We know sometimes life can be hard, we keep our platform a happy, informative space #SpreadHappiness, so we thought it would only be right to share this…
What can you expect when you come for a therapy session?
Space to talk in a safe environment where you can be listened to, have space to just be yourself without judgement or critism, and time to question what would serve you well moving forward.
How can a therapist help when they have not experienced what clients go through?
There is a school of thought that unless a therapist has been abused, has suffered from deep depression or any other type of trauma that they will not be able to fully comprend or be able to fully engage with the issues presented.
The thing is, that most therapists, have had training in counselling some more than others, some have had a lived experience of trauma and most professional therapists will continue with development in the way of courses, supervision and also from working alongside clients and learning constantly what they feel a client’s preferred way of working is.
Therapy is not for everyone, for some opening up and engaging with emotions is just too much, and that's OK, it’s not a magic pill or a quick fix, and unless clients are ready to explore their issues fully, it may not help. There are alternatives to therapy that may indeed fill their needs.
My journey to decide to train as a therapist began after lived trauma, working with an incredibly experienced therapist who changed my way of thinking, gave me unconditional positive regard, helped me gently navigate through my numerous issues and left me with the knowledge that if I could change my way of being in the world and negative thinking patterns, then I could move forward with new insight, tools and knowledge that it is possible to heal.
A few years later, I decided to train as a therapist. It wasn't an easy journey, in order to become a therapist; I had to open myself up to a large group of students, tutors and professors questioning why I should be a therapist. Hours of self-examination, training, course work, and eventually with strict supervision work with clients.
The whole process from start to finish took me four years.
When I finally completed my course, I worked for a charity, continuing to explore new ways of working, dealing with complex issues and continuing self-development.
I am still constantly learning. My clients teach me every session, amazing me with their ability to overcome complex issues and to move forward with their lives. They keep me humble and allow me to question how I work, how important proper supervison is and engage with different ways of providing therapy.
I have no magic formula, I have no magic wand. I cannot promise to heal anyone but I can accompany my clients as they navigate through their issues, hold a mirror up to their way of being and use my years of experience to really understand issues that I personally have had no experience of.
I beleive that therapists would not be doing their job if did not 100% believe in the power of the human spirit to overcome trauma, to be able to move forward with their lives with new insight, skills and coping mechanisms.
Therapist’s lived experience of a client’s issues may be important for some clients, and I totally understand that a client suffering from abuse or addiction, may seek out therapists who they feel a affinity with. However, therapists will never experience many of the hundreds of issues clients have had to deal with. I may never comprend how devastating their situation has affected them, but my years of being a therapist, continued training, supervision and my life experience, allow me to walk beside my clients, accompanying them on their journey and watch them walk away with the knowledge that by being heard, allowing themselves to work with the issues they have presented, they realise that they too have the necessary tools to go ahead with what serves them well, and that it is possible to overcome, and eventually walk stronger through life with hope for their future selves.
If you are considering therapy, when choosing a therapist interview them, ask about their preferred way of working, check out their references and go for an inital consultation and really understand how taking therapy may help you.
You are the healers of your own pain and you do have the recourses to build up your new way of being. If you did not have these skills you wouldn't be reading this and taking tentative steps in wanting to heal.
I wish you well on your journey forward.