Sensory acuity allows you to tune into what is going on with your client, their deepest emotions, feelings, fears and anxieties, and to build a solid and secure rapport with your client.  This is not about you interpreting the changes. Instead, it is more about having the awareness it is happening so that, where appropriate, you can respond to them.

For example, a flushing of the face, a change in breathing, a shuffle in the chair or disconnection of eye contact can help us tune into our client’s emotional state.

Areas where changes can take place:

  • Skin Tone:Blushing or blanching can indicate a change in an emotional state.
  • Muscle tension: A tightening of the jaw, a frown, clenched fist, shoulders tightening can all indicate an emotional reaction.
  • Breathing:Depending on the client’s normal breathing state, be it shallow or deep. A change in rhythm or location, (chest usually if excitable, low abdomen if relaxed), can indicate an emotional state or response.
  • Eyes: Excessive blinking, turning away, avoidance, pupils dilate or contract can all be indicators of an emotional change.

These are just a few common signs and of course there will be more. As you get to know your client you will be become more aware of these subtle changes over time.  You are simply looking for a change in state.

For example, a client may start a session relaxed, breathing at a slow relaxed pace with occasional blinking and relaxed shoulders with open palms resting on her lap. During the session, her breathing becomes rapid and her eyes start to blink more, her arms are folded, and her shoulders lifted. This would indicate a client who has become defensive, angry or frustrated. They may maintain that there is no problem, but the physiological changes give you a clue that all is not as it seems.


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