We asked therapists to share if they have a favorite client, if they’re ever bothered by patients, and more.
Someone else wonders Do I like my therapist? after, uh, every therapy session?
If so, that’s fine! Been there, done that, so no shame here. In fact, many people wonder about it. Emily Cooper, a licensed clinical social worker and creator of TikTok, sees similar hard-hitting and relatable questions regularly flooding her comments. (And she he answers her Sometimes!)
We asked therapists for their honest opinion on this question plus a few other nosy things people wonder about. Here’s what they said.
Do therapists get angry with their clients?
The short answer: more or less, and especially when customers don’t do the work that needs to be done. However, they understand your potential reasons why.
The annoyance dissipates very quickly when I remind myself that not all clients are ready to go at the pace I would like and that everyone is on their own healing journey, she said Holly Wood, sexologist and therapist. She has found that the annoyance has more to do with her desire to help her clients grow than with her own clients.
At the same time, remember that being bothered by your own progress doesn’t necessarily mean your therapist feels the same way.
Most of the time, I find clients get more frustrated and annoyed with themselves (than I am with them) when they feel stuck, said Nicholette Leanza, a therapist with Life health. I remind them to be kind and patient with themselves.
Allie Soss, a licensed mental health counselor at the New York City Psychotherapy Collective, would use the words frustrated or disappointed instead of annoyed. He agreed that these feelings don’t come from a place of judgment, but rather from seeing the best for his clients.
Often, therapists can see potential in their clients before they do, she said.
Another important point of view: to separate the customer from his behavior. Behaviors are not personality traits; they are means of coping, he said Antionetta Bonafede, a therapist with Gateway to Solutions. So, annoyed by the behavior? Yes, but not the person.
Do therapists have a favorite client?
A type of. One important factor has to do with the relationship between therapist and client.
It’s not so much about having a favorite customer; it’s about more be a good therapeutic match with each other, said Leanza. She has found more fluidity and familiarity when there is positive mutual respect.
Soss also doesn’t feel like he has any favorites, so to speak. Connecting with a customer might take less effort or time, she said, but that doesn’t mean some customers are preferred over others.
Another factor: whether the client is present and working in and out of the sessions. They can be angry, fight and even display some frustrating behaviors, but I’m genuinely happy to be with them if they’re there and try to work through it, Bonafede said.
Allison Kent, a therapist with Behavioral Cabo, feels particularly prepared and confident with clients who fall within her specialization. Others are extremely engaging. I see high levels of progress with them, even if the progress isn’t linear, she said.
Are therapists afraid of seeing certain clients?
The answer to this question is similar. Typically, therapists cite sessions in which the client is uncooperative or abusive as the most challenging.
Therapists fear when clients are silent or when they expect the doctor to have answers with no information to work with, Bonafede said.
Even that terror can be internal. For example, Wood becomes anxious if she worries about her inability to help a client effectively, especially if she thinks a client might view her as incompetent as a result.
It’s important to note that your therapist’s feelings toward you or your behavior shouldn’t negatively affect how they treat you.
It would be unrealistic for any therapist to enjoy all of their clients, But that doesn’t mean the care provided has to differ from client to client, Soss said.
She and Kent talked about the importance of acknowledging and monitoring those feelings and putting them aside or addressing them with their supervisors.
Do therapists think and care about their clients?
An absolutely sensational.
There have been many instances where I see a video, food, show, etc. And it reminds me of my clients, Soss said. Clients become a weekly part of a therapist’s life and very often, for myself at least, I look forward to hearing from my clients week or helping them through their struggles.
Kent said he always thinks about his clients. I think about my clients after hours, when I’m with my family, when I watch TV and even when I’m on vacation, he said, adding that he has genuine care and concern for their well-being.
Additionally, some therapists even like to periodically listen to clients when they are no longer seeing them.
I love getting the occasional update from an old customer who just tells me how well things are going for them, Wood said. We’re really in this profession because we care about people and want to see everyone thrive.
Do therapists judge clients or think what they are sharing is TMI?
While you may be reluctant to share parts of your experiences, these therapists are happy to hear them, without judgment. Plus, they find your honesty helpful.
As a sex therapist for over seven years, there’s not much that shocks me anymore! said the wood. And in fact, the more you tell us, the more we are helping you providing all the information we need to help you with what you are facing. We cannot be as effective if we do not have all the information.
Bonafede said she too heard everything. I’d rather have a bad truth than a good lie any day, she said. Nothing like TMI in therapy.
Kent accepted shed rather a customer is likely to give TMI rather than wasting a moment to learn and grow. At the same time, she validated any jitters you might be feeling. In general, if a client feels they are too much or share too much, it’s because they’ve been judged or shamed by others in the past, he explained.
Feeling comfortable with your therapist is critical to the relationship, as well as your ability to get something out of the process.
If you feel uncomfortable expressing your true feelings and yourself with your therapist as time goes on, they may not be right for youSoss said.
Above all, know this: Your therapist cares about you and appreciates you. Everything is fine [client] it’s unique and it’s hard not to feel close to someone who is so open and vulnerable with you, Wood said. I feel truly honored to be able to be a part of people’s most vulnerable moments.
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