The client or the therapist?

There is a common thread in becoming a therapist - a troubled past. It’s thought that the best therapist is the one who has been in the same place, of what the client is experiencing. 

The light in the eye is bright, as the client realises the therapist has been there. It’s a connecting point in the therapeutic relationship; it is truly relational. The bond is of a respectful nature. A common bond. 

When you have been through a troubled path in life, there is wisdom in how you managed to come out the other side. A resilience of emotional turmoil, that can equip a person with certain skills. One of these is compassion and a very powerful one is that. It's a great source in combination with empathy. These are both healing qualities. 

A client seeks a therapist fundamentally to heal. The condition they are in can sometimes be of a broken state. However, the fixing is the client’s job. The therapist can and will provide the glue, but the client must fix themselves. It’s a tough task and the time limit ranges from person to person.

So being a recovering therapist requires continued commitment to keep in good shape. Self-care is critical to the function of the therapist. Worn tyres, don’t make safe trips. Therapy for self development, supervision for professional insight and       a robust support network to fall back on. 

It’s crucial to put the client first and foremost. That’s the way I was trained and influenced. It’s also an ethical way of working. The care derived from this method is exemplified in the devotion given to each individual client. That’s why an overload of clients can make this impractical. A small contort keeps the therapy pure and substantial enough to carry out effective work. 

When the compassion and empathy are flowing, remarkable experiences happen. The strides each client takes, is celebrated by both. The joy in the change. The encouragement when in stuck places. The mutual emotion when in pain. The care is undoubtable. The energy is effortless. 

So the therapist has undergone the effect of their own therapy. The client is embarking on a pathway that the therapist is familiar with. The insight is influenced first by experience and then by theoretical education. This makes the relationship well informed. Informed in a more confident stance. 

Contexts of the past can range from deep traumatic experiences to recovering from a life upset. Whatever it is, when confronted with a client with a similar context, the wisdom is available. When it’s shared, it’s now a collective source,  hopefully affecting in a positive manner.

If you're seeking a therapist and life’s hurting, you could discover that the person sat in front of you, with their legs crossed, could in fact know precisely what you are going through. It may help to know you're not alone and some therapists have felt the enormity of their pain in one way or the other. This hopefully goes on to assist your therapy, because both of you have met on common ground. 

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16

Written by Warren Vinciguerra

Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16

After decades of engaging in my own personal therapy and also practicing therapy as a therapist, I have gained wisdom and foresight in my counselling philosophy. The honour and privilege of working at some of the UK’s leading private treatment centers has enabled me to grow into an effective therapist. Researching new therapy methods is my forte.

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