Secret Lives of Therapists

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Reading the article the Secret Lives of Therapists, I found myself writing in the margins and highlighting things. What first made me pause was the following “What are you like outside the office? Here are some things we can’t do in public: cry to a friend, argue with a spouse, impatiently press an elevator button like it’s a morphine pump, honk at a driver (who could be a patient) blocking the entrance to the parking garage.” I found myself rolling my eyes and disagreeing. I think it’s okay if a client sees you exhibiting any of these as it shows them you are human. It is also an opportunity, if they bring it up in session, to discuss how you cope with these issues. The second one was “why do therapists say so little?” I must agree with the author on this. Just because a therapist isn’t talking doesn’t mean we aren’t working. We’re focusing very intently, listening, and processing. This requires a lot of energy, which is why I try not to schedule back to back sessions. I take a break in between sessions to jot down notes, refuel, stretch, mediate, or debrief with colleagues.

 

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4 Responses to Secret Lives of Therapists

  1. I guess its asking if therapists are active in their own self-care, because all those things you highlight in the first sentence, to me are signs of the need for healing or going within and therapists are the first in line with a duty to be doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      Interesting perspective. I see it as a therapist just being caught on a bad day and/or in a bad moment.We our human too, and it happens. I lost a friend a few years ago, and was caught crying in public at a nursery, a client seen me. Later in session asked me about it. I informed my client I lost a friend, and my tears were mixed emotions of sadness and laughter as my friend was not a gardener, but I simply wanted to purchase a plant, so I could add it to my garden as a reminder of our friendship. My client was relieved to know even I deal with grief, and liked my idea of planting something as a positive reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read the article, but I’m with you on both counts

    Liked by 1 person

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