Have you read the book The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients (P.S.) (link affiliate) by Irvin Yalom?
I loved this book because it has so many wonderful gems of therapeutic wisdom.
Four nuggets of advice you may appreciate:
Be Authentic and Admit to Mistakes
When you make a mistake with a client, acknowledge it. According to Yalom, any attempt at covering the error up will only backfire because the client will ultimately sense that you are not being upfront with her/him. Hence, it will have a negative impact on the therapy.
Conversely, admitting to the error is setting a positive role model for the client and an indication that he/she matters to you (an important ingredient of a good therapeutic relationship).
Develop “Here and Now” Rabbit Ears
It is important to develop “here and now” rabbit ears because the interpersonal problems of a client will inevitably appear within the here and now of the therapeutic relationship.
To illustrate, if a client is demanding or judgmental or maladaptive interpersonally in another way, the client will exhibit these traits in his/her relationship with the therapist.
What To Do When Your Client Is Crying
Contrary to what you do as a friend (attempt to console and help your friend regain control and stop crying), Yalom recommends that a therapist encourage the client to plunge deeper so as to assist the client in exploring their emotions.
Yalom eloquently suggests asking the client, “If your tears had a voice, what would they be saying?”
Beware of Professional Hazards
Isolation is one professional hazard. Therapists often neglect their personal lives; our work becomes our life. Living with the possibility of a patient committing suicide and a malpractice lawsuit are two additional stresses that are rather catastrophic.
To avoid being alone and having some support in addressing these issues, Yalom recommends that therapists participate in weekly or once every other week group meetings with other therapists.
There are many additional sage pieces of advice that you may wish to follow and/or read….
Do any of the four nuggets that I’ve described speak to you? What thoughts/comments come to your mind?