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Showing posts from 2014

How to keep going as a therapist.

Someone recently asked me what keeps me going as a therapist, so I decided to offer my thoughts. Hopefully, these tips can apply to anyone in a field with people: from pastor to social worker. Now there are plenty of good therapists who don't follow this advice, but in my opinion, if a therapist doesn't want to quickly burn out, some of these things may be helpful. These tips are things that I've learned from much more experienced therapists and stuff I've gathered in the few years I've been in this field. 
 As I always say, I'd love your feedback.  

1. A therapist needs to be good at setting up emotional boundaries--being able to separate his/her personal life from the client. When you go home, don't bring your problems or the families/client's issues to your children, spouse, or roommate. They don't need them. It's not fair to you or your family. It's also not fair to the families you're helping because if you can't separate your wor…

Mothers, be the bad guy once in a while. It's good for you, your children, and your husband.

I counsel numerous families per work for in-home therapy. One of the biggest problems that counselors see in triangular families (father, mother, child) is that the mother is often seen as the nurturer and the father is seen as the disciplinarian. I know many of us in New England are uncomfortable with gender roles. After all, we know plenty of men who are more sweet and kind in their tone, whereas their spouses are what we'd say, "wicked blunt." Now, rather than trying to prove this argument, because you and I know there are too many counterarguments to make this a deductive and sound argument, please just go with me for a minute. If you know the frustration, then keep reading. Also, if you're offended at my description of men as disciplinarians, that's fine, feel free to switch the genders.

What happens when the mother is always seen as nurturer and the father is seen as the disciplinarian? In dysfunctional families (which just means families that are not accom…

Gossip

I love to gossip. If you think you don't, either I doubt you're being honest with yourself or you have few friends. I apologize for being so black and white, but I believe it's in the nature of human hearts to see gossip as a wonderful opportunity to step up on an available pedestal. We look for opportunities to establish ourselves, to prove ourselves, and to justify ourselves. Gossip is fun because it's a way to readjust the focus on our faults and for a moment, forget our shame. I wonder if the same people who are addicted to television, electronics, sex, etc., are also addicted to gossip? An addiction is established when the endorphins are released for a moment when we see a threat. Over time, this high becomes sought for, to the point that we seek it at the expense of seeing or dealing with our regrets and any dragons that may lie underneath our bed.

One of my favorite stories is Oscar Wilde's masterpiece, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The book is about a man na…