Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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blog by a good therapist

Posted by pseudoname on May 13, 2006, at 21:40:12

Here are just a few excerpts from a blog by a UK therapist. Sort of an insider's look, from the T's view! It's

It apparently started in January. I haven't read enough to see if it's a man or a woman.

Anyway, he/she seems great:  “If you don’t know your client’s strengths, how can you capitalise upon them?”


“Therapists should be aware that clients may see them in a very different light. […] You know that the suit you’re wearing is your one and only: your client sees only a guy in a sharp suit. You know that you live in a bedsit. Your client imagines you live in a mansion. You know your bed is unmade and your fridge is empty. Your client imagines you’re a model of organisation. You know you argued with your husband last night. Your client imagines you never lose your temper.

“The limited contact we have with clients permits us to present an image which might be unrecognisable (and frankly incredible!) to our friends and families.”


“Every trainee dreads this moment: your client is crying. You probably are unaccustomed to strangers crying in your presence. The fear is that their distress is your fault, that you weren’t sufficiently sensitive or supportive: now you have to manage the situation you’ve ‘caused’.

“Unless you are certain of the reason, some responses are to be avoided:

 • I’ve heard therapists tell clients “it’s OK”: how do they know?
 • I’ve heard therapists tell clients “there’s no need to cry now”: again, what makes them so sure?
 • I’ve seen one therapist cross the room and put an arm around a crying client to comfort them: with no idea as to why the client was crying, this physical contact might well have been a reminder of the physical or emotional trauma (eg: childhood sexual abuse) underlying the client’s distress; equally, the physical contact could have been construed as evidence of affection or attraction by a client with confused feelings about their therapist.

“The single most normalising response that you can make to a crying client is to offer a box of tissues. This is an active, supportive gesture on your part, maintains your engagement with the client and gives them a small physical distraction from their distressing thoughts. The client then has permission to busy themself with wiping their eyes. You are now free to relax until they have finished and can restart the conversation.”

  (Thanks to flawedplan at the “Our Common Condition” forum for finding this blog.)




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