Being a therapist is almost akin to being ‘there’ for someone who needs a shoulder to cry on, or a ‘punching bag’ to thump. Just because one is good at ‘listening’ patiently, doesn’t make them a good ‘therapist’, say experts. To be an esteemed ‘therapist’, proper grounding, education and training is a must, to know the real values of therapy and how it should be applied.
One has to begin from square one, and in the process not many cope with the tremendous challenges ahead. In order to be successful as a therapist, the notion of ‘generalising’, ‘biasness’ and ‘one solution does it all’ for everyone, should be done away with. Let us now evaluate some of the basic tips on becoming a helpful therapist, rather than just by name.
Keeping It Simple
Therapists should understand the importance of keeping their talks simple. Not everyone would understand complex phraseology when being spoken to, and jargons should be explained if and only when the need to use it, while a session is on, happens. The client visits a therapist for succour at the end of the day, not to be lost at sea. Speak a tongue that resonates with the client, use simple examples of daily life, and make it easy for him or her to understand.
While counselling the client, let them speak. In most cases the client would find answers and look at you for approvals. Sharing thoughts freely would be good, but censor yourself on being bias towards a person or situation involved. The same would be when giving feedback. Sandwich the talk-balk and be very polite yet diplomatic. There would be memories and thoughts that would arise, brush aside the ones which you think is irrelevant at the moment. The best way to do so would be to take note and park it elsewhere, but address it on a minor note later.
Studies and research from eminent readers and scholars show a relationship or bonding that happens between the therapist and the client. This amounts to success in more ways than one; however, detachment too should be applied. It is the therapist’s discretion here to know where the lines should be drawn. Being there and getting involved are two different things, the latter which can make things complicated for the client.
Think From Their Point Of View
Thinking from the client’s point of view would mean being flexible and respectful towards them. Look at their perspective as well, sometimes book knowledge and training sessions of the past wouldn’t help. If need be and when time permits, engage in ‘out of therapy’ sessions, but draw the lines when emotional intimacy is sought for, by the client. Use the power of communication with them, understand and realise their perils by placing yourself in their shoes for a moment.
There are many well-known therapists around the globe that help budding professionals understand the art and science of helping others. Get talking with them online or through other modes of communication, and learn how they deal with issues and situations too. This is something that no book can teach you how to execute the job perfectly, as each and every case that comes up, is a completely new experience for the therapist.