Therapy Questions, Myths, and Misconceptions Pt 3
Does My Therapist Like Me?
This series will handle misunderstandings and common questions we as therapists encounter from our clients and people in general. Therapy can be scary, but the hope of this series is to remove some of the fear, stigma, and confusion that often accompanies the therapy journey.
Today’s question is one every client asks themselves at some point—does my therapist like me?
It is a natural question. Afterall, engaging in therapy means being vulnerable. Often, we are exploring the parts of ourselves we like the least. Or even fear.
Most of us go through life trying to hide these issues or flaws, especially from other people. In therapy, we dig into them. We cry, yell, repeat ourselves, and are self-pitying. These are all emotions and reactions most friends and family are ill-equipped to deal with, if we even feel comfortable sharing them in the first place. As a society we’re pretty good at encouraging people to “see the good” and “move past it.” But those aren’t therapeutic responses.
So, of course we worry our therapist doesn’t like us. They have seen us at our lowest, they know our dirty secrets and embarrassing thoughts. We pay them to listen to us and there is a stigma that comes along with that. But here is the therapist secret: you at your most vulnerable is inspiring. It’s brave to go to therapy and open up. Your experiences and viewpoints are interesting to us.
Therapists aren’t here to sit in judgement of you and your choices. I, and most of my fellow therapists, really like our clients. Sometimes we even wish we could be friends with them. Even if we wouldn’t mesh with a client outside of session it’s hard to join someone on their emotional journey and not find things to like about them.
If you find this thought getting in the way of your ability to be honest with your therapist, I encourage you to bring it up with them. Beneath that worry is probably good insight into your own beliefs and struggles.