Therapists don’t have all the answers, but they know who does. In fact, many people don’t realize we shouldn’t give you advice, even though you may think you want to just know what to do. Very often, clients have said to me, ‘Just tell me what to do!’ While it’s sometimes tempting to respond with an answer, that’s not what actually works therapeutically.
Most clients who believe they want to know the answer to some deep burning question, really want to come up with the answer themselves. I believe most clients want to be the captain of their own ship, or the CEO of their own life. If therapists gave the answers, then how would that be helping their self-efficacy?
Instead of giving advice, therapists are trained to hold up a mirror to their client, while simultaneously providing support around the changes on the horizon. Through a deeper understanding of themselves, clients are able to find their own answers, empowering them to not only deal with their current challenges, but develop tools and strategies for the future.
If you are wondering what might happen for you in therapy, here are some common experiences:
- Increased awareness of what you are feeling and perhaps even why you are feeling a certain way
- Better understanding of who you are and how your life experiences have shaped you
- A greater sense of trust in yourself
- Deepening of the emotional experience
- More connection to yourself and to others in your life
- Finding your own answers to questions and trusting your intuition
- Living a life that you want to live and feeling you have the power to shape it
A key part of the therapeutic process is allowing yourself to live in the grey areas, and not look for answers from anyone except yourself. An effective therapist will help guide you to find your own way and, while this process can take some time, with some patience, it’s worth it!