When you go to counseling, your therapist is mandated to keep what you talk about confidential. So people sit on our couches and tell us their deepest, darkest secrets. They tell us the most embarrassing things they don’t want anyone else to know about. I’ve heard stories about incest, abuse, affairs, and illegitimate love children nobody knows about.
Because you tell us your deepest ,darkest secrets, we often hear comments from you like “You must think we’re really broken” or “you must think I’m crazy” or something of the like. Even though we’re therapists and we keep what you tell us confidential, it’s normal for people to worry about what we really think. Sometimes people worry about it so much that they even lie to us about how many drinks they’ve really had or coincidentally forget to tell us about how bad fights really get when they argue. Shocking, I know.
I get it. Even though what you tell us is confidential, we therapists are still people and we still have personal beliefs and values. Because of that, it’s natural for you to wonder what we really think. And even though you know that we therapist can’t be biased, you can’t help but wonder if we’re judging you deep down inside. So let me tell you what we therapist really think when you tell us that you’ve had another affair or that you lost your job again or that your fights get a lot worse than you let on.
We think you’re human. And we think that the ones who don’t tell us the ugly stuff are being fake.
We Think You’re Human
Humans aren’t perfect. You just have to turn on the news or listen to the table behind you next time you go to a restaurant for proof of that. And as a human you’re certainly not perfect, either. You’re a part of the human race and it’s imperfect existence. We think you’re a person trying to make it in the world and you have your challenges the same as everyone else. We think you’re great for acknowledging your imperfections. In fact, it’s the ones who think they don’t have problems who scare us.
We Think You’re Courageous
I always say that it’s a shame that counseling is confidential. Because if you’ve got the guts to go to counseling, you should get a t-shirt for it. In counseling, we explore every nook and cranny of yourself. We examine dark corners of yourself you didn’t even know existed. You come face-to-face with demons you’ve been avoiding for years. You take a good, honest look at yourself – warts and all. Not everyone has what it takes to do this. But you’re doing it. And we think you’re awesome for it.
We Think You’re Vulnerable
I’ve said it a hundred times before: nobody really wants to see a counselor. So when you do come in, we recognize it’s not easy. We know talking to a stranger about your problems can be embarrassing. And we never take that for granted. We try to be warm and safe. We want you to be comfortable so you can tell us about those demons you’ve been facing. We try to be sensitive and let you go at your own pace without being pushy or overbearing.
We Think You’re Flawed
Of course you’re flawed. Who isn’t? That’s why you’re coming to see a therapist. So don’t be surprised if we call you on the carpet sometimes. We could lie to you and tell you how wonderful you are all the time and that it’s everyone else’s fault but who is that really helping? We help you see your flaws that have been causing you problems, we help you examine where they come from, and we help you develop the tools to work through them. And we think you’re a good person for having the heart to stick it through.
We Think You’re a Better Person than Most
Like I said before, it’s tough to see a counselor and examine the dark corners of yourself. It takes courage to face your demons you’ve been avoiding for so long. It takes heart to want to be a better person. It takes intelligence to find solutions to the challenges you’ve been facing. And it takes one hell of a person to have all of these. If you have all these traits (enough to come sit on our couch) we think you’re better than most.