5 Things Every Therapist Wants You to Know


Counseling provides a one-sided relationship. A professional therapist is paid to help someone work through issues and heal. This keeps the relationship distinct from peer-support avenues, which involve multiple help running both ways. Many patients are curious about what goes on in the mind of a therapist. These are 5 things to remember from a therapist’s point of view.

1. We are Working!

Many people receiving counseling feel vulnerable in the process. This vulnerability can lead to people feeling quite close to their therapist. It is important to respect the fundamental nature of the relationship and keep it distinct from friendship. Just because a counselor is compassionate and actively listening doesn’t mean that they see things beyond the scope of doing a good job. Don’t take this too personally – it’s what makes therapy useful and emotionally safe.

2. Some of Us are in Recovery, Some are Not

Historically, addiction treatment programs were founded on 12-Step principles with the clinical providers being members of 12-Step themselves. Because addiction treatment has expanded into overall healthcare centers, you will find professionals who have their own histories of addiction just as those without that past. This is true of the care at CeDAR – we have both.

3. We Process Cases with Other Therapists

Treatment at CeDAR involves a multidisciplinary team. Sometimes patients will become suspicious and ask if their counselor is talking about them behind the scenes. The answer to this is “Yes, we are.” Keep in mind that this is what makes comprehensive treatment so valuable. A team is working on your health, not just a single individual. Also, remember that all clinical professionals are bound by the ethics of confidentiality. Talking about a case between clinicians is in line with such privacy.

4. We are Human

It can be very emotionally draining to carry the problems of others on our shoulders. This can lead to us making mistakes, forgetting certain details or having brief periods of emotion ourselves. Patients who are able to have realistic expectations from their therapist will get better results as they won’t take things as personally. Your therapist will thank you for acknowledging such limitations, just as your therapist may gradually become frustrated if you constantly reject his or her humanity.

5. It’s Our Job to Help You Understand

A professional therapist tends to process psychological patterns on a deeper level than their patients. Of course, this depends on the therapist and client, but we constantly are analyzing patterns of our patients. Very often, this is on a deeper level than the patient. Although this can sound intimidating at times, try and use this to your advantage. Ask your therapist what they actually think about your issues? This can lead to significant breakthroughs and seeing things from another’s point of view. A good therapist will try and get you to reflect and become curious in a similar way.

Read more CeDAR Education Articles about Treatment and Care