Therapists Need Support Too
Written by Christina Bieche, MSEd, LCPC, NCC
As a practicing therapist, I have learned over the years that it isn’t necessarily about what we know, but more about who we are. That very piece of knowledge…who we are…not only inspires me and drives my passion, but also is exactly what I strive to include in everything I do in my current practice.
Question is…how do we get there?
Well, in my experience, it is the willingness of the therapist to seek support when needed, to do the inner work, to explore their limits/biases/fears, and to process personal traumas in order to remain present centered during work with clients. The self-awareness that comes from our own inner work is the key to laying a strong foundation for an incredible therapeutic relationship.
“The essence of working with another person is to be present as a living being. And that is lucky, because if we had to be smart, or good, or mature, or wise, then we would probably be in trouble. But, what matters is not that. What matters is to be a human being with another human being, to recognize the other person as another being in there." —Gene Gendlin
Keeping in mind, therapists are human too…living everyday lives like our clients, experiencing ups and downs, raising children, maintaining responsibilities, managing stressors, living healthy lifestyles, and dealing with unexpected traumatic events of our own. We do all of this simultaneously while caring for others. And if we aren’t mindful about maintaining balance as well as our own self-care needs, it will eventually lead to burnout and/or challenges in remaining present with our clients during session. Which is why we absolutely must pay attention to our own support needs and not hesitate to reach out for guidance when needed.
I would also like to pass on a few tips for therapists, especially those working with trauma clients, that were shared with me when completing an online training. These tips come from Guy Macpherson, PhD and his work with The Trauma Therapist Project.
If you are interested in counseling or Therapy for Therapists, call OakHeart at 630-570-0050 or 779-201-6440 or email us at Contact.OH@OakHeartCenter.com. We have counselors, psychologists, and social workers available to help you at one of our locations in North Aurora, IL, Sycamore, IL, and/or via Telehealth Online Therapy Services serving Kane County, DeKalb County, Dupage County, and beyond.