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Does your personal life affect if you can be a Marriage counsellor or Family counsellor?

I'm interested in marriage/family counselling. I'm just wondering how important the quality of your own relationships are if you're helping others with their relationships? #psychology #therapy #clinical-psychology #family-therapy #personality #marriage-therapist

Thank you comment icon I think it comes down to if those relationships will negatively impact your interaction with patients. As a therapists you have to try to promote a positive environment for your client. Rachel

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Lo’s Answer

Hi Emma!

When we meet with clients, it is never about us. However, sometimes our own issues can be triggered by what our client shares with us. Sometimes this is okay because it makes us more empathetic toward our client and his or her experiences. But sometimes it interferes with our ability to be non-judgemental and non-biased toward our client. It is important that as counselors we are not trying to help others simply to fill a void we have in ourselves. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have the perfect relationships and family because we are human too! It simply means that if you have not yet dealt with any emotional baggage or difficult relationships in your own life, it might be a good idea to work on that before you start seeing clients. And, because we can never truly know if we have worked through everything ourselves and we don't really know what might trigger us in the future, it is important to actively engage in supervision while you are counseling, so that you can discuss any counter-transference you might experience when working as a counselor!

Best wishes!
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Annemarie’s Answer

I think Lo answered this question well. I advise my students in clinical psychology to prioritize their own self-care, including seeking their own treatment to help them understand themselves, their emotional responses, and just to take the best possible care of themselves. As Lo pointed out, it is so important that clinicians take care of their clients and do not have any needs/expectations for their clients to take care of them in any way. Both supervision and personal therapy contribute to being able to protect your clients from any personal reactions and needs you experience.
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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Emma, I do think there are parts of your marriage that may effective your judgment. In this situation you have two choices, you can let unresolved feeling with your husband cloud your judgment or you can use this issue to look at this is situation through a fresh pair of eyes. You will find the longer you do marriage and family counseling the more you gain experience. As long as you remember to depend on you support group and set of self-care you will be find.
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