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Re: 'very' concerned about professionalism

Posted by Nadezda on August 7, 2009, at 11:06:35

In reply to Re: 'very' concerned about professionalism friesandcoke, posted by Daisym on August 7, 2009, at 2:05:53

Professionalism is important to me, but imo it takes you only so far. I notice the appearance of professionalism in the concrete sense and probably would be a bit curious about a T who took off sandals. But I would consider professionalism to inhere in elements other than clothing. I prefer conservative or well put-together clothing, but I don't see it as a highly significant marker of professionalism, unless there's some real problem with it.

To me, professionalism involves a certain intuition, combined with the discipline and experience to use that sensitivity on my behalf, a deep enough sense of the varieties of human experience and how it goes wrong, and how it can be worked with over time-- and other much less tangible qualities like that. I would emphasize training, years in practice, reputation with people I respect, and overall skill in interacting helpfully in my first meetings.

So while professionalism is important, it matters where you place an emphasis. People are often rather quick to point to various therapist actions, or statements as "inappropriate" or 'unprofessional.' But the private relationship can often takes strange twists and turns that seem odd or discordant outside of the context and emotional history of the two people. I just don't think you can easily categorize therapist behavior or even choice of clothing, as long as it's clean, relatively well-fitting, and not seductive.

I personally have always seen Ts who wear white-collar type clothing-- and are pretty well dressed-- nothing flashy or highly fashionable, but perfectly presentable. Sandals and capri pants might seem slightly casual-- but my judment about the person would turn on other things.

Possibly it's the number of posts in which you've criticized the professionalism and or questioned the validity of someone's choices in clothing that has evoked the comment. A certain more polished or formal self-presentation was important to you-- but it's different to say that than to say that the person's professionalism is in question. One thing is your, quite legitimate and important (for you), preference; the other implies that the other person is in the wrong.





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