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My Blog

January 2014

On Being a Client in Counselling & Psychotherapy

I have been reflecting on this situation for a few days and recalling my own experience on beginning therapy over 4 years ago. As a trainee psychotherapist part of the course requirement was to complete 4 years of psychotherapy as a client.

I started to look for a Transactional Analyst who worked nearby and found the closest to be 45 minutes away. I had no idea where to find her, despite a map, but set off in plenty of time, feeling nervous, this was to be the start of a long relationship.

I had completed an induction form with questions about myself and what I wanted from therapy and how I might sabotage myself from getting what I needed from therapy.

My therapist was good at putting me at ease initially and going through the contract of how she worked, how long the sessions were, her cancellation policy, the business contract, her fees and arrangements for our 1 hour sessions weekly.

At first I wondered what on earth I would find to say about myself for 60 minutes and thinking about what I might be revealing about myself. My therapist could put me at ease but at the same time encourage me to look at my thinking patterns, my life script and early decisions I had made as a child and how this had influenced my life. She developed my self-awareness around my ego states and my reflective abilities about my thoughts, feeling and subsequent behaviours.

There's no doubt that my therapy is an intense experience and a voyage of discovery into my past, which sometimes has been hard and painful. There' s no doubt I am changed by the process and the relationship we shared for over 4 years.

There were times when I would rather be anywhere else than in the therapy room. Usually there was a good reason for this feeling, when stuff coming up from the subconscious was being met with resistance outside my consciousness.

I do understand how anxious clients get before the 1st session, and even later on, and how much hard work its is to slog on through. Therapy is not an easy process, but then changing and developing awareness of ones self deserves the attention and effort involved.
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