You have made the decision to see a therapist, and you sit with them for about an hour each time. Each session you tell your therapist about yourself and give them a glimpse into your life. You talk to them about personal issues that are difficult to talk about with friends and loved ones. You develop this sense of trust in them, and you let your guard down and become vulnerable. They listen to you, and you feel heard. You know you are not alone, because they are on this journey with you. But then you realize, you don’t know very much about them, and you wonder, what is it like for them to be a therapist?
As therapists, we know there is a stigma when it comes to mental health. As therapists, and as people, we advocate for mental health. At L&B Counseling, we strive to break the stigma of counseling by being different and thinking outside of the box with our clients. What some may not be aware of is that when we are not with our clients, we spend our time researching and consulting with doctors and other therapists what can help our clients’ case. Here is a glimpse of what it is like for us to be therapists.
“It is a cool job. You have to be the right fit which means managing your workload without being consumed at the same time. This is true with most jobs. However, you get to have freedom to use the techniques you have learned and incorporate them in ways that are best for the client. You get to be creative and constantly get to learn. You get great energy from helping someone who you see is making progress.” – Trent
“Being a therapist is such a rewarding job because I get to help my clients find their strengths and help them work through their struggles. I do my best to be the person that gives them a safe space where they do not feel judged, but heard. I feel honored when they choose me to be the person to walk this journey with them. It is so rewarding when you can see the positive difference that you have made in someone else’s life. It is such a fun job, because you never know what you’re going to get when you walk into the office. However, because my clients receive so much of my attention, there are days I come home feeling mentally exhausted. So when I am not wearing my “therapist hat,” I have to remind myself to mentally recharge by practicing a lot of self-care. I love helping others, and I know I am in the right place because I wake up each morning feeling excited to start my day.” – Minh
“Being a therapist is extremely rewarding. It gives me so much motivation to know that I can make a positive difference in the lives of others by showing up to work. It can be exhausting and tiring as we are required to give so much of our attention to the needs of others. My clients push me to observe the world from so many unique perspectives. I feel lucky that I can wake up everyday and help people figure out this journey of life.” – Kevin
“When people ask me what it’s like to be a therapist they already have their own viewpoint of what I do. They think I sit in a big chair while clients lay on the couch with their eyes closed and tell me about their past experiences and their dreams. But that is not what I do at L&B Counseling. During life many people are faced with adversity and difficulties and I help them achieve their goals by being engaging and doing things a little different. I make my sessions warm and welcoming. During the session we go outside to play games, go for a walk, or even just sit outside on a nice day. When we are in the office we will complete activities and play games. You can also see my dog Charlotte in the office a few days of the week. By being different and thinking outside the box I am able to help break the sigma of counseling.” – Michael
As therapists, we entered the profession because we enjoy helping others. However, this can be complicated around loved ones and friends. The one question many of us receive is, “You’re analyzing me, aren’t you?” This is not true. We are therapists, and although it may be how we see the world, we are human beings. It is a common misconception that therapists have it all figured out. But while we may have received the training, we are still human. Doing therapy is our job, and just like everyone else, when we leave the office at the end of the day, we do our best to leave our work at work. We make mistakes, experience loss, and manage our own insecurities. We too, have this need to be seen and heard, just like you.
Written by: Minh Bui