Even after years of establishing a relationship, you still have to pay some fees before meeting with your therapist. You may wonder, “Is this relationship authentic, or does my therapist care about me?”
The quite intimate relationship between therapists and clients has many elements that define its boundaries, including:
• Meeting at particular secluded locations
• Meeting for a defined scheduled period
• Charging some cancelled sessions
• A one-way sharing of personal information
• Ending a session immediately regardless of where the conversation is at
Due to these elements, you may fear that your relationship is artificial; therefore, any care received is contrived. However, before you conclude, there’re a few things you ought to know.
It is not the job of therapists to care
Some people believe in the incorrect premise that caring is one of the tools used by therapists to create change; therefore, they assume that they are paying for it. However, care and compassion are not therapists’ tools of the trade. It isn’t what they are set to offer to their clients. Although there’s nothing wrong with showing concern or compassion, therapists don’t operationalize these aspects to help their clients. In effect, caring can be detrimental to the client-therapist relationship. For example, it may cause attachment, overdependence, or even the development of romantic feelings.
It is easy to mistake some things as caring
Therapists are equipped with good communication skills such as active listening, asking questions, applying appropriate body language and postures, maintaining eye contact, and making conversations all about their clients and not themselves. It is easy to confuse these actions as showing care. This is because it is rare to find people with good communication skills, express themselves appropriately in their everyday lives.
Further, therapists do not judge or reprimand their clients. They endeavour to understand the context of their clients’ actions by asking probing questions and listening attentively. By doing so, some clients may feel they are cared for or understood. You may think that the therapist is caring while, in reality, they are doing what you paid for.
Therapists are people just like you
Some therapists establish stronger bonds and connections with particular clients than others. For example, a therapist may be drawn to people with complex trauma histories and enjoy working with them. Others, on the other hand, may relate more to the circumstances of some clients than others. Most therapists entered the mental health field because they had to work on themselves or they experienced a life-changing event in the past.
Therefore, they may be drawn to clients who can relate to their circumstances.
Although these special connections and bonds may create a closer and warmer relationship, therapists know that they need to maintain professional boundaries. This means that they won’t talk to you outside of the session. Also, they won’t approach you in public unless you approach them first out of respect for your privacy and confidentiality.
Therapists can still care
When you browse through the internet, you’ll find that most sites recommend finding a therapist that cares. Caring, empathy, and the desire to help always affect the outcome of therapy sessions and the therapist’s attitude towards their work — the absence of these aspects may make the profession seem like a heavy burden to therapists.
For example, most clients who’ve complained about experiencing uncomfortable sessions always cite the therapist’s attitude. Some say their therapist was cold, judgy, or even downplayed their issues. Your favourite therapist is probably one who displays appropriate emotions, such as warming up to you when they see you.
It is important to find a therapist who cares. Although the costs of most well-qualified and caring therapists are high, ask yourself, “how much is my health worth to me?” It would help if you had someone who respects and sees you as a human being. It would be best if you had someone who cares about doing excellent work and attaining success. This means that they’ll go the extra mile by putting in the extra hours, reading, getting advice from their colleagues, and doing whatever they can to assist you.
Does your therapist care about you?
To know the answer to this question, try to reflect upon your therapy sessions. How do you feel when you walk out of the door after each session? Are you always comfortable? Do you still want to continue working with the therapist in the environment that you two created? Do you trust your therapy enough to pour out your heart?
Although therapists are not obligated to show concern, care, or love to their clients, you should look for one that does. Find someone who wants to truly understand you, takes consideration of your whole context, and can empathize.
If you are ready to get started with your therapy sessions, call us today at 302-842-2390.