Psychotherapy should provide a safe and intimate environment for clients to exchange deeply personal thoughts, behaviors and feelings.
In any situation where the most intimate details of one’s life experience are being shared, trust becomes a paramount issue. Fortunately, all psychotherapists and mental health professionals are bound by law to maintain confidentiality. This deep level of trust is crucial in creating a therapeutic relationship that will enable client growth and positive change.
However, despite knowing that the therapist is legally bound to confidentiality, some clients struggle to share important details that may increase their potential for positive change. Why do some clients have difficulty in opening the door of opportunity and growth?
The answer is simple: discussing the gritty details of our personal lives requires a great deal of vulnerability, courage, and trust.
Often, we must first allow ourselves to experience this vulnerability so we can facilitate the growth we desire. In our own vulnerabilities, personal growth becomes reality.
In order for safety in vulnerability to be possible, a strong therapeutic client/therapist relationship must be achieved. As in any relationship, both parties are responsible for its success or failure. In the client/therapist relationship, the therapist is responsible for creating a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment, where empathy and positive regard can allow the client to feel comfortable in being vulnerable. For the client, the responsibility is in having courage in being vulnerable and in taking that first step towards a trusting therapeutic relationship that will eventually lead to personal growth.
Although this may be a frightening experience, your therapist will be there to support you no matter what you may need to share. In addition, this courage will allow you to get the most from your counseling experience. For some, this act of courage comes easily, for others this step can be a painful and even debilitating process. However hard this may be, it is also acritical step toward positive personal growth.
In my experience as a mental health counselor in community agencies and as a therapist intern at People House, it has been an honor to hear a wide variety of client experiences, difficulties, and associated emotions. Additionally, I understand that this honor and privilege in striving to encourage growth in others comes with great responsibility. This extends not only to the counselor, but to supervisory and even administrative staff. As a professional counselor, I have a genuine trust for my colleagues as they represent the profession and dedicate their energy to the benefit of the community.
Elevated counseling is dedicated to the unique potential in every person who walks through these doors.
We are committed to ourselves, to our community, and to the growth of our clientele. While not always easy, trusting the therapeutic process will allow you to get the most from your counseling experience. One must take faith in the potential that lies rooted in vulnerability in order to empower growth in the therapeutic process. Your therapist understands how difficult it can be to disclose memories, thoughts, feelings, and other experiences, especially as this might provoke difficult feelings of grief, sadness, or even shame. However, as you take courage and continue to trust the process, you will find relief in the support that your therapist has to offer.
You’ve taken the first step, now it’s time for the second step. Together, we will work through the vulnerability and promote a better, happier you in the journey ahead.