Therapists are directly affected both personally and professionally as well as both positively and negatively by the client’s they serve. Therapeutic terms like transference and countertransference often surface in the therapeutic relationships we engage in. How then do we as therapists get our own needs met when we operate in a career that is very one sided and unequal in power? How do we deal with and address our needs as we operate in an environment where we are continually impacted by the clients we serve both on a personal and professional level? When, where, and how is it that we get our needs met?
As licensed professionals, we often consult and engage in peer consultation groups. However, if therapists are in fact wounded healers, where are we able to address our wounds and our needs? I ask these questions because the more I grow as a therapist, the more I become aware that it is crucial that we have our own therapeutic support. I find it essential that as a therapist, I have a therapist. I feel it is important that we do our own inner work as therapists. I believe it is important that we practice what we recommend to others and that we hold ourselves accountable to the wellness standards that we ask of our client’s.
Are we better therapists when we are getting our own needs met or when we are neglecting them? I think many therapists would say that they are better able to be there for their clients when they are taking good care of themselves. There are many ways to take and promote wellness in our lives. However, the more I grow professionally, the more essential I find it to have my own therapeutic support. I strongly encourage all therapists to reflect on what type of support they need to maintain their personal well-being and ability to support their clients as an effective therapist.