Student or Learner
(1)Marcia admits she gets uncomfortable when a client seems unhappy, ill at ease, or near tears, and her first response is reassurance.(2)She believes this has worked well in her long list of impressive leadership roles, and she brings this same perspective to coaching.(3)Yet through peer feedback, she begins to notice that her quick move to reassure a client, grab the box of tissues, or give the proverbial pat on the back robs the client of important moments of exploration.
Does this "proverbial" mean "as in proverbs" or "well-known"?
It means the expression "pat on the back" is as well-known as a proverb, it is a set expression, it is cliche.