Being in work is good for people”.

7. Motivate. Motivate your clients to take action although sometimes in the beginning, these may be baby steps towards becoming an independent and confident job seeker. Make them see that every “baby step” is a step in the right direction and little by little gets them closer to their career goals.

8. Encourage. Encourage your clients to focus on their abilities, not their limitations. Help them to concentrate on their strengths – and not their diagnosis. “If you think you can’t and if you think you can – you are right”.

9. Believe. Believe your client can achieve their career goals and help your client to believe in themselves. Set-backs along the way are to be expected and the ability to believe in themselves is important so that set-backs are seen as interruptions rather than failure.

10. Milestone Planning. Planning is key in vocational rehabilitation. It is hard for a seriously injured client to imagine how to bridge the seemingly huge gap between their current “unemployed, ill person” state to a future “skilled, confident worker” state. We need to remind them that they don’t eat a large steak in one mouthful! Instead, they cut it into small bite sized pieces. Milestone planning enables our clients to realise how moving from one small milestone to the next can help with achieving their greater career goals.

Establishing a good rapport with a client affected by a serious injury or illness is important for any rehabilitation practitioner. It is even more important for Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants as our job is to help our clients to move from being a “patient” towards being an “employee”. This requires a wholesale change of mindset and without a good professional rapport this change may not be possible.

Katya Halsall, CDMP


Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant

Sickness Absence Manager

Mathesons Trained Functional Capacity Evaluator

Eclectic Human Solutions


T: 01942 375 880

M: 07854 174 683



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Twitter: @HalsallKatya / @EHS_VocRehab

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