Never make a first impression
Whether good or bad, the first impression is not always reliable in the end. Initially you are talking and listening and trying to get a feel about the person but their “personal pieces” will be scattered about until you are able to help them line everything up. Once aligned or at least more organized, the picture could surprise you.
Never presume you make sense
Everyone comes from different backgrounds and life experiences that influence speaking and word use. What may be innocent slang to one person could be a cultural nightmare to someone else. Avoid using slang words that could have multiple meanings. Speak plainly and clearly without using the higher education/college words. Using high school level words will not make you appear uneducated and will avoid your talking over their heads.
Never skip ahead
Early in my training I had the tendency to skip ahead of the narrative to quickly get things done and get things under control for my patients. Unfortunately, you can’t skip ahead. We have to take in a little at a time and help the person work on things a little at a time. There are no quick fixes. Those will be short fixes for long term problems or not address the problem at all.
As a patient or as a counselor, we all have room to learn about people. If you have an experience that taught you a lesson, please message me to share. I will gladly post your perspective in hopes of helping someone else.