Serving people from different backgrounds and with different luggage can be a challenge in the daily practice of therapy. Each new context in which we come in contact impacts and transforms us, generating changes. But can the impacts of care on the therapist hinder professional performance?
Good management in therapeutic practice depends, in a way, on the characteristics and intrinsic skills of the therapist himself. Emotions and thoughts felt by the therapist during the sessions can be more difficult to be controlled and described, which is possible to achieve after the analysis of the visits, if necessary, the search for supervision and technical opinions of other professionals.
Depending on the demand, the therapist may find himself confronted between the need for a good professional performance and his personal experience of this experience. When challenged, the therapist may be confronted with the fear of losing the client and his lack of repertoire to deal with the situation presented. In this case, it is possible that the therapist tends to emit behaviors to keep the client and not lose him, in order to guarantee the continuity of the therapeutic process and to calm down in the face of the challenge. But the important thing is that the therapist knows the limits of his own repertoire and knows where there are spaces to be filled with more experience.
The broader repertoire will be the contact with the diversity of genders, sexual orientations, social roles and minorities’ experiences, as it does not take into account only the experience of the majority and seeks to reach as targets those who need space to find their cure and balance. .
Among the main themes that lead to great impacts on the performance of the professional therapist, we find different moral, ethical and religious values, which reveal the structure of rules we follow and how we guide our morality and professional conduct. The therapist does not always feel prepared to temporarily distance himself from his values and principles in order to approach the empathy of looking at the subject attended to in his motivations and preferences, without judgments.
Aversive subjects brought up by the customer can also generate a feeling of having a problem with the customer. It is necessary for the therapist to remember that nothing that happens in the therapeutic setting is about him, but about the client served.
Disrespect is a generally difficult issue to deal with in any area of life, and it may be that experiencing it within the therapeutic setting is also a challenge. Often, disrespect gives rise to or is accompanied by aggressive and inappropriate feelings and behaviors for the situation, with which the therapist needs to use flexibility and flexibility to adapt his / her conduct to the needs of the individual being served.
Interpretation errors can impact the therapist’s conduct, and can bring feelings of frustration and negative thoughts that are competing with the appropriate behaviors for the session. Do not be discouraged when you realize that you made a mistake, try to correct your mistake creatively, so that it is clear to the customer that what matters is the ability to get up again after a mistake. Apologizing does not diminish you as a professional, on the contrary, it shows that you are growing and is an example of self-confidence and balance.
Finally, it is possible that feelings of envy occur in relation to the client’s condition, which can sometimes be experiencing many difficulties but does not see its benefits and privileges, and can be a challenge for the therapist to maintain patience and understanding, without react aggressively or get carried away by lack of control.
Therapist also does therapy and also applies the practices of his session to himself. Self-care and self-knowledge are essential for the therapist to be clear about who is within the therapeutic setting and can, without hurting their authenticity, conduct the therapeutic process without becoming the center of their attention and without neglecting the person who seeks help.
And you, therapist, take care of yourself? Do you know the limitations that can impact your professional performance?
BANACO, R.A. The impact of care on the person of the therapist. Psychological themes. 1993; 1 (2).