Like many therapists, you most likely got into the business because you have a passion for what you do. You enjoy the work, making or facilitating change for those souls who have been drawn to see you. You may have even been drawn to do this because of your own experiences.
Who looks after you when things go awry or pear-shaped?
If you are in an association, you will have regular supervision and you should be able to chat to your supervisor about how you are feeling. Difficult feelings or strong emotions may surface during a supervision session and this makes it difficult to reflect on how well you might be working with your clients. If the issue is very personal, then the supervisor should set the boundaries and suggest that you see a counsellor or another therapist.
Often, the Universe provides a solution and I have found this to be true. I’ve had a spate of family, friends and acquaintances die in a short period of time. Three in less than three months in fact. These events triggered residual grief about previous loss and I wasn’t in the best space to take clients, so the Universe cancelled them! I took myself off to my therapist and after a couple of sessions for myself…. the clients rescheduled and I was able to be in a space that I held entirely for them.
Part of the reflective process is to ask yourself better questions:
- How am I feeling right now?…… this includes identifying any feelings that you may not have previously acknowledged or expressed
- Does this remind me of anything/someone and what is it I would do or say?……..use gestalt, Parts Therapy, Ego State therapy to take stock of the situation.
- Can I see a pattern in what’s happening?…… sometimes difficult to do on your own, but writing it down or making a mind map can give you clarity.
Start the work on yourself, continue the exploration with your own therapist and check in with your supervisor and you might just find you are understanding not only yourself, but your clients a little better and in turn, becoming a more effective therapist.