Have you ever sat in the chair opposite of your therapist and wondered “What are they thinking?” Well, they are human, and they can get bored, and their minds probably wonder, and they do doodle during sessions (maybe). If your therapist thinks you are not serious, just filling the time gap, or feels that you are not honest—it is no wonder they are thinking about their dry cleaning. They also have pet peeves. If you want to really piss off the person you are paying to listen to you, be chronically late, cancel at the last minute, or play on your phone. These trained professionals can also see through the games you play with them. You met your match, so, don’t waste everyone’s time. While you are drifting in and out of reality--they are coming up with strategies to get you to be yourself, and be transparent. Here are 5 things your therapist is thinking, but does not tell you.
They Are Not There to Offer Advice
The job of the therapist is not to give advice. We tend to think that this is what we are paying them for, right? The job is to change the approach and how you are thinking about a given issue. By equipping you to make better choices, as that is not the process of going to therapy. Also they don’t have all the information, so they are not going to tell you to get a divorce or to get married. The reason is they would be injecting their own personal opinions and emotions into that advice. This is not what counseling is for. If you need advice go to a friend not your therapist.
You Can Trust Them
Many times people are afraid to open up to a therapist and they fear what is said will leave the office. A therapist suspected of this will lose their license if they talk to their friends regarding clients. It is an ethical violation unless the person confesses to harming another person. A client needs to give informed consent to discuss the person’s sessions even with another therapist, unless it discussed without revealing the identity. Usually they will talk about cases, but nothing that would infringe on patient rights.
They Know You Are Lying
Yeah, they know you are lying. You are telling them about things from your own perspective, and they can assume that there is another side of the story. For example, you may say you never get mad or are at fault during argument with your spouse. They also know human behavior and the way people use gestures to tell a tale. Psychology Today shared a clue about how grooming behaviors will indicate lies. Like people playing with their hair, repeating questions, speaking in fragments, or “carefully monitor the observer's reaction to what they are saying to judge whether their story is convincing or not.” If you are lying, it’s just dumb and a waste of money.
You Need to Work
Better get ready to take ownership of your issues because your therapist needs you to actually work. A misconception of clients is believed they go in and are asked a bunch of questions, and they answer them, and that is it. Nope, not the case said clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D. as explained to Buzzfeed. “It’s pretty disappointing for clients when they think that’s the way it works,” he said. “They want the therapist to ask them a bunch of questions and it’s like a treasure hunt.” If you want to make progress make sure you work on the issues with what you learned during therapy. You have to think of it as a team, not just lean on your counselor.
There is tremendous value in therapy. You need to make sure you are honest, are willing to work, and trust they are not there to hurt, but to help. Therapists won’t have all the answers, as it is a process they are walking you through deep-seeded issues. By changing your misconceptions about counseling—there can be positive results no matter what your therapist might be thinking.
Corine Gatti-Santillo is a freelance digital journalist, editor, and content producer. She is also the The Christian Post Voices Editor. She is also a former editor at Beliefnet.com.