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8 Things Therapists Want Their Patients to Know

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I recently happened upon an article on The Mighty featuring a list of things a patient might want their therapist to know. It was brave and insightful, and I coveted the information. I felt inspired to write a counter-article listing those things that we, the therapists, want our patients to know.

1. We’re so happy that you’ve come.

2. We challenge you because we care about you. We might challenge your thought processes, we might challenge your choices, we might challenge your relationships, we might challenge you to tolerate discomfort, we might challenge your self-care practices and we will challenge you to love yourself. Our intention is to motivate your growth, to help you recognize your strengths and to gently guide you through your growth; we challenge you because we care.

3. We worry about you when you don’t come to an appointment. We will do everything in our power to keep you safe. Sometimes, just showing up is enough. Please come. Please wake up, get out of bed and come, especially on the days that these steps feel like climbing a steep mountain; just showing up is more than half of the battle.

4. We see your potential even when you don’t. We carry your hope even when you can’t. We don’t see you as helpless, sick or weak. We see you as strong, brave and full of promise. We see you as a survivor.

5. We don’t have all of the answers. After all, you are your own expert. We promise to guide you in your journey towards self-healing, to support you in self-advocacy and to fight for you as you overcome barriers towards happiness. We don’t, however, have all of the answers; but you do – and we will help you find them.

6. We create boundaries because we care. Boundaries promote peace, ownership, self-preservation and growth. We practice healthy boundaries to teach healthy boundaries. Without true and meaningful boundaries in the therapist-patient relationship, true and meaningful growth can’t be actualized. Please be mindful of our boundaries. We promise, they will help you heal and flourish. We’ll also be mindful of yours.

7. If it’s not the right fit, that’s OK. Natural energy flow and chemistry is critical between the therapist and client in order for the therapeutic relationship to be remedial and for therapy to be restorative. Sometimes, it might take more than one attempt to find your best fit, and that’s OK. Trust your instincts. We will support and help you in your process of finding your right match. If your first therapist isn’t the right fit, persist.

8. You’re stronger than you think you are. You’ve been through so much. We’ll guide you until you’re steady on your feet, we’ll support you until you regain your strength and energy, and then, we’ll set you free. When this time comes, please remember: you’re stronger than you think you are. You are a butterfly.

Unsplash via Artsy Vibes

Originally published: October 31, 2018
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