Do you consider yourself to be a good therapist? Whether you think so or not, it’s always a great idea to reflect on yourself so you can continuously improve. No matter your level of experience, we can all learn something new. If you’re wondering if you’re making any mistakes in your practice, this blog can help you identify them. Here are four things you should never do as a therapist:
1. Behave unethically
Every mental health professional has a code of ethics to abide by. There are many forms in which we can behave unethically.
Dual relationships or negligent standards
This is a common rule among therapists. As therapists, we shouldn’t counsel someone we have a close personal relationship with, such as a friend or family member. This is because it could hinder our ability to remain impartial and objective in our practice.
Bypass confidentiality and emergency protocol
Generally, what our clients say in sessions has to stay in session unless one of the limits of confidentiality applies or they give their explicit consent for information to be disclosed to others (usually with a release form).
2. Treat a client beyond your scope
Never advertise yourself as a specialist in an area in which you have no experience. A good therapist would provide appropriate referrals to a more specifically suited therapist.
3. Overshare about yourself
Generally, it’s best to limit self-disclosure. But there may be times when it’s appropriate to share personal information as long as it serves the client’s best interests.
4. Forget why your client is seeing you
A competent therapist always listens attentively. It’s acceptable to request further explanations or for the client to reiterate a detail from their story. However, you shouldn’t forget why they’re seeking therapy in the first place.
Whether you already know this information or not, it is always important to remind yourself of good practices to avoid making mistakes in the future. It also benefits your clients, as it allows them to feel at ease with you being their therapist. As an individual, you should continuously strive for self-improvement and never stop acquiring new knowledge. That way, you become a remarkable therapist that everyone respects.
Therapists! Be sure to check out our Therapist Reflection Journal. It’s a great tool that assists you in processing your sessions and growing as a therapist. Click here to see more!