In a recent conversation with a fellow therapist friend, our dialogue went something like this:
Friend: I’m really having a hard time with...(describes her problem to me). I know I shouldn’t be thinking in this way, I’m a therapist, after all. But I can’t help it!
Me: Yo, us therapists are a messy bunch.
Friend: *Laughs* Yes, oh my god, we are!
Me: Ya, that’s totally why we became therapists!
I’m here to tell you that as therapists, you see the best of us when we are in a therapy session with you. Good therapists would be able to assess their own health, and cancel or reschedule sessions with you if they aren’t feeling well (both mentally and physically).
From my experience speaking with other therapists, we all have gone through our own challenges and trauma. And that actually makes us a good therapist.
We’ve gone through the same process of healing that we're supporting you through. And we can empathize with your process, because we understand the pain, the fear, the elation, and every other emotion you may feel.
But of course, no therapist is going to have the exact same experiences as you. And common experience isn’t always the defining factor to finding the best therapist to help you reach your therapy goals.
Which is why when people are in the process of selecting a therapist, I always recommend for them to go with their gut…and see whether they feel that the therapist understands them, and if they feel that the therapist can help them.
And I’m sharing this with you, because I want you to know that it is absolutely ok to be messy during your therapy sessions. I have many clients who struggle with showing vulnerability, or taking on the mantra of “saving face.” And it's ok to peel the layers off that.
So know that your therapist is probably a total mess when they see their own therapist. And that’s a good thing, because we are doing our own healing work. We walk-the-walk, so we can talk-the-talk with you.
So when you show up to your session messy and vulnerable, we are in the total state of empathizing with you. We relate to that. And we are totally game to support you through it.
So embrace the process. We’re here for you.
As always, thanks for tuning in. If you found this helpful, get my free Asian Survival Guide.
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Therapy for Asians
MSW, RSW | he/him
I help Asians go from feeling trapped to becoming self-liberated.