Why Do Therapists Cry?

Why do therapists cry? Therapists who have recently suffered life events or major life stressors can quickly become emotionally distressed and might go back to work soon after and find themselves weeping while counseling patients who’ve had similar encounters. Therapists with an empathic nature are often sensitive to emotional distress in clients and know how to best help them. Therapy can last from one therapy session to many months or years. However, the emotional toll on the therapist is often greater because during this time, the client is shut out from seeking companionship and solace in regular activities that can help him or her overcome pain, fear or stress resulting from the trauma.

There are times when a client needs immediate assistance. If a client cannot attend scheduled counseling sessions, therapists will often step in and provide counseling on short notice. In some instances, a client will be referred to another therapist or family member for additional guidance in the initial treatment plan. As stated before, therapy does not occur over night. It is often a gradual process and can take weeks, months or sometimes years before a therapist is able to confidently predict that a change is happening.

A good therapist wants his or her patients to feel good. They want their patients to understand their feelings. Sometimes it takes more than verbal communication for clients to convey how they truly feel. If they don’t feel like talking about the trauma they have experienced, they might choose to keep their emotions inside. This is not healthy. In order for a client to feel better, he or she must be able to talk about their feelings.

Therapists cry because they have no other choice. The client has come to them wanting help to deal with his or her current feelings and they are compelled to listen. No matter how hard the therapist tries to avoid the situation that triggers the crying, the client will cry. This often brings relief and enables the therapist to begin to work on the underlying issues that are causing the crying.

Crying is common for therapists because they do care. Some clients actually care so much that they will let go of their defenses in order to be able to open up and express their emotions. Unfortunately, some do not realize that they are allowing themselves to say and/or do things that will hurt them. This is why therapists cry. It allows them to remove the emotional defense mechanism of “I’m too sensitive.”

When I ask people why do therapists ever cry, the responses range from “because that is just the way people are,” to “because it lets them know they are loved.” There is really no right answer. What is important is for the client to understand why they are crying and what they hope to gain from the therapy sessions. Knowing why you are crying is a crucial step toward learning how to manage your crying during therapy sessions.

If the therapist actually cares, then the tears are an indication that they have achieved a high level of emotional satisfaction and are releasing feelings they have long since been holding back. Of course, there are also times when therapists cry to prevent themselves from feeling too guilty about what happened or because they are embarrassed about crying. In my clinical experience, it is rare for therapists to cry in support of their clients during painful therapy sessions. Usually, if the client starts crying in support of the therapist during these sessions, the therapist quickly puts them in a brief break, returns to the session, and resumes discussing the clients’ issues with no further interruptions.

Understanding why do therapists cry? It can be confusing at times to try to decipher our own emotional state and determine why we are crying. However, with therapy, you will learn how to manage your feelings and release negative feelings instead of covering them up with your tears. Therapy helps you learn how to better express your feelings so you don’t keep them inside and numb them. Learning to control your emotions helps you achieve inner peace so you can finally start experiencing your life to its fullest.