7 Things Your Therapist Wants You to Know
Have you ever wondered what your therapist really thinks of all those things you say? Perhaps the idea of what therapists really think has kept you from going to counseling in the first place. Although the misconceptions about therapy are slowly subsiding, some remain stubbornly in place, and these ideas keep some people from accessing the help they need.
It’s true that each counselor has his or her own specialties, demeanor, and theories of practice. However, there are many things that most of these mental health professionals agree that you should know. Below are the top seven things your (current or future) therapist wants you to know.
1) They are Not Judging You
How familiar is this picture: a therapist sitting in a stuffy room, barely nodding along to what the patient says, silently judging the patient, and possibly smoking a pipe. Luckily, that is an outdated idea of how therapy works. Not only are counselors relatively active in conversations with patients, but they truly do not judge their clients.
Your therapist is on your side, which is part of the beauty of therapy. Even when your counselor makes suggestions on how to behave differently in the future, they aren’t judging you for what you have done in the past.
2) They Won’t Approach You in Public
You’re probably aware that your physical health data is very strictly controlled by regulations. That’s why your doctor is not going to see you out in public and start telling you test results. The same principles apply to therapy. Your counselor likely will not even acknowledge that they know you unless you approach them first. Your privacy is not only your right, but it is key to your healing.
3) You May Not Feel Happier Immediately
In general, the goal of therapy is to get you feeling happier and healthier. Unfortunately, therapy doesn’t work immediately. In some cases, you may feel worse in the hours immediately following your first appointment. After all, if you’re not used to opening up in this way, you may feel worn out afterward. Be sure to schedule some time to relax after your first session and know that it gets better.
4) Your Therapist is Not Your Yes-Man
While your therapist will always treat you with respect and refrain from judgment, he or she may not always agree with what you say. In fact, therapy would be significantly less effective if counselors just went along with whatever clients said. Instead, your therapist will likely challenge your thinking patterns. Though this may be uncomfortable, it is effective and therapists know how to do it without hurting you.
5) Don’t Worry About Shocking Them
First and foremost, it’s not your job to worry about how your counselor feels about your emotions. Secondly, it’s very unlikely that anything you say will shock your therapist. These highly trained professionals have spent years listening to people just during training. They have then spent their careers hearing the innermost thoughts of all kinds of people. While you are special and important, you’re unlikely to say anything that will shock a therapist. So, go ahead, say what you really think.
6) Don’t Blame Yourself
Just like physical illness, behavioral, emotional, and mental illness is not the fault of the patient. Unfortunately, too many people believe they are morally bankrupt or somehow at fault for having a mental illness. Therapists know that patients are not to blame for their disorders, and they wish that patients could know this too.
7) Therapy Can Work If You Do
If you hired a professional trainer, you wouldn’t expect to just listen to his or her advice and then suddenly be super fit. Instead, you know that you have to take that advice and put in work at the gym. It’s important to take the same approach in therapy. Your counselor is there to make sure you do things safely and to offer professional advice. However, it’s up to you to get the results.
If you’re ready to start therapy with a kind, experienced professional, contact LifeStance Health today.