Do therapists go to therapy?
Do therapists go to therapy?
Yes, therapists do indeed go for therapy. It is not only completely normal but also important for therapists to go for personal therapy. Reasons why therapists may need therapy are:
- Difficult clients
- Personal life
- Professional isolation
- Ethical issues
- Work related stress
And more! We will discuss these factors in detail further in this article.
In this brief blog we will discuss why therapists should go to therapy?, the benefits of therapists going for therapy, all the while normalising the process of getting help, regardless of your profession.
Why do therapists need therapy?
Therapists have a difficult job. Every day, when their clients disclose their problems, they hear about unpleasant, often terrible situations. They, too, have personal issues and issues that they’d like to get through.
However, you could ask if therapists just know how to handle their clients’ problems because of their education. It is commonly stated that counselling benefits everyone, but what about therapists?
Just though therapists are trained doesn’t mean they don’t require assistance from time to time. Indeed, the nature of their work puts them at a higher risk of experiencing emotional discomfort. To put it another way, therapists require just as much — if not more — assistance than the typical individual.
There are many reasons why a therapist may need therapy.
Some clients at times show signs of interpersonal difficulty which can be rather strenuous for both client and therapist. Compared to jobs where the client is the customer, such as at a deli counter for example, therapists cannot just end relationships because they are unable to agree on something or find behavior too difficult to cope with.
Especially at the beginning of the therapeutic process, there are often clear guidelines about how boundaries should be implemented in order to avoid aggravating either party involved over time because if criteria are not met within specific guidelines, one has no choice but to continue working despite any interpersonal difficulties that may arise.
Working with patients is demanding. Therapists must remain professional 24/7. If they get sick, hurt, or experience any kind of turmoil in their personal lives, they usually need to handle these issues themselves and not burden the people they are supposed to be helping to stand up on their own two feet (or figure out how to get them help).
It’s an awkward position to be in, but everyone needs to understand that this is how it has to be if someone is going to show emotional stability when working with patients – whether it’s through therapy or counseling sessions.
Many therapists tend to spend most of their time working alone, which often leads to isolation. However, they often keep this stress to themselves since they understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality with their patients. Furthermore, they sometimes feel discouraged because of the workload they have on their shoulders – especially when they are in private practices and tend to be isolated at work without the help of other workers around them.
Therapists are constantly questioning how much to divulge each client’s personal information, especially when it might affect another party involved in their care. Additionally therapists must often decide amongst multiple bad outcomes for the benefit of their clients.
For example, if a patient informs you that he or she plans on harming someone else, do you turn them in? The law requires far more than choosing the lesser evil though as therapists are sometimes forced to choose between what is best for their client even if it may hurt another unrelated party.
Work related stress
Because therapy is confidential, a therapist cannot reveal too many specifics to their partner about the often-sensitive material they hear in session. Their work can be emotionally draining, so suffice it to say that at times they might need to emotionally unload to someone after a particularly rough day.
A handful of things they can do are let their partner know they’ve had a difficult day, give their partner an outline of what topics the patient said was troubling them earlier and leave it at that for now. But if all else fails, not all therapists receive supervision.
Therein lies the issue: therapists cannot confide in their spouses or friends as easily as others in some other jobs can, so the heaviness of the day lingers even after they’ve gone home.
Some other reasons for why therapists benefit from therapy are:
- Therapists benefit greatly from ongoing therapy not only when they are experiencing problems in their personal lives, just like anyone might, but they may need it in order to prevent professional burnout or “compassion fatigue.”
- Because of the nature of some therapeutic work, some therapists may experience vicarious or secondary traumatization as a result of working with clients who have experienced trauma or abuse. They may benefit from speaking with another professional about how to deal with this traumatization so that it does not prevent them from continuing to do their work.
- People who go into the helping professions can benefit from working with therapists to assess their self-care strategies, their vulnerabilities to burnout or addiction, and to ensure that they have access to the same type of compassion, unconditional positive regard, and assistance in developing effective coping strategies that their clients receive from them.
One of the rare professions where your own self-awareness is one of the most significant instruments at your disposal is therapy.
Having access to therapy helps you to examine your own personal concerns in a secure environment, allowing you to become aware of some of your “blind spots,” “hot buttons,” and issues that, if not addressed, may become troublesome once you’re a therapist.
Benefits of counselling for therapists
Given these challenges, it’s easy to understand why therapists may also want therapy. Although they might think they’re qualified enough to manage on their own, everyone can benefit from a neutral place where one can be listened to and get support about personal psychological issues without having to second-guess that person’s sympathies or motives because this type of environment is set up so provide the right conditions for an exchange of ideas between two people in order to find understanding or coping with mental health concerns.
- Getting Support
Therapists must work in isolation which is stressful enough in itself. We think it’s great that there are advertisements on TV to encourage people to seek help for themselves or their loved ones with mental issues.
If you need someone with experience in dealing with similar problems, it’s good if they understand the demands of the job. It may be helpful to seek advice from someone who has your back; someone who understands what you’re going through.
- Vent out
Because therapists stay so tightly wound at work, they need a space and time to vent and deal with personal issues.
Often the therapeutic process is more enriching and rewarding for those giving as well as those receiving the treatment because it allows them to focus some of their energies on themselves as well as helping someone else unpack his or her baggage. To some extent, self-care is often an afterthought even though it should never be ignored.
- To bring them back to themselves
Sometimes therapists spend so much time thinking about other people’s problems that they lack the mental energy or motivation to examine their own.
Not only is thinking about other people’s problems exhausting, it can make you feel like you’re neglecting your own needs and sometimes trying to manage other peoples’ issues can make them worse! Having someone neutral can help therapists maintain good insight and self-care.
- Educational purposes
Specific training programmes within a subject may necessitate it, and many programmes strongly advise their students to seek personal counselling. Many organisations actively promote it by providing therapist recommendations, low-cost treatment, time off from training to attend therapy, and so forth.
Carl Jung suggested that “a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient” (Plata, 2018).
In a process known as supervision, therapists seek out peers and senior colleagues in the profession to reflect on their approach to situations while maintaining anonymity. They also have intense therapy sessions with different therapists to talk about personal difficulties. All of these sessions, like any other counselling session between a client and a psychotherapist, are for a fee.