Have you ever wanted to ask your therapist something, but were afraid to do so? Well, have no more fear. Over the next couple of blogs, I will answer some of these questions and get input from some of my colleagues, so you can finally have the answers!
Do you think about our sessions during the week?
Consensus: We all reported some type of preparation before session. We may gather a worksheet or some other tool that we may think is helpful. A couple therapists also mentioned when reading something that reminds us of our sessions, we may make a note to bring it up when we see you next.
Do you judge your clients on how “crazy” they are and am I “crazy”?
Consensus: In general, “crazy” is a relative term. We all agreed that we try not to judge our clients. I think everyone would be surprised by what we have heard in the privacy of the counseling office. After doing this for 15 years, I am rarely surprised by anything I hear in the office, but I do not think of people as crazy. Mostly there are crazy situations that we find ourselves in, that we need help navigating. If you are worried that your therapist thinks you are “crazy,” then I would recommend you ask him/her about it! Now, what we do have to do, is diagnose when necessary. If you have a mental illness, that does not mean you are crazy, you just have an illness that you must treat, just like if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Do you talk to other people about our sessions?
Consensus: all Interns must have supervisors that they discuss their cases with, so that is an expectation. Outside of supervision, we sometimes may bounce an idea off of a colleague to get another perspective. This is the same kind of thing you see doctors do as well. No names or identifying characteristics are ever given. As professionals, we are bound by HIPAA.
How do you decide what we will do/talk about in each session?
Consensus: in our practice, it appears that most of the therapists will have an idea of what they may want to talk about based on your treatment plan goals and what you have been working on, however, all of us are willing to let you lead the session if there is something you want to work on. There have been many times where we did not do what I had planned in session because something else had come up that was more important to address.
What should I do if I ever see you in public?
Consensus: Remember that HIPAA thing we talked about? Yeah, that keeps us from talking to you first. Now, if you would like to come up to us, then of course we will be nice to you and not give out any information about how we know you, especially if you are with other people.
Stay tuned for Part Two when we answer more questions! We’d love to hear your input. Do you have any questions you’d want to ask your therapist? Drop them below; maybe they will be featured!