Confidence as a therapist is a goal of all mental health professionals and therapists. We know that confidence is required to make our cleints feel comfortable. And also, we know that turning up to work every day is much easier when we feel confident in ourselves to delvier a job.
Confidence as a therapist though is more than just these things. We know that when we feel confident as a clinician we can take our therapies to another level. We can be more creative, create flow, we can get better outcomes because our clients feel our confidence and trust us to guide them.
And that’s why we all want so badly to feel confident as a therapist. It’s not just about us, it’s about the bigger picture of the work we do.
So lets get to it. What is one of the signs that you lack confidence as a therapist?
The one sign you lack confidence as a therapist is unhealthy self-reflection.
Self-reflection is something we’re taught in our training. It is important to use self-reflection to stay honest with yourself about the therapy you’re delivering and your own responses to your client and their problem. Self-reflection also helps us identify whether there were any ruptures in the therapeutic relationship and what we need to do about it. Self-reflection is a good habit to have.
The problem is self-reflection is that it is often code for self-criticism. Many therapists and mental health professionals go over the session looking for errors and small imperfections.
Their self-reflection leaves them feeling lousy and not good enough and anxious to do better each time. Their self-reflection doesn’t let them see the bigger picture of the client’s response and progress, both in the moment and between sessions, nor does it allow them to revel in what went well in the session.
And most importantly