While many therapists who work with children and teens view themselves as “child focused”, in the tradition of the great Carl Rodgers, who brought a sensitive and inspiring way to work with children to the fore in the world of psychology, there are times in sessions that a therapist needs to be focused on the issue at hand and address it with the client, while also encouraging the child or teen to explore their own self-expression. Sometimes issues of why a family is coming into therapy need to be brought to the surface, and it may not always be comfortable for those in treatment, whether parent or child. The same is true with working with adults, there is a balance of going where the client needs to go, but the therapist, working as a partner in healing, will need at times to bring up feelings, situations, or other issues to aid the client in moving forward.
The goal of therapy is not to leave every session feeling wonderful. Sometimes, you may not feel “so wonderful” after each session. The goal is self discovery, at a pace that is guided by the client but with facilitation with the therapist as your partner, not director or CEO. This is why allowing for alternate modes of communication, such as in art therapy, or other modalities such as EMDR can be so helpful. Self discovery can be similar to rock climbing, which can be an adventure and have its challenges. But the feeling of accomplishment is unmatched when one reaches the “summit” or gets to the place in self discovery where the see their own resilience, strength and beauty as an individual shining through, not matter what they have faced in the past.
My philosophy in working with my clients, is that I will never “force” an issue if the client is not ready, but there are also times when some direction is definitely needed, hence the need for a treatment plan in writing and checking in with the client regularly to make sure that the client’s personal goals for therapy are being met in a timely and attentive fashion.
Do you have any questions? Are you considering starting therapy? Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 862-210-9459 for a free 15 minute consultation.
I wish you the best as we start this new year.