If you have ever seen a therapist, then at some point or another the thought of what your therapist may be thinking about you or your circumstance, has probably crossed your mind. For me, I found myself in the mist of some individual counseling sessions, wondering if my clients knew the truth about my thoughts concerning them and their circumstances. I often wonder how much progress could be made, if only people knew the truth about my thinking process as a therapist. So I decided to put pen to paper and write out the top ten things I wish that all of my clients knew.

  1. I’m not judging you. 9 times out of 10.. as a therapist who has been around the way a time or two, I have heard and seen things far worst than what you are telling me. I’m here to help you. Not judge you.
  2. While its my job to assist, offer some guidance, be supportive and help you… it’s ultimately up to you do to the work to reach your goals. I can’t do it for you, but as you strive for your goals, I will surly be there to help you sort through challenges you encounter along the way.
  3. You are not a burden. I can’t even count the number of people who I come across, especially in the African American community, who shy away from counseling or don’t give the full story in sessions because they “don’t want to be a burden.” Listen, It’s my job to listen as you release all of the hurt, pain and challenges that have you in a state of uneasiness. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN!!!!
  4. I help regular people overcome irregular circumstances. An irregular circumstance is anything that is causing you stress, dysfunction, or uneasiness.
  5. …and that leads me to number 5. Even when you think you have it all together, you can still benefit from counseling. God created us to be in relationship. He knew that at some point or another we would need the help of someone else. It is not possible to be successful without some form of help. The good thing about a therapist is that we operate from a none-biased standpoint that allows you to release what you want and receive help from someone who in no way benefits from your downfall.
  6. I want this for you more than you want this for yourself. Now this one is tricky because it sometimes plays out as both a blessing and a curse. It’s a dangerous thing for a therapist to want something for a client more than the client wants it themselves because being this invested can lead to burn out and or countertransference. However, when balanced correctly, this can be a beautiful blessing because it can allow the counselor to build a sense of rapport that motivates the client to accomplish their goals because they know that at the end of the day, if no one else is, their therapist is most definitely rooting for them.
  7. Feelings and Thoughts are the two things in life that I feel that we have the power to change. Regardless of what type of work we do in your session, or what theoretical framework is used, I can guarantee you that the big picture will always be to ultimately change your thoughts and feelings towards your situation. If you can change how you feel and change how you think, then trust me… you can change your life.
  8. I have problems too. I’m human, and being a Clinical Mental Health Therapist does not eliminate me from experiencing life. In fact, I just may have experienced the same thing that you are going through or something worst. If I was able to overcome or am in the process of overcoming, you can rest assured that my fight motivates me to help you fight through yours.
  9. You can decide how our time is spent. As your therapist, I am going to seek to move you in the direction of accomplishing your goals, but sometimes you may be having a rough week. We may need to take a step back from goal progression and focus on something you are going through in the moment, and guess what? That is perfectly okay!
  10. I witness pain daily and I still choose to help you! Being a therapist takes a lot of hard work, training, education, focus and commitment to daily self-care and healing. It’s a difficult occupation, but when I decided to do it, I did so with people just like you in mind. My passion is to help.

Regardless of how you may feel about a counseling experience, I can pretty much guarantee you that most therapist would agree with the above. We understand that life can be tough and our only intention is to help others overcome those tough challenges. While the struggle is definitely sometimes real… your reality can be Healthy, Whole and Highly Functioning.  The goal is to overcome any Mental Encounter!

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