As therapists, we know about the power of silence and how much someone is saying when they aren’t saying anything at all.
And we know how silence around something big, like a client’s suicide attempt, sends the message that this is too big or too scary to talk about.
But if we mostly all agree that therapists are responsible for doing their own self-work, it’s necessary to facilitate conversations around the decision-making that precedes a serious event or to simply check in on a clinician.
Because we know that in the aftermath of a crisis event, when a therapist says they’re fine, there’s some work to be done.
Yet there is a culture of silence from supervisors that contributes to the dysfunctional workplaces in mental health. Silence imbues the event with shame and inhibits the capacity to do self-work.
So what stops supervisors from supporting their clinicians after a crisis?
Content warning: This episode contains frank discussion of suicide.
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 isn't "supposed" to talk about.