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Re: Feeling like a failure

Posted by JenStar on July 14, 2004, at 4:19:23

In reply to Feeling like a failure, posted by emmaley on July 13, 2004, at 20:30:49

hi Enmaly,
give yourself a break! You're only human. Of COURSE you're still going to be a great therapist. (smile!) You're not supposed to be a super-god-robot-creature who never gets tired & never feels stress.

I think the doubt is good at times, because it makes you understand the pain of career choices, the difficulty of working with troubled people, and what you really want from a career. This will help you empathize with your clients and will allow you to make future work decisions that are best for you.

As to whether you can help others when you feel conflicted: To a point, yes. If you're conflicted and depressed to the point where you fidget, can't listen, respond despondently, or snap at your patients, then NO - you're not helping. If you can still offer coherent and kind advice without betraying your inner turmoil, then YES.

Think of it this way: There are plently of fat high-school phys ed teachers. There are plastic surgeons with wrinkles. There are consultants who can offer organizational advice without having the technical skills of the people for whom they consult. It's OK to be a therapist who needs therapy, or who isn't "perfect." You don't have to be perfect to help others.

I don't know if this helped at all. If you truly hate therapy, don't do it. Branch out! But if you're just going through a temporary slump, don't worry. I don't expect MY therapist to be perfect. I just want some good advice & a new viewpoint.

Take Care.
Good luck!

> I saw clients for two years from July 2001-July 2003, and then I took a year off up until this June to just allow myself to work and go to school only. I was excited to return to the counseing where I volunteered to see clients again just a month ago.
> However, I have been just feeling really down and weary. Between working, traineeship, and school, I feel like I can't do it anymore sometimes, and I am bitter that I spend the better parts of my day and most of my energy working at a job that doesn't really relate to psychology, just to make ends meet. I know that almost everyone in my program is in the same situation, but I honestly have been feeling so tired. So tired. So tired. And then I beat myself up for wanting to run away. (I really want to run away, but then I don't know where to, so I stare at the wall and space out......)
> And then the most terrible thing happened: I have never doubted how much I loved working with people and becoming a therapist up until now. I feel so overwhelmed to begin with, and then these doubts for the past month are just killing me--what does it mean? Does it mean I shouldn't be a therapist? Does it mean that my clients are all suffering because I am not competent? How can I be competent when I am having doubts? Such are the thoughts in my head. I feel so guilty and resentful. It's quite a combo. I wish I could be more compassionate, and the more I wish the more I become depressed.
> Why do I want to be a therapist? I can't seem to feel it anymore. These days I have been trying to sit with these feelings and work them out in supervision, but honestly, I don't know. How can I help anyone heal if I can't help myself heal? I am just as confused if not more than everyone around me.
> What is therapy, anyway?




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