There are so many misconceptions about therapy and therapists in general. Lucky for you, I’m all about pulling the curtain back on what it means to be in therapy. Here are six things your therapist really wishes you knew.
- You don’t have to be in crisis to seek out or stay in therapy. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about therapy. So many people are hesitant to seek out therapy because they’re “managing just fine” or not experiencing a mental health crisis. The reality is this: There are so many reasons to initiate therapy for yourself and all of them are valid. Whether you’re dealing with a significant life transition; like the death of a loved one or transitioning to a new role at work or you just need some extra support but unsure why, therapy can help.
- If you aren’t happy with the way therapy is going, we want to know! As uncomfortable as it might be, we really do what to know if you’re not digging the way therapy is going. In order to create real and lasting change, you feeling supported and confident in the work we’re doing and the way things are going is key. You’re the expert in your life…not us, so when you think we’ve got it wrong, tell us!
- We care about you…even though we don’t communicate this to you. The therapeutic relationship is just as important to us as it is to you. The therapeutic alliance consists primarily of collaboration, goal setting/achieving and the formation of an emotional bond. And this goes both ways. If you don’t feel connected to your therapist or vice versa, the buy in and/or ability to achieve/maintain change is much less likely. The good majority of us were drawn to the field because of our genuine love for helping and supporting people who are struggling. I feel like I can speak for most clinicians here and acknowledge that we care deeply about our clients. So yea, we might not tell you this but we genuinely care about you.
- We also sometimes wish we could be friends. I can’t tell you how many times I walk away from sessions feeling like I just wrapped up an hour long video chat with a friend. Or how many times I’ve heard from clients “I feel like if we met outside of this we’d be friends” You’re probably right, but this thing called the Code of Ethics prohibits us from being friends…That and the fact that I value the work we’re doing and the progress you’ve made so far so we’ll keep things therapeutic. Maybe in another life…
- We’ve been there too…Self disclosure in therapy is something we’re advised against in school. We’re cautioned about sharing too much about ourselves because our disclosure could influence your feelings about the work we do together and taint your overall experience of the therapeutic process. That said, there are times in session when we want so badly to tell you you’re not alone in having this experience.
- Most of us are in therapy ourselves – or have been in the past. Contrary to what you might think about us having it all together, we need support and guidance too. Let’s face it…life is hard. Sometimes it’s really f**king hard. And while clinicians are usually pretty self aware because of our profession, we too have moments where things aren’t all that great.
If you’re a therapist, I’m curious as to what you think about these and what you wish your clients knew! Leave a comment and let me know! If you’re looking for a therapist in Washington State and think I might be your people, I would love to hear from you. Call me or email to schedule a consultation today.