Recently, I shared a post on Instagram and Facebook about how therapists are imperfect humans too. It seemed to resonate with a lot of people so I thought I would add it here as well.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. And if you know anyone who might benefit from this reminder, please share...
Thanks for reading.
In my training last weekend, I got to confront some of my work-in-progress-ness. It felt like a good a time to share this reminder.
Your therapist is not perfect. She is human.
Your therapist has a past.
This past may include trauma.
It definitely includes suffering. It definitely includes heartbreak, fear, self-doubt, confusion, loneliness, shame, sadness, and anxiety.
How do I know? Because all humans feel these things.
Your therapist also has a present, which may include any or all of the above.
If she isn't sharing her struggles with you, it isn't because her life is perfect. It's because it's her responsibility to put aside her needs when she's in the therapist chair so that she can focus on yours.
It's her job to attend to her well-being so that her emotions don't spill out into the therapy room in ways that are harmful.
It's her job to get her needs met--by herself, by friends and family, by her therapist.
While there may be times she tells you something about her own life, (ideally) this is only being done with great care and intention, based on a belief that sharing that particular thing will help you in some way. She may hope it will help you feel less alone or broken, more understood or hopeful.
But regardless of whether you know anything about what challenges your therapist had, or is having, I assure you this:
She has suffered.
She has stumbled.
She has felt lost.
Projecting perfection onto her will only leave you feeling like something is wrong with you.
If mastering life were a prerequisite for the job, there would be no therapists.
She may be further along a road that you're on. But she's still on the road.
It isn't your responsibility to attend to your therapist's needs and emotions. So you may never know they exist.
But that doesn't mean she doesn't have any.
A therapist is just a human playing the role of a therapist.
Outside the therapy office, she struggles too. She feels afraid.
She feels unsure. She is not always her best self.
She does not have it all figured out.
Your therapist is not perfect.
fara tucker, lcsw
therapist~consultant~teacher in Portland, Oregon