The Importance Of Trusting Your Therapist

The Importance Of Trusting Your Therapist

Most people start psychotherapy with the best of intentions, some desperate to find understanding and peace within themselves. No matter how skillful, non-judgmental and genuine the therapist, it takes time for the client to develop a deep and unreserved sense of trust without fear or vulnerability. People will only reveal as much as they feel safe, or as much as they think is important in the early stages of therapy. Most clients will always hold back something where they feel ashamed or do not think will be understood and accepted. This is the toxic nature of shame, we can believe it is exclusive to ourselves yet, it is something we all walk with.

Many psychotherapists believe these ‘secrets’ relate to sexual or related intimate issues but they can also, more than likely, be the most harmless details, albeit very private and perhaps shameful, to the individual. I generally refrain from telling new clients how they must trust me and not hold anything back whilst allowing them, in as short a time as possible, to reach this understanding and trust for themselves. No matter how comfortable a client feels from the beginning of the work, trust takes time to develop and a sense of complete safety is essential for them to do this work on themselves.

It is often the case that these ‘secrets’ which a client may not initially feel safe in revealing are those which they have difficulty or are trying to deny to themselves. No matter how often I see it, I always find it remarkable to witness the sense of relief that comes over a client once they find the courage to speak of the strongholds they have built around fear, rage and shame.

Not every therapist, no matter how experienced they may be, is right for every client. It does not matter how much training a psychotherapist may have had, if they come to this work with issues unresolved in themselves there may be areas where they do not feel comfortable in going. This will be understood as a sense of rejection by the client and cause considerable confusion within them which can also damage any work which has already been achieved.

I always hold an initial assessment session with each client to allow me to get a sense of who they are, the work they want to do and then determine whether I believe I can genuinely help them.This also allows the client to truly determine that they are ready and want to do this work.

Richard Gosling

www.sustainable-empowerment.co.uk

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