After working with him for several months—actually almost a year—he has decided to chuck it all and just do whatever the hell it takes to stop the pain.
The costs so far have been great, and he’s going to lose much more as he slides deeper into his self-destructive behavior.
Yep. There’s Some Counter-Transference Going On
As his therapist, this is a painful experience to watch.
It actually brings out many of my own insecurities.
- Why can’t I “fix” him?
- Why can’t I “make him” make good decisions?
- I keep hearing voices saying to me, “If only you do this or that then he’d be doing better.”
- “You’re missing something obvious.”
- “You’re not pushing him hard enough.”
- “You’re pushing him too hard.”
- “You must not have connected with him enough or else he wouldn’t be doing these things.”
- “Another counselor would be doing much better with him.”
Changing Light Bulbs
Question:”How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?”
Answer: “One. But the light bulb has to really want to change.”
It is appropriate to remind myself that I am not directly responsible for the behavior of my clients. I can’t “make” anybody do anything. Each client makes their own choices and must live with the consequences.
While I chose to walk with them, I can’t carry their stuff for them. They have to do their own work.
What Say You?
When you’ve been in this situation, what would you do with this client? What’s the best thing to do for him? What’s the best thing to do for yourself?
Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Photo Credit Flickr under the Creative Commons license.
I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment or connect on any of the various social media platforms.
Latest posts by Smart Therapist (see all)
- The Therapeutic Benefits Of Poorly Time Bathroom Breaks - February 23, 2016
- A Confused Mind Makes No Decisions - October 19, 2015
- Someone Else’s Good Idea - October 7, 2012