You’re a therapist, which means that you’re a true professional. You value the rapport that you build with each one of your patients, and you handle each case and every situation with the attention that it deserves.
However, sometimes there are things that you just really want to tell your patients. If you were offering assistance to an old friend, you wouldn’t even hesitate.
However, it isn’t always appropriate or even necessarily helpful to share your innermost thoughts with the person on your couch. After all, it’s their therapy appointment, not yours.
Now, if you’re a patient, it might help you to know what’s going through your therapist’s mind. When you’re asking whether or not you should choose Boyfriend A or Girlfriend B, it might be kind of nice to be able to peer past that understanding smile and see what might really going on. Having an understanding with your therapist is really important, right?
So, let’s look at five things that, in a perfect world, you’d love to tell your patients, and your patients would love to know.
1. If Only You’d Come In Years Ago…
Sometimes therapists may have a difficult time understanding why a patient might take so long to finally begin treatment, especially when they express that they have been suffering for years with their condition.
It’s hard to understand why a person wouldn’t do everything possible to improve* their lives.
However, as a patient, it isn’t always easy to come to the realization that treatment is necessary. In fact, it takes on average 10 years to find help.
Plus, there are a slew of underlying reasons why many patients might put off going to therapy, including financial considerations, fear of stigma and absolute denial.
2. The Dog Didn’t Eat Your Homework
Therapists know that, no matter how successful their specific methods of treatment might be, that therapy is indeed a two-way street. This is why therapists across the globe are incorporating patient engagement tools to ensure that the therapy doesn’t stop* when the patient walks out the door.
Patients know that they have to put in the work, but there’s also a fine line between knowing what should be done and actually doing it.
As technology progresses, patients can now keep up with their treatment via questionnaires and surveys that are sent to their smartphones and tablets, chronicling their progression or making their therapist aware of areas where they may need a little bit of work.
3. Are You Sure We’re A Good Fit?
Therapists are trained to be able to handle any patient under any circumstance. However, sometimes clashing personalities can definitely make reaching a positive outcome a bit more difficult, even to the point where a therapist might want to ask, “Are you sure you wouldn’t work better* with another therapist?”
Of course, a therapist might not be so outright about a referral to the therapist down the hall. Yet, a patient might be more inclined to speak up if it seems clear that moving forward may be rather difficult.
While a therapist is a professional, not all therapist/patient relationships work out, and sometimes it is better* to find the therapist that’s right for you. Plus, when you find your therapist, you can even learn what your therapists expect from you, and make your therapy even more productive.
4. I Can’t Help You Make Decisions
All therapists have probably had that patient that doesn’t exactly stick to the course. A therapist is there to help you work through your emotions or to keep your anxiety in check. They may not be the best person to help you choose between the two men that you’ve been seeing.
Patients begin to really develop a trusting relationship with their therapists. In fact, sometimes they begin to see them a confidant, or maybe even a friend, but this is where the trouble comes in.
While a therapist’s job may consist of many things, helping the patient make personal decisions isn’t usually on the agenda. Plus, if it happens once or twice, it may just become a habit.
5. I Know You’ll Be Back
Therapists can tell their patients if they think that they’re not ready to end their therapy sessions, but that doesn’t always mean that they will listen. However, a therapist knows when a patient isn’t ready, but they can’t force that next appointment.
Sometimes patients decide that they are finished with their treatment, regardless of the professional opinions of their therapists.
However, the great news about therapy is that a patient can always return. There are no cut-offs or time limits, and a therapist is always ready to help when a client is ready to resume treatment.
The relationship between a patient and a therapist is unique. It provides* benefits to all involved, as long as boundaries are set, the work is put in and treatment doesn’t end prematurely.
When choosing a therapist, keep in mind that things that are important to you. Would you like to have a therapist with a modern practice, utilizing today’s technology for your benefit? Can you see your therapy goals as long-term?
Above all, just be sure to give your treatment the time and attention that it deserves. After all, this is YOUR positive outcome.
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