premium careThere are a lot of people out there, primarily women, who have been trained by previous mental health professionals to behave in a certain way. This trained behavior is advantageous to the therapist and, in my opinion, is not at all in the best interest of the client. I recognize the trained client the moment she apologetically tiptoes into the waiting room because she is more concerned with paying up front than she is about herself and what has brought her to my office. You could say that she has an unusual respect for the mental health care professional, but to me it looks more like fear. At the very least, she is timid and deferential.

Qualities and Behaviors

The trained client believes that all therapists are her authority figures. She will assume she is wrong if her point of view is different than mine. She often apologizes. She frequently compliments me in an effort to stay in my good graces.

I am here to tell you that we are not your authority figures. It is my opinion that we work for you; it is not the other way around. You should feel perfectly free to be yourself, express your own feelings and opinions, and feel comfortable advocating for yourself. The best therapists in Westport would agree with me. In fact, one of the goals of many therapists, whom I know, is to help the client build confidence.

Who Trains the Trained Client?

I can only assume that the trained client has become that way through intimidation by previous therapists. They are too scared to cancel an appointment on the same day when they are truly sick. They are reluctant to question their invoice or how their insurance is being processed. To me, this is damaging; it is anti-therapy.

I was at a conference recently which drew counselors from aIl over the country. A number of us, all previously strangers, had dinner together. I heard a therapist tell a story about how she managed a client who had rightly complained that the therapist was very late. She said she brought the client in and asked her to process what it was in her past that might have made her so sensitive to the tardiness of her appointment. The story was told for a laugh, but I didn’t think it was very funny. Fortunately, she was not from our area of the country.

Strength and Courage

Both therapy for men, and therapy for women, has much to do with building strength and confidence. We encourage having the courage to challenge. We support the client as she advocates for herself in being heard, being treated fairly, and being shown respect.

Therapy, is most cases, is not intended to be forever. So if you see a counselor who books you for twelve weeks in advance, ask why. If you feel shamed or judged by your therapist, push back. Make sure that your mental health care professional is working for you.

Lisa Ryan, LPC
Lisa Ryan, LPC
Relationship Expert - Infidelity Specialist - Guest Speaker ~ Loves the big blue sea, homely dogs, the unvarnished truth, and making people feel better. As an Infidelity Specialist in CT since 2002, Lisa continues to retain fairness, an enormous empathy for all clients and a desire to forge a positive outcome, with a commitment that matches that of the clients themselves. She helps couples rebuild their relationships after the discovery of an extramarital affair, a secret relationship or a technology addiction that breaches trust. She guides her clients through a 5-pronged solution-driven plan, designed by her, which has a success rate near 95%. Clients attribute their achievement to Lisa’s non-judgmental approach and genuine understanding of the unique anguish experienced by both parties when trust has been broken.

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