The Therapist’s Job

I’ve been asked how much therapists really ‘get it’ about how much they effect their clients’ daily lives with what they say and do. I say it depends on the quality of the therapist. It doesn’t hurt if the therapist has been in therapy themselves and experienced the power of transference.

Good therapists know very well how significant they are to their clients, certainly want to avoid their clients’ losing them, and pay attention to what they say and do. Good therapists put themselves into a “good parent mode” when they are working, and are careful about balancing nurturing and challenging interventions that are intended to promote growth.  Even the way a phrase is delivered can make an important impression.  It’s part of the therapist’s job not to be overly tired, and certainly not irritable, from their own life.

I often feel as it I have the ‘client’s life in my hands’ knowing full well how powerful my words and actions can be for them. Doing therapy is not a casual business. That’s why therapists are tired after a day of sessions. They have been working hard, mentally and emotionally, to give each client their best.

2 thoughts on “The Therapist’s Job

  1. Thank you for this. I am in intensive (2x week) therapy for Complex trauma from childhood. I often wonder if my therapist knows how much she effects my life. She says I have “disorganized attachment” and I really struggle to feel alright with being connected to her. She says that our relationship will be a source of a lot of the healing that I need. I spend many days between sessions really struggling with letting go and trusting her. I often wonder if she has any idea how hard it is when you have never had a “safe” anything before. She is mostly patient and says she will just be here and be herself. I hope that the way you feel about your job is also the way that she feels about hers. Thanks

    • Hi there “Wondering” – I hope your therapist does too, and I have a little more to say: It’s no mark on you that you have “disorganized” attachment. So did I, and everyone else who grew up in a traumatic childhood. One’s attachment style is a normal human child’s response to the way their parents treat them. I and many others have grown into having a secure attachment by living a in a healthy long term love relationship. PLUS: I always tell my clients that it’s my job to *earn* their trust. Trusting someone you don’t know doesn’t happen because it’s a nice idea. Trust yourself about whether this, or any other mental health person, deserves your trust. My very best to you! Ann

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