What’s something about therapy most people don’t understand?

Most therapists don’t know how to do it.

If you hide behind a professional facade it’s not going to work. If you provide solutions it’s not going to work long term. If you want to affect meaningful change in your clients lives – you must respect autonomy.

Apparently most of you have humanistic client-centred therapy as the core component and you constantly fail to meet any of the conditions defined that makes it work. Read Carl Rogers stuff if you claim to know, so many have not, especially read his critiques of implementation.

If you treat therapy as formulaic or approach it with a stock idea of what you’ll deliver, you are providing the McDonalds of therapy. Short term results for a longer term harm.

If your client says they can’t do something. Your job isn’t to chastise them. It’s to find out the block. If they don’t know. You work to figure that out. You don’t use coercive methodology to get what YOU want. That is some authoritarian bs.

There is good stuff in DBT, CBT and ACT. Trauma informed approaches are the single most important part of being a good therapist. Unconditional positive regard means something, your client comes to release shame, you don’t reinforce it. Bad therapy kills people.

Before offering a tool, or method, or anything, ask if your client wants that. Because if you just ham fist some method in there – there is a massive disconnect between what the client thought the issue was and how they expected it to be handled, and what you did.

Meditation without an awareness of the risks of retraumatization is potentially fatal (speaking from personal experience). It’s not a front line tool. Systemic and social causes of issues need far more consideration.

Stop trying to define human experience in neat categories. Trauma is anything that the person found traumatic. You know trauma when you see it. It doesn’t have to be something defined. I am still traumatised by my first nightmare. I also have clinical PTSD, it’s the same.

It’s an experience or set of experiences that they keep coming back to. It’s unintegrated memory. Some part of the experience hasn’t been processed. It can take a long time to find that stuff out. Your clients can be curious about themselves in their own time too.

Even if they come up with the wildest solution or idea about what caused it, your job is never to correct that. Getting told “no it must be deeper than that” when I finished getting over some stuff made me spend weeks trying to figure out a deeper meaning it’s stuck. Validate.

TW / abuse
Most victims of childhood abuse often don’t know they’ve been abused. I wish more therapists knew that, emotional abuse is as damaging as physical and sexual abuse on life outcomes. This root cause is often not caught.

If you defensively reacted to the stuff I’ve said here or nit picked it. There isn’t really a more glaring way to declare your unsuitability to the role. Legitimately telling me therapy isn’t for me is a huge red flag. I have a good therapist.

I’m not trying to attack therapists FYI. I’m trying to get you to do the thing you want to do better. ❤️

Gonna drop this reference here. Everything I say comes from a researched perspective.

Notably, the findings highlight the importance of studying the impacts of emotional abuse, which seems to be a highly prevalent, understudied, and chronic form of maltreatment that is as toxic as other maltreatment forms.

The invisible scars of emotional abuse: a common and highly harmful form of childhood maltreatment

Originally tweeted by Rory – ADHD Autistic OCD (@roryreckons) on November 11, 2021.

Published by roryreckons

I am an ADHD/Autism Coach as well as ADHD/Autism/OCD/CPTSD advocate and independent ADHD/Autism researcher. I am an ADHD/Autism Coach who trained through the ADD Coaching Academy. I write mainly about ADHD/Autism/OCD/Mental health issues, but will also discuss morality, abolition, and current affairs occasionally.

One thought on “What’s something about therapy most people don’t understand?

  1. Hello Rory

    Good point about not reinforcing shame.

    [it is here I see the difference between conditional and unconditional forms of positive regard].

    If your therapy is open – there is no room for secrets and silence.

    And thanks for the pointer to Rogers and his critiques of interpretation.

    [I used to read a lot of Beck and Ellis for what it was worth – and Lineham too].

    And unconditionality can be in the offer[s].

    Also try to remember you-the-therapist-or-coach are not a salesperson.

    [this is where a lot of coercion comes in I believe].


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