I've heard people, including therapy clients, say, "I have no expectations." What does that statement really mean? An encounter at a fast food drive-in caused me to reconsider this saying.
I redeemed a coupon for a free drink. I'm not a magnanimous tipper at a drive-in stall, but the fact that I received the item for free didn't change the service the carhop provided. So I gave him a tip.
The carhop was obviously surprised, as revealed by his over-exuberant response to my meager token of appreciation. Did he have no expectations, or did he expect he would not get a tip? By his reaction, it's safe to assume he was expecting to receive nothing. If the car hop had no expectations, he would not have been surprised to receive a tip -- nor would he have been surprised if he didn't receive a tip.
Then I began to wonder, is it even possible to have no expectations? Perhaps it is, but more often, I believe "having no expectations" is code for expecting nothing. When a patient says he has no expectation of therapy, it is likely he is saying he does not expect rehabilitation to make a difference in his life. How does that expectation impact your treatment plan? If you work in another industry, will your client's voiced expectations impact the services you offer him?