There is a stereotype of a psychologist or psychiatrist as a cold analytical machine in a white coat looking down on us from a pedestal. You might think of the iconic image of Sigmund Freud sitting behind his patients scribbling in a note pad whilst his clients talk.
This approach has its merits but it’s not how I work.
One of the most powerful, healing experiences that we can have comes from deep connection with others and I try to be as present as I can be as both your counsellor and as a fellow human being. I believe that I would be doing you a disservice if I left a big chunk of what makes me human outside when I entered the counselling room.
Boundaries are important and we will probably talk about these during therapy but I’m not afraid to say that I care deeply about my clients and I will almost certainly be affected by your story. The difference between me and a good friend or loved one is that I am trained to put aside my own prejudices, views and any issues I might have and to stay focussed on you and your needs.
I am not an expert whose job it is to diagnose and fix you. I like to think of myself more as a companion and a guide accompanying you on your counselling journey. When I work with a client I may occasionally share a little of my myself and my life with you if and when I think it might be helpful to you. After all I don’t think I could do this job so well if I didn’t also know what it is to suffer and to struggle.