In this month of relationships, I have dedicated this blog to some observations about the therapeutic relationship. Let’s bust some of the myths that might be preventing you or someone you love from getting the help you need:
Myth: “All therapists work the same.”
Fact: Counselling is one of the fastest evolving fields. There are hundreds of different models and theoretical orientations that therapists can practice from.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist what types of approaches he/she uses to ensure it is a good fit for your needs and style of learning.
Myth: “The therapist is the expert, the client’s job is to talk and do what the therapist says.”
Fact: A good therapist knows that you are the expert on you. As I highlighted in last year’s blog “Everyday Heroes,” change results from helping clients reconnect with their inner and external resources and past experiences of success. All clients need a listening ear and a sense of validation but we also know education, empowerment and emotional support are critical for healing.
- Although I believe you’ll get out of it what you put into it, ultimately decisions to act, from engaging in homework to making changes in your life, are entirely up to you!
Myth: “Therapy does not work for me; I tried it once but got nothing out of it.”
Fact: Many people give up on counselling because they aren’t getting what they need or because of a lack of fit between client and counsellor. Research has found a strong therapeutic alliance is essential for counselling to be effective. A client should feel comfortable to challenge their therapist. According to interpersonal neuropsychologists such as Rick Hanson and Daniel Siegel, experiences in the therapeutic relationship can promote significant change in the brain. Thus, although therapists cannot change the fact that people have had to endure traumas and tragedies, the exciting news is that counselling CAN dramatically impact on how people respond to their current environments and support the creation of a more resilient and compassionate brain. We’ll talk more about this in next month’s blog.
Did you know?
At Family Counselling Centre, all clinicians use the Outcome Rating Scale and Session Rating Scale to empower clients to identify what they like and more importantly don’t like about the session. This allows issues of fit with methods or therapists to be identified immediately. Sometimes it takes a few counsellors before you find the right one for you. So don’t leave feeling unsatisfied. The right fit for a healing relationship is out there.
Social support is a huge buffer against mental illness and often the lifeline out of crisis. You can help ensure we are able to be that lifeline through your donations or by purchasing tickets for the “Pamper Yourself for a Year” (draw is March 9th, 2013)or for our family event in April.
Come by the agency to pick them up, have a tour and leave with some brochures. We may be small but with your help we can be mighty in our effort to give the gift of healing all year.
Yesterday was Bell’s annual “Let’s Talk” day. If you haven’t already, start the conversation and increase awareness and much needed funding for mental health organizations.
Join us on Facebook and cherish time spent with loved ones this month. Why not, keep the spirit of giving appreciations and attention alive all year not just when the calendar dictates.