You know those times when you are sitting with a client, and their troubles are severe and the trauma is painful.....and you feel you have missed something of their story because your own thoughts intruded......or you connect with some experience or strong emotions of your own....

Come on.....please don’t tell me your mind never wanders when you are with a client.

Be honest.

You are as human as I am

And that means that there will be times, however much we may wish them not to be, and however much we assert that we are “always there for the client at all times whatever the circumstances” when our own stuff, our own experiences, connections from the past, triggers to strong emotions and all the everyday stuff will also enter our minds and jostle for space.

These things happen.

But on those occasions when it does happen, it’s important to recognise and acknowledge for ourselves our own process, and then set it aside, as far as we can, to address in a different setting.  In supervision, or our own journal, or times of self-therapy, or with a trusted friend or mentor.

The fact that it happens is not the issue.  It’s how we deal with it and manage it when it does happen that’s important.

Acknowledge it and let it go.

Be congruent as much as is appropriate.  But let it go.

There’s an almost universal perception that if we acknowledge that it happens, we are failing in some way.  When the only real failure is not recognising and acknowledging our own fallibility and humanity.......

Therapy training has to be about being honest with ourselves.

If we cannot be that for ourselves, how can we expect that from our clients?

Whatever approach you work with, you need to work also with yourself.

Think about it.