5 secrets about excellent psychotherapists
Timing is everything and meeting the right professional at the right time can be life-saving. I'm sure you've been a client to someone. Your dentist, coach, healer, doctor, massage therapist? Have you been a glowing client? Have you got what you truly needed?
I am very passionate about what I do. Stretching boundaries of traditional psychotherapy, fusing it with Energy Psychology and spiritual work is my love and #obsession. I see my work as skill, art, and science. There is always growth, never perfection, and no shortcuts for sure. In 20+ years of study, work and training, I've witnessed many good things happen:
Years of traumatic anxiety and anguish shifting melting into strength, trust.
Quitting self-destructive behaviours, like drugs.
Not afraid to fly anymore, visit the dentist.
Stop binge eating.
Starting to enjoy public speaking.
Ending relationship with a narcissistic partner.
Writing the book.
Get peaceful with MS.
Turning despair into purpose.
Transforming self-hate into radiating love.
When a client grows, everything glows I think, and everything feel so fine then. Naturally, I genuinely believe in positive change, love and new opportunities. I mean, I cannot imagine doing my work without this. I honestly feel every breath is a reason to be grateful. Life is full of possibilities. However sometimes it also plainly sucks. There is light, yet there is darkness. It's natural. It's how it is.
So, besides good, in all those years of learning, studies, teachings and private practice, I also encountered living nightmares. Observed or heard of situations that shouldn't have happened in therapy world. Like:
Words were spoken, that cannot be taken back.
Serious fucking boundary issues.
I felt emotional blindness on my own skin... Ugly stuff. It's human to turn around and try to deny all this. Yet when something goes really wrong and affects people profoundly, it cannot be just forgiven and forgotten. It should be transformed. Because we can turn bitterness and ugliness into helpful, as we can shift fear to love. So out of all nightmarish experiences and many good ones, I've picked up some basics about what's good to know about psychotherapists, the good ones. Because in general, I think it's imperative who you pick up and allow to be your influencer.
As Bruce Lipton advocates: "It's the environment, stupid."
So, it is worth to be conscious, deliberate and really weight up who will become: your spiritual teacher,your boss,your key employee,your lover,your trusted friend,your doctor,your coach,your psychotherapist.
So, here are 5 essential attitudes that I've observed in meeting various excellent psychotherapists over the years and some not so professional ones. As you'll see, I don't talk about their education knowledge, scientific degrees, multiple training. I take this for granted.
Basic quality psychotherapist have are reflected in their relationships with clients or trainees, and this is my personal, 100% biased top choice.
1. Excellent therapists are approachable, natural and simple
Now you know. There is no Santa and therapists are human beings. They are not coming from celestial realms or some extraterrestrial space. They deserve no idealization. In their private lives, they've probably experienced challenging life stories, and that pushed them into healing their wounds, besides making them super sensible and very conscious about how other people feel and do.
In private lives they:
feel, hear, see, think, laugh, cry, have sex, party, rage, use toilets, F words, straight, bi- or homosexual / else, health and wellness issues In their private lives, they experience - Emotional challenges, financial worries, family conflicts, rebellious kids or no kids, spiritual quests.
They face losses, craziness, health issues. They face death. They are mortal, and they know it. That all makes them approachable, natural and straightforward. Which you can feel it, see it and smell it. There is no fuss, no ignorance, no drama or arrogance, no missed appointments, no weird delays in answering emails, no harsh words with or without apologising, blaming, bypassing responsibility or shit like that.
With a good therapist, you have a certain feeling of comfort, openness, lightness, safety.
And that all is stable, today and tomorrow.
Do you know why?
2. Excellent therapists truly care
Because it all has to do with Love. It has to do with psychotherapist's heart and capacity to Love. Excellent therapists truly care. They like human beings in general. They show respect and are humble in general attitude toward life. This doesn't mean they need to be vegans. Or social activists. Or never yell or rage about some stuff. It means they are helpful to you, and it has nothing to do with you paying them for their time and skill.
They would be helpful to you even if you'd be stranger on the plane to Juneau, Alaska.
From the way they talk and walk and comment about people and the world in general, you can see they are loving and caring in general.
You can feel it, see it and smell it.
3. Excellent therapist exercise excellent boundaries
Boundaries equals safety. Safety is crucial for any growth to happen.
Proper energetic boundaries are not a woo-woo concept. In this vast, big world, full of crazy possibilities, proper boundaries are necessary more than ever. Having proper boundaries means you are staying within your power, connected to yourself and Spirit. That helps you to communicate with other people in as much as realistic way as possible. There is a low level of projection of your images onto them, and you can sense people and world as they are as much as possible.
