7 Things Every Therapist Should Possess

In spite of what many believe, therapy is not only helpful for people with severe mental issues or those who have suffered a tragedy. Checking in with a therapist on a regular basis can help anyone with common, everyday issues. They work with clients to combat stress, break unhealthy habits, and work through family issues. Here are seven things that every therapist should possess.

1. Genuine Care

Having care is an essential component of being an effective counselor. A therapist must be willing and able to sit with their clients through their best and worst times. Having a continued commitment to facilitating the positive transformation of clients is key to a successful therapist.

2. A Sense of Humor

According to Lesley.edu, because counselors sit through uncomfortable and difficult situations, it is alright for counselors and their clients to lighten the mood at times and laugh along the way. This may help form a relational connection with a client. Humor in the therapeutic environment may be a valuable tool.

3. Cultural Proficiency

An effective therapist is aware of his or her own biases and does not project them onto their clients. Cultural proficiency is a key to revolve a practice around that goes above just understanding and learning about other cultures.

4. Knowledge of One’s Self

Therapists must realize that it is equally as important to reflect upon themselves as it is to observe their clients. According to the Lazarus Institute, a therapist should feel well, think well, and act well, which helps to relate and empathize well with clients, while also conducting oneself in the professional service field.

5. Access to Resources

Often a therapist needs to refer their client to other services for them to get the best help. Therapists should be aware of the services around them so they can help their clients as best as possible with the issues they are facing.

6. Flexibility

A good therapist can recognize and accept is a client is not a good match for them. In this case, a therapist must be understanding and not take it personal, while leading the client to a better fit.

7. The Ability to Listen

While it may seem obvious, effective listening as a therapist is a learned and nuanced skill. Therapists must not only listen what their clients are saying, but also how and why they are saying it and that it means in the context of their environment. Therapists also must be able to fill in the blanks of where a client may be leaving out some information, or help the client fill in the blanks himself. What a client chooses not to share during a therapy session may be just as important as what is said out loud. Therapists should know how to listen to their clients without passing any judgment. Clients present therapists with difficult and convoluted issues, and they need to feel comfortable enough to say everything needed, without feeling as though they are being judged. Therapists must create a non-reactive stance while listening to clients and be cognizant of the difference between evaluation and observation in order to help make accurate assessments.

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