5 thoughts on “For Clinicians, The Very Best That We Can Offer to Clients is Ourselves

  • September 15, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I enjoyed this post. We therapists are indoctrinated to an approach that doesn’t seem to fit well with the well known and established practice wisdom that regardless of technical approach, it is the power of the therapeutic relationship that accounts for the most positive experience for the client. If it’s to be a genuine relationship then the client likely needs to feel some real sense of knowing the therapist as a person.

    • September 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, Russ – I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post! The therapeutic relationship is so often overlooked in it’s importance, buoyed by the (false!) notion that one might switch therapists as easily as changing their shoes. I hope to see a growing trend of therapists bringing more of themselves into the room as the field continues to evolve.

  • September 21, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I found this article so refreshing. I sometimes share snippets of my personal story with clients when I feel that clarification about my personal knowledge base will ease my clients needs, particularly around stigmatised topics.
    I believe that disclosing about my lived experience in a small way at appropriate times, encourages my clients to open up with a sense of freedom that was not present when I stuck to the rules in my earlier days.
    Adding an element of peer support into the therapeutic process, changes the dynamic creating a more neutral, safe and congruent relationship and different perspectives of understanding.

  • September 22, 2019 at 1:15 am

    I strongly relate to this article. In training we were taught to “park our own issues outside of the room” and I subsequently felt in denial of myself when Carl Rogers spoke of transparency, genuineness and congruence. With experience I think I’ve relaxed more and sat more comfortably with myself. Clients trigger emotions and memories within the therapist and on occasion to reveal these brings true humanity to the relationship. A client newly diagnosed with cancer said they were really helped that I shared my own cancer survival. I felt I had committed a small crime in revealing this but as my supervisor confirmed I was not sharing this for me but sharing it to support the client, which it has. The working relationship with this client is stronger and I feel more honest as a therapist

  • September 25, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    This is particularly pertinent for those of us who are recovering alcoholics and addicts. It’s a plus and a minus and is always an issue in addiction treatment by nature. It may be a critical issue in this forum of how to work with addicts and alcoholics. It’s more than personal choice..it is inherent in the treatment strategy.


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