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Re: Therapist crying

Posted by gardenergirl on July 13, 2004, at 23:21:41

In reply to Re: Therapist crying, posted by Elle2021 on July 13, 2004, at 19:01:59

I am a crier, and I think I have had tears once or twice with clients. It's interesting, though. Besides my own issues, I cry at sappy commercials, inspiring events, funerals (Oh my gosh, watching Reagan's funeral on TV used up lots of tissues, and when Nancy broke down in the end....sobbing right with her), weddings, goodbyes, etc.

But for some reason, I seem to hold it together more while in session with a client. Once a client was talking about how her grandmother had a stroke and was not doing well in rehab. I lost my Grandmother to Alzheimer's about 3 years ago, but it kind of triggered the pain of that again. And the client was really pretty stoic all the time, but this session she released a few tears, but then quickly got them back under control. So maybe then I was crying over my own loss, or instinctively I knew she needed a genuine reaction? I really don't know.

One time in processing a termination with a treasured client, I started to cry a bit in sharing with her what I had got out of working with her. This was really awkward, at least for me, because she wasn't crying. This was definitely my sadness at the ending of the therapy relationship with this client, and also likely due to a bad week at the time. I think my client was kind of stunned.

I can think of a couple of other times when I had tears form in my eyes, and sometimes I acknowledged them to the client and other times I just tried harder to contain. But given how much I cry at other times, I think there must be something about the T's role that helps me to contain so that I can be there for the client more. I do think it's okay to cry with a client at times, but goodness, if I was my normal blubbery self, I doubt that would inspire much confidence.

Does this help at all? I feel like I was just free-associating. I do think when I have cried, it's pretty much my own reaction. I don't look at the client as "making me sad" or "making me cry." I just cried, that's all. I think it's a genuine reaction of my own to their feelings or the content of what they are saying.





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