From Session 22 Wednesday 11 May 2022

1. What does power dynamic mean to you?

2. How can you mitigate power that service user s may assume?

3. Think of examples of where you have had power over a service users.


1. Be aware there is always a power dynamic, neuroception at play. Not always immediately apparent. Look out for the unconscious and the unobvious. 

2. Be alert to how you have experienced or observed power and powerlessness. (Open floor discussion for personal experiences)
3. Regardless of the direction of power dynamics, seek the human behind what you see. Strive for connection.

1. Clinicians ‘on tap not on top’, a resource/guide, not expert-led, service-user led

2. Reflecting on what power dynamics are to increase insight into unconscious bias/beliefs

3. Using a variety of strategies to even the playing field, e.g. self-disclosure, avoiding titles, knowledge of adult-adult relating


1. Be aware of your demeanour 

  • Be open
  • Mindful
  • Reflective
  • Self aware
  • Kind/reassuring
  • Listen and be non judgemental
  • Know your triggers

2. Take yourself off the expert pedestal 

  • Know the scope of your limitations
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • You do not need to have all the answers
  • See the person not the problem

3. Be person centred 

  • People have choices – they are allowed to make bad /poor choices
  • Value difference
  • Treat them as a treasure


1. Power – establish understanding of where the power lies in the therapeutic encounter, how it may change and positive ways of channelling it

2. Boundaries – managing expectations, understanding and adhering to professional guidelines

3. Self management – non judgemental awareness of the other person’s state and your own so that care (and power) are used appropriately

And if in doubt, seek colleagues’ help and input!


1. Self awareness and self responsibility
2. recognise the present dynamics, how they make us feel and the effects on the relationship
3. Make a conscious choice of how to respond

1. Seeing the other as a soul, not a problem

2. Honoring the other respectfully

3. Staying centred, grounded and present

1. Making sure that people can see that we are actively listening to them.
2. Making sure that the positioning relationship is friendly, non-threatening, and equal.
3. Meeting people where they are rather than expecting them to meet us where we are.