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Therapy For Therapists Are you Doing Your Own Work

Therapy For Therapists

Are you Doing Your Own Work

Therapy For Therapists

Therapy For Therapists is vital for a counselor to make lasting and effective change with their clients. Over my stretch of years as a therapist there have been times I have needed the support of a seasoned therapist to sit down with me during my own hard times. We have children and parents, relationships etc, that often times we get tangled in and need the help of an outside perspective. I personally would want to know if I were a client that my therapist was continually seeking work on improving themselves and living as an example to their clients.

Unfortunately most therapist assume that they are in perfect health mentally, socially and spiritually. Young and seasoned therapist need to understand that seeking out their own therapy is a vital step in staying fresh, full of energy and clear with insight relating to their clients. Many may not know this and I sure did not when starting my graduate program but “therapist become therapists usually due to their own personal wounds and struggles”. Often in an attempt to resolve their own life struggles they subconsciously seek out this profession. Therapist heal thy self is a term that encompasses many of the therapist working today.

Therapy For Therapists

How Do I Know If I Need Therapy?

See if you can identify any of the following traits that as a therapists you may be struggling with currently:

  • You feel at times unable to help the wide range of clients that need help. You do not feel qualified in certain areas. These areas you claim are not your specialty.
  • You find that you take on or take home your clients issues. It is hard to not personalize your clients responses made in session. You seem to see a lot of yourself in their story.
  • Most of the therapy session is you and your client going back and forth sharing personal stories. I hear from many clients that therapy was discouraging for them because all their therapist did was talk about themselves.
  • Are you struggling to understand ways to meet your clients needs. You avoid certain types of clients because you have made a judgment about this client.
  • You give your opinion to your clients instead of helping them to arrive to their own conclusion. This comes from a conditioned response on the therapist end.

Personally I feel each and every day that it is a privilege, blessing and honor to work with my clients. I feel blessed beyond words to be able to take the journey along side of my brave and hard working clients. Those who are authentic and motivated to open up and trust the process. My question to therapist is if they could do the same if they sat on the other side of the couch?

Therapy For Therapists
Therapy For Therapists

See if you can identify any of the following traits that as a therapists you may be struggling with currently:

  • You feel at times unable to help the wide range of clients that need help. You do not feel qualified in certain areas. These areas you claim are not your specialty.
  • You find that you take on or take home your clients issues. It is hard to not personalize your clients responses made in session. You seem to see a lot of yourself in their story.
  • Most of the therapy session is you and your client going back and forth sharing personal stories. I hear from many clients that therapy was discouraging for them because all their therapist did was talk about themselves.
  • Are you struggling to understand ways to meet your clients needs. You avoid certain types of clients because you have made a judgment about this client.
  • You give your opinion to your clients instead of helping them to arrive to their own conclusion. This comes from a conditioned response on the therapist end.

Personally I feel each and every day that it is a privilege, blessing and honor to work with my clients. I feel blessed beyond words to be able to take the journey along side of my brave and hard working clients. Those who are authentic and motivated to open up and trust the process. My question to therapist is if they could do the same if they sat on the other side of the couch?

Therapy for Therapists

How One Sided Is It?

Therapy is a one sided process. Therapist are called in to “hold the space”. This is a phrase I use to explain the role of someone who is able to fully listen and not process their own opinion during the time someone else is discussing themselves. It means to truly listen without judgement, relating or personalizing any single aspect of what your client is discussing. Clients under an effective and healthy therapist can expect to be assisted fully to meet their needs. Helping them to change, explore, feel safe, increase their awareness, mindfulness and understanding of themselves through your ability to fully be present and assist in guiding them. Not telling them what they should do.

The relationship between the therapist and the client is to be about the client at all times and not about the therapist. Clients come to us and pay us for our expertise not the other way around. It’s naive in thinking that therapist do not get affected or impacted by their clients from time to time. Especially if a therapist has not done their own work to explore deeply the wounds and areas of their life they may be struggling with but are blocking from themselves. Many therapist avoid their own lives by diving into those of their clients. Therapeutic words such as transference and counter-transference surface in the therapy and client relationship.

Therapy For Therapists

Getting Help For Yourself as a Therapist

The question remains, “how does a therapist get their own needs and issues met when we are working in a field that requires us to daily focus on our clients well being”? How do you balance out your own personal life separate from your clients? It’s easy for anyone to help another person navigate their own lives if your trained to do so but it may be much harder when the tables are turned.

After graduate school the only supervision required for a young therapist is when ain their state license. They are not required to go through intensive therapy themselves and work out their own family, individual or relationship problems. If it is true that therapist and counselors are wounded when entering the field then when and how are they seeking to work on their own issues? How are they meeting their own needs?

I only ask these questions due to the fact that as a mother, a therapist, a daughter and member of community I am faced with many of the challenges my clients are. The difference is that I have done the intensive work and continue to do so. I make it a point to diligently work hard at pruning my own garden of consciousness. I work out any knots that arise in my own life. How can I work with a family if I am struggling to understand my role as a parent? For me it is vital that I have my own therapist. I order for me to stay on top of my game and spiritually, mentally and physical fit.

My job is to hold the space for my clients. We must as therapist do our own self work. If not, many therapist start to actually think they are right. They can abuse the privilege given to work with others. We need to practice what we preach on a daily basis. Clients can only heal so far as the person helping them has healed. Book knowledge about therapy gets you nowhere. It’s a head full of knowledge with nothing to back it up. Do we become more effective therapist when we address our needs instead of avoiding or neglecting them? The answer is yes. I encourage therapist in the field of mental health counseling to do the work of self reflection. To dive deep into resolving any issues left that they have buried or not addressed. If your a therapist unable to work with a certain client ( a male or female abuser, a borderline client, a codependent client, etc) then why are you in this field? Do you limit the type of clients you will see? Are they are reflecting back at you issues unresolved in you?

Therapy For Therapists

Start Your Own Journey

I have worked with many therapist over the years to assist them in their own personal journey. I can do this work because 8 years ago I decided to be a therapist with depth and not worksheets. All I was doing was giving my clients homework assignments, coping skills and band aid therapy.

Clients complain to me daily about a bad experiences with a therapist. The clients felt judged, were told that they should not feel a certain way, etc. I have even heard of therapist making “the call for couples to end their marriage”. We are never to play God in therapy. If you find as a therapist that you have hit a brick wall I challenge you to do work. Start going back and sift and sort through the knots and unresolved issues that you have. This will only bring your role as a therapist to a much higher state of awareness and consciousness.

Call today and let’s start the journey for yourself. Understand my approach and how it is effective. Therapy for Therapists is a gift we give ourselves. We know how important it Give yourself and your clients the very best you have to offer.