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Re: my counseling program

Posted by pegasus on September 19, 2007, at 11:01:52

In reply to Re: my counseling program pegasus, posted by RealMe on September 18, 2007, at 23:04:41

I think I agree with most of what you say. We all pull from our own experiences when we are being empathetic, but, of course, even when people have similar experiences, they're going to be different because the people are different.

That's not really what I was getting at, though. I was trying to bring up how a therapist's psychological makeup affects the way they act and react with their clients. And understanding that seems inevitably helpful for a therapist. I don't believe that it is possible to completely keep one's issues separate from one's therapy with clients. We bring our whole selves to that work, regardless of whether we intend to, or whether that is ideal. So, a better understanding of those issues - making them more conscious - is going to help a therapist better understand and therefore manage their reactions in therapy. And I believe that therapy is a particularly efficient way to get there.

I think we're really talking about apples and oranges here. I don't disagree with what you say, except the part about how you keep your issues and your therapy separate from your clients. I believe that that is only possible to the extent that your issues are conscious to you. I expect that your therapy has helped you to make those issues more conscious, and therefore given you a better ability to manage them (e.g., keep them separate from your clients' issues) when working with clients. It's not so much about being able to say that you understand your clients, because you've been exactly where they are. Although I do believe that broad experience, including being a client, can only be helpful for therapists. It's more about understanding yourself, IMHO.





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