Response to Poll
There was a request from one of our readers re. the poll, expressing an interest in posts on several topics. One was for posts about the patient-therapist relationship. While I am holding that in mind for future writing, I just want to mention that many of the posts here do say a little about this; here are 2 examples.
A Healing Relationship
The Imperfect Therapist
For now, I will offer this: My patients mean a lot to me. I learn so much about their personal lives and their own interior experience in the course of therapy. As I mentioned in one post, paying the level of attention that I do to a patient leads to involvement which leads to caring. At the same time, I must maintain certain constraints. A professional demeanor is expected and deserved by a client who comes for therapy. The frame of the therapy provides a sense of safety and a certain predictability which allows the therapy patient to freely express themselves. Do I think about them outside of the therapy sessions? Of course! Do I worry sometimes? Yes. Does their new learning, their insights, their making some movement toward resolution, their accessing a deeper understanding of their concerns matter to me? It does. Am I happy when a client of mine reports an achievement? I am. If a client has to move away in the middle of treatment, do I miss them? Yes, I do.
When they complete a satisfying therapy for themselves and conclude their treatment, however, I may feel a moment of sadness but mostly I am gratified; I am prepared for this and am working the whole time to help them feel more actualized in their own life and to take, eventually, a happy leave from me. So I don't mourn a client leaving under this circumstance, I see it as a success.
I am one therapist. This is how I feel. Each therapist is different as discussed in the posts about selecting your therapist. Some may feel as I do or, similarly. Some may take a different view. I know that some therapists read this blog---maybe they will comment on this part of being a therapist.
What else would you like to know when you wonder about the client therapy relationship?