If you’re a therapist, even if you’re far from your practicum days, you can probably relate to the feeling of sitting in a session and being distracted by the thought of whether you’re living up to the standard of a good therapist.
And you’ve probably had a moment where you’re sitting with a client or group and you heard something come out of your mouth and immediately thought, “That doesn’t sound like something a good therapist would say.”
Who is this mythical good therapist? What are their qualities and where do those ideas come from? When you think about that archetypal good therapist that you compare yourself to, is that therapist a blank slate?
Does a good therapist take all the most challenging cases? Do they self-disclose? Do they diagnose and write treatment plans? Are they a quiet introvert? Do they have it all together?
Nancy Jane Smith and I are talking through some of these questions today and how uncomfortable it can be when we sense we’re going out of the “good therapist” box.
Nancy Jane Smith, MSEd., LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor trainer, and author specializing in high-functioning anxiety. Nancy completed her postgraduate training in Gestalt Therapy at the Gestalt Institute of Central Ohio and is a Certiﬁed Daring Way™ Facilitator, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown.
She has over 20 years of working as a counselor and coach and most recently created Self Loyalty Schoo,l an audio-based program to help quiet high-functioning anxiety.
Nancy has written 3 books with tips, lessons, and stories on reducing anxiety, most recently, The Happier Approach: Be Kind to Yourself, Feel Happier and Still Accomplish Your Goals.
Listen to the full episode to hear:
Learn more about Nancy Jane Smith:
Learn more about Riva Stoudt:
Riva Stoudt is a therapist based in Portland, Oregon. When she's not working with patients, she likes to talk about all the things a therapist is "supposed" to talk about.