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As a psychologist, have you ever been affected personally by your patient's story or stories?

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As a person who often listens to their peers about their problems, I have often found myself thinking about those peers and their story. #psychology #counseling-psychology

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Lauren J.’s Answer

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I recently had the experience of working with several individuals who were dealing with some pretty bad trauma. I think that if you weren't effected by it in some way then you would not have been drawn to the helping professions in the first place. However, as I've gone through my counseling program I have been taught many ways to engage in self care and it has been very important to intentionally engage in self care (taking a walk, taking a bath, meditating, watching a funny movie, etc.). You might still wonder how your past clients are doing but you learn about your role in their life and you simply have to have faith that you planted a seed, that you helped in some way and learn to let go.


We are also encouraged to get counseling ourselves! Anyone can benefit from counseling and there is something called vicarious trauma that helping professionals can experience which is being traumatized by hearing about and helping clients process their own trauma. Having a supervisor that you meet with regularly can be extremely helpful with this as well!

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Jeanne’s Answer

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Hi Kamran,

I think every therapist feels affected by patient stories at times. That is part of being human. But I have an advantage over the patient - because I've seen people get better, I know that chances are we will be able to work out whatever we need to, so I am not generally affected as intensely as the patient is by their story. Also, over the years of education, training, and practice, I've learned to take care of myself and have good boundaries between me and my work. Personal therapy helps a lot with this, as well. The better we know ourselves, the better we can focus on what is happening for the patient and help them.

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