There is a saying, “A tailor can’t sew his own rip”. It means that one’s expertise can benefit others but not oneself. This is exactly the situation that psychologists / therapists experience.
Many people think that psychologists, because they have theoretical knowledge about human psychology, do not have problems in their daily lives and can easily solve every problem. We often hear in the sessions, “I guess you don’t have any such problems”. In fact, it is the opposite, an ideal therapist is one who, like every human being, has problems in daily life, has problems from the past, but is aware of them, tries to solve them, receives the necessary support for this, and most importantly, does not allow these problems to be reflected on their clients in their sessions.
Let’s look at the most common situations therapists face as to why they need therapy.
First of all, before becoming a therapist, they must go through a therapy process, become aware of their inner world, past experiences, traumas and subconscious processes, and start solving the issues that need to be resolved. If this is not considered, it is possible that the therapist confuses his own internal processes with the problems brought by the clients in the sessions, cannot focus enough on the client’s problem and cannot be objective, and therefore the benefit to the client will decrease. In therapy, clients have some transferences towards their therapists, and therapists also have transfers towards their clients. Freud introduced the concepts of transference-countertransference, and according to the psychoanalytic school of which Freud was the founder; Before becoming a therapist, there is a condition to go through therapy. Today, there are some therapy schools that require going through their own therapy process in order to become a therapist, and only in this way can a license be obtained.
On the other hand, sitting in the client’s chair before sitting in the therapist’s chair; It is also a good opportunity to see what it is like to be a client. It is very important for the development of empathy skills to experience the dynamics of being a client and what it feels like, not only theoretically but also practically.
Therapist is a solitary job most of the time and can cause the therapist to be socially isolated. Although he is a therapist who loves his job and has a sense of spiritual satisfaction, at the end of the day, he may experience psychological overload due to the content of the sessions or there may be situations where he is triggered by his own inner world. In this case, it is very important for the therapist to know his own limits and to get help when he has difficulties, both for himself and his clients.
In summary, therapists must receive therapy support from time to time, both before stepping into the profession and during their practice. Therapists are human and not perfect like everyone else, they may experience burnout or have clients they can’t help with, and they may feel less helpful or useless in sessions from time to time. The important thing is to be aware of these situations and try to improve yourself.