Where There’s A Will There’s A Way: What Therapists Should & Shouldn’t Do In Session

We can’t count how many times therapists are poorly depicted in film & TV, which often gives people the wrong idea about the work we actually do with clients.

A lot of the time people think that therapists are there to agree with clients & go along with whatever they like.

Yes, therapists can go along with the narrative of the client, which is called client-centred therapy, but the therapist, when needed will guide it in a particular direction that is helpful for the content in session.

Often therapists also don’t give advice on what they think you should do, but will phrase sentences in a way that gets you thinking about what you can do. Therapy & seeing a psychologist is to help you, essentially help yourself. Kind of like driving a car or learning to swim, we hold your hand until you feel confident to do it on your own. For example, you may want help with socialising and decreasing the anxiety you feel in social situations. You might also want help sitting on an aeroplane and not freaking out. We take you through effective therapy to help you overcome your fear & help you to eventually fly overseas or interstate or feel extremely confident socialising.

Here are some other things therapists should do:

  • Remind you that you’re not broken,
  • Remind you that how your feeling is normal & a lot of people feel the same thing,
  • Give you room to express thoughts & feelings you can’t express to others,
  • Offer you a safe space to be heard,
  • Collaborate with you on how to make your struggles easier & come up with ways on how to decrease them,
  • Recognise that you will ultimately make your own decisions,
  • Will take an active interest in what’s going on for you,
  • Will always have your best interests at heart,
  • Will try their best to help you in any way they can.

Thing therapists shouldn’t do:

  • Try to fix you,
  • Tell you what to do,
  • Have all the answers,
  • Assume to know what’s best for you,
  • Tell you you’re a bad parent or person,
  • Assume to know what life is like for you.

If you are unhappy with your therapist, please issue a complaint with their association. Here in Australia is AHPRA- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Psychologists should always be on top on their game & if they’re not, it’s up to you to make sure that they are. Because at the end of the day we are helping people become more mentally well & that’s sometimes a slippery slope to navigate- even for the best psychologists.

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