Is your therapist aiming to do themselves out of a job?
I’m enjoying reading Babette Rothschild’s second volume of The Body Remembers at the moment. I remember the profound influence her first volume had on me as a trainee psychotherapist many years ago, and I am enjoying the update.
I love the frank style of the writing, and the many invitations to question ‘conventional’ wisdom, and to find our own answers to the questions clinical work throws up.
One theme that really resonated with me was Rothschild’s assertion that her job is to make herself obsolete, to give clients the tools they need for self care so that they will not need her any more. This chimes so strongly with my sense of myself as an outcome-oriented practitioner.
Clients come for psychotherapy for a wide range of reasons, and sometimes the work is brief, and sometimes it lasts for a long time, even a period of years. The one thing never to lose sight of though, is that therapeutic work is about building resourcefulness, inter-dependence and independence, and creating lived experiences of being cared for, and of self-care.
Therapy is not forever. It is not about dependence and continued need. It is about healing, growth, and learning. When you are working with a therapist ask yourself, is this work moving me towards self care and self sufficiency therapeutically? Am I growing towards what I want to have happen? Am I making progress and noticing change?
If not, then talk to your therapist, and find a way forward that is congruent for you. And remember, their job is to help you grow past your need for them, in whatever time-
frame that is possible.