The thought of helping people. Since childhood I would always wonder why people behave the way they do and that led me to study psychology in the 1st place. It really makes me happy if I can help someone ease their pain.
Understanding different behavioural patterns and seeing how different things or sometimes even similar things affect people differently. Getting to learn so much about people as well yourself. The best part is being able to create mental health awareness and safe space for people where they can be themselves. Also the learning never stops, each client is different and what works for them is different. I love the entire process right from researching and reading to using that knowledge.
Most of the clients have this feeling of hopelessness or that something is wrong with them. I just want them to know there is nothing wrong with them. We all struggle from time to time and that there is still hope. Along with that I want them to feel heard and validated. Also that they are not alone in this and help is available.
Most clients dont seek therapy because they are completely unaware of the process. So I would explain them the process of counseling and how it works. I would also explain my role as a counselor and their role as a client in the therapeutic relationship. And one last thing I would tell them is starting therapy may seem difficult but it just gets easier after that. I would also give them information about my qualifications and the approach that i use and ask if they have any questions that they would like me to answer.
I would wish to take a collaborative approach with the client. Be aware that the client knows best and not try to portray that I know the client better. It would be a process where we both work towards the goals that the client wants to achieve through the process of therapy. I would ask the client what do they want to work on and be open if the goals change mid therapy. Also if there are multiple goals then what is the goal that they would like to start with. I generally allow the clients to lead the sessions. One thing that I would want to do is normalize seeking therapy and help.
For most people they just want to be heard without someone interrupting them or providing opinions and solutions. Often they know what the solution is and they just want to be seen or heard. One another that I have learnt is if I expect that the client’s patterns or behaviors will change because of therapy then it will only lead to me getting frustrated. My job is not to fix the client; one because there is nothing wrong with them and 2 I just have to guide them through wherein they can see their problems and come up with what works best for them. Therapy is not a quick fix but a process. It is more about empowering the client to cope with their situation and not just give easy fixes. Also you dont make decisions for your client and it is especially true when it comes to relationship management. If the person should stay with their partner or not, whether they are compatible or not, it is their decision and choice and you have to give them time to get there. You can just ask questions and help them get clarity of what they want.
I use a more collaborative approach wherein the client and I together work on resolving the issue. I use an eclectic approach meaning a combination of different types of therapies according to the issues of the client. And also the comfort of the client. Some clients prefer more homework worksheets or activity based sessions whereas some prefer more insight- oriented approach. All of this is discussed with the client and necessary changes are made based on the feedback. I identify as an affirmative therapist meaning I do not discriminate or judge clients based on their gender, identity, race, class or sex. I accept people as they are.
I inform the client that I am an affirmative therapist and have also included same in the consent form. During the 1st phone call or chat with the client I make sure to ask the client how they would like me to address them and what pronouns should I use when talking to them. All the clients have a right to mental health access and regardless of their sex and gender identity. I try to stay as informed as possible on the various movements happening and the issues that the clients may face. My skills or techniques remain the same for all the clients and I am open to any feedback that they might have.
The Quote Jill Resonates With
The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.
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