Springhill Group Counselling-The Dark Side of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapists are starting to become more alert on the reality of how dangerous the double-edged nature of their profession is. Being effective in addressing client concerns is only but a part of the job — keeping your head is just as important.
Just like how a clean broom can get all dirty and messed up through continuously doing its work of cleaning the floor, so can the therapist get vulnerable to difficult feelings by dealing with clients.
Psychotherapists are indoctrinated early on that they need to be emotionally stable to cope with the challenges of the profession. And oftentimes, it’s that very thing that can make a therapist struggle. It’s as if they are not allowed to feel emotions like boredom and exhaustion.
They were taught that having struggles with work as a psychotherapist are all because of your own personal issues or mere lack of experience.
Unfortunately, issues that are not addressed properly can eventually lead to burnout.You can be effective in your job but still feel stressed, frustrated or self-doubt.
Most therapists are aware that work issues tend to affect personal relationships. Exhausting someone’s emotional capacity in such a line of work can result in him having none left for interacting with family members.
They are not alert to the fact that, being also a human, they have personal feelings towards their career that can come to the surface. And in fear of being labeled unprofessional, they refuse to recognize those emotion and just continue going through their daily routine.
To add to their burden, they cannot bring up to family members or friends anything work-related because of confidentiality rules. Plus, very few of those in this field can actually admit they are having problems themselves.
An effective coping strategy for a therapist to keep afloat while working is to practice, alongside their clinical skills, self-reflection. Psychotherapists must allow themselves to feel and acknowledge their emotions.
Knowing how to process the intense emotion you as a therapist gets from every client encounter is invaluable.