In an industry that advertises itself on confidentiality and client care, it is not uncommon for a professional to be asked if he or she goes to therapy. Such a question can be deflected by claiming that they don’t go to therapy. Therapists do not go to therapy in order to diagnose clients, treat them, counsel them, give them advice or give psychotherapy. They don’t do any of those things. They work with clients in order to help them make sense out of their suffering. A therapist does not treat his or her patients as if they were medical patients needing actologists or psychiatrists; rather, the therapist seeks out his or her patients’ needs and addresses them as they exist, as deeply and responsibly as they can be.
This is the heart of the matter: Therapists do not go to therapy to diagnose patients, prescribe drugs or engage in invasive procedures. The work of the therapist is to assist his or her clients in exploring their painful experiences and coming to terms with them. To do that, a therapist must know how his or her clients behave, what causes those reactions, how those reactions affect the client’s interpersonal relationships at home, at school, in the workplace, etc., and how to deal with these reactions in those environments. The truth is that we all have ordinary personal lives and that these lives may be complex and problematic in certain ways. We all also have private, internal battles that need to be addressed; sometimes these battles manifest themselves in unhealthy ways and sometimes in ways that are less than healthy.
A good therapist helps his or her clients learn how to live with and manage those conflicts. This is called “therapeutic release” and it is a core skill in the practice of mental health lawshow details. In essence, therapeutic release is about helping clients understand who they are and allowing them the freedom to set boundaries and manage their identities in meaningful ways. It is a skill that can help clients learn how to live and work successfully with ongoing conflicts that may define their lives. That is something that mental health lawshow details teach.
Another aspect of a therapist’s job is to help their clients overcome their deeper struggles. The practice of psychotherapy is premised on the notion that human beings are deeply connected and that the root of many problems may lie in unresolved connections to other human beings, to their emotions, to their spiritual journeys, to their bodies, and to their psychology. When a client has been effectively helped to work through their inner connections, their psychotherapy sessions have served their purposes. However, if a therapist only facilitates his or her client’s experiences, the potential for having a beneficial experience is lost.
The practice of mental health law shows that there are times when mental illness can be prevented and when therapy sometimes need to be added to a patient’s regimen. That is not to say that therapists can never be helpful to clients with mental illnesses; after all, therapists need to know how to assess the mental health needs of their clients so that they can design treatment plans that will address those needs. Nevertheless, therapists who do not incorporate personal psychotherapy as part of their practice risk engaging in practice that does not address the particular needs of their clients.
Psychotherapy and mental health professionals have very different conceptions of what it means to be a therapist. For instance, psychologists think of themselves as being “healers” while mental health professionals think of themselves as “counselors.” What is the distinction? Basically, therapists are meant to help heal the client through cognitive-behavioral methods. Counselors, on the other hand, counsel their clients according to a set of guidelines, but the emphasis is on instructing them rather than healing them. While some mental health professionals believe that therapists and counselors can help their patients with mental illnesses, others believe that the two professions should simply be distinguished from one another.
If you are interested in accessing a free preview of the upcoming book by Karen Smithson, You Can Heal Your Life – What Every Psychologist Should Know About Psychotherapy, you may visit the website below:
When you access the book, you will find out that therapists and counselors do not differ too much when it comes to how they view the work they do. According to Smithson, psychologists tend to think that they should use force (i.e. cognitive behavioral therapy) in order to help their patients. According to Smithson, psychotherapists, on the other hand, believe that there are much more effective ways for them to help their patients without using force (i.e. cognitive behavioral therapy).