Can you be friends with your therapist? It is often awkward in the beginning to have a relationship with a psychotherapist. It’s even more awkward when you are not sure that you and your therapist are on the same wavelength. Trust, openness, and empathy are the three ingredients that make up a good therapeutic relationship. If you can identify these ingredients and maintain them in your relationship with a therapist then you can be friends.
You need to have a certain amount of trust in a relationship for it to thrive. Your therapist cannot be trusted outright. He or she must be trusted to be honest and provide accurate information. When you are friends with your therapist you can have conversations about difficult issues in your life without worrying about being accused of manipulation or of acting out of character. Your conversations will also be more authentic because they won’t feel like they are conducted behind your back.
Trust is paramount because it allows you to feel comfortable revealing very personal issues. Your therapist is bound to know everything about your history and your present situation. When you are in therapy you need to be open and honest with him or her. The more open you are, the easier it will be for you to be friends.
Enthusiasm is important because your therapist needs to feel like he or she is making progress and can offer encouragement. There is no greater encouragement for a person than to hear that he or she is making progress in treating his or her illness. Your therapist may give you pointers or recommendations that will help you to relax or manage your symptoms. It’s important for you to listen to them because what they are saying may help you to relax and make coping with your illness easier.
Friendship is also important because you will feel more confident when you have an open and honest relationship with someone who cares about you. Sometimes you feel alone and you may associate therapy with loneliness but there is no reason to feel this way. You can remain open and honest with your therapist during sessions so that you can discuss feelings and work through your difficulties.
Communication is key between you and your therapist. This helps you to stay calm and make productive conversation. You can learn how to communicate with your illness without being too detached or controlling. When you are close and discussing your feelings your therapist can better help you.
Sometimes you and your therapist just do not get along. This is perfectly normal and you should not assume that things will always be smooth sailing. Sometimes your therapist can come across as pushy or intrusive which can put you off. You do not want to feel like your therapist is trying to force changes in you. If you do not want to be friends with your therapist you should find a new one who is going to listen to your needs and help you gain control of your illness.
When you are working through your illness with a trained therapist you will see a lot of good results. You will begin to feel better about yourself and your illness and you may even start to feel closer to your family and friends. It can be hard to make friends when you are sick but with the right support and therapy you can do it. You may even find that you begin to share ideas with other people who are also going through the same thing.