For psychotherapists to be in this state, they need to be healed themselves to a good degree, I think. Because psychotherapists can take clients only as far as they made it. Excellent ones, they've done enough personal work. They have been clients themselves, a majority of past wounds and traumas being cleared, healed. This is why great psychotherapists can be young sometimes. How they work, it is only to a certain degree connected with life experiences. Mostly it has to do with how deeply they suffered and how did they make their way out of it.
Best psychotherapists have often been wounded healers. They paid their dues and firstly, they do no harm. Their extended inner work is the only real protection possible against most dreadful and shadow parts of psychotherapist's job - emotional, financial, sexual abuses within psychotherapy context.
Psychotherapy work is sacred.
Clients should always be protected, and psychotherapist should be constantly aware of the power position they have. They are responsible for boundaries on a different level than the client is, and that's it.
No sex, no love affairs, no business, no double roles with clients. They are not there to charm you, seduce you. And they don't need groupies or any other kind of adoration. Perhaps you really really like your therapist, but you know he is ok with not liking him at all.
With good psychotherapist, you feel there are boundaries. They are kind, yet say no! and you can count on it. They have private lives, and of course, they share their humanity with you. But talking about it never becomes a topic in your therapy hour. Above all, you can freely say what you feel and observe, and it is encouraged to do it, always. They can take it because they feel safe.
They are friendly, alive, yet humble.
And, they know how to allow relationships to start and end. So therapy is usually not a never-ending story. They enable clients to go.
4. They are taking good self-care
Do you have a therapist that seems to be available 24/7? No getaways, no vacation ever? This one is simple to notice. As are other characteristics in this category: some of them you can literally see and smell. I'm not talking about Miss America here. Or designer clothes, anyone? It's simple. Like how they look, posture, chronic fatigue, tidiness. How they smell? How therapy room smells?
Here, I'm assuming therapist's necessary vitality, the level of Qi. His overall energetic makeup, that is directly connected with how he or she is taking care for his body and mind and Soul.
Psychotherapy is a very demanding profession.
We all need time for ourselves, and in helping profession, there is a significant need for this! Periods of rest and privacy are crucial for psychotherapists to rejuvenate, connect with themselves and grow.
Your psychotherapist cannot give time, attention and Love if he or she is not full.
And, it should go without saying, but experience denotes that it does require a hard-core mention: no addictions, please.
5. Excellent therapists practices tax ethics
Client, soft-spoken: "Mrs. Psychotherapist, can we do it without bill? You know, this part (showing on VAT) is just my cost."
One of the reasons many people come to therapy is they don't feel connected. They lack the feeling of belonging to themselves and Spirit, their families, nature, and community. They don't know that everything is connected to everything else.
I respect and understand they don't know why it is crucial to pay taxes in general. It's part of their inner dynamic, and part of the deeper perception of Life, belonging to this Life.
Yet, I have difficulties understanding my colleges enabling this.
I think psychotherapist that are making it possible - no bills, no taxes, no VAT - exhibit the same problem as their clients do. Lack of connection and awareness that we are in all this together.
I have a story for you, embodying all about this:
"It is a day after Christmas. I am in an ambulance. I am on ER drive to the nearest hospital. My daughter is suffering anaphylaxis. It is heartbreaking, traumatic. I am trembling, observing technicians and doctor taking care for my precious little child. The fear of losing her is mixing with immense feeling of gratefulness inside of me. For them being them. Takin care for my kid. Shooting adrenalin, checking vital signs... I trust them them my daughter's life."
Some people don't get it, I think: we have a public financial system and we pay taxes for this level of our lives also. We pay for schools, roads, railways, public health system. Many people would agree that governments mostly, often full of raw power driven people, with questionable motives.Yet some things - some things.... they function, and they do only because we all make it possible and when we all care.
We are in all this together.
In a Nutshell
Excellent psychotherapists are approachable, natural and straightforward. They are not perfect, and they know it. They respect and care, exhibit a high level of responsibility and ethics. No addictions, no sex or flirts, no business with clients - all this, hopefully, goes without saying.
** Tina Bozic is a straight-edge lady in her 40's - a psychotherapist, psychologist, and energy worker. With her husband, their daughters and Bowie the cat she is living in Slovenia, serving clients worldwide. She's helping women to get radically empowered, radically loved. You too can subscribe to her e-newsletters by clicking right here.