1. Therapists have problems too.
Some schools of therapy seem to encourage an aloof image of their therapists as though therapists are somehow above and beyond the suffering of mere mortals. However, other traditions encourage or even require their therapists to receive therapy. Although I refrain from discussing my personal issues with my clients – after all they have come to sort out their problems not to hear mine – I believe that it is healthy for clients to be aware that I am not a demigod in disguise, free of all suffering.
2. Therapists do and should have therapy.
I know some therapists who, in my opinion, are in need of therapy to function better as people but also to possibly make them better therapists by acknowledging and resolving their own issues. By having therapy, therapists can develop a real empathy with their clients.
3. Therapists often become therapists because they have or had problems.
I hold my hand up for this one. Being a mere mortal, my emotional life has been knocked about by the waves of fortune at times. This led me to become interested in the psyche, seek therapy and also want to become a therapist. I am consciously aware, however, that in offering help I am not attempting to heal myself through healing others. Perhaps this vicarious healing is attempted by some, although it is not really possible. It would be as productive as having someone eat for you!
Am I a better therapist than those who haven’t admitted their own suffering and sought help? Possibly, but I wouldn’t like to be my own judge and jury on this question. I do what I can to improve the psychological state of others and know that my own journey of healing is an ongoing process just like my clients.
Thank you for reading this unashamedly opinionated therapist’s blog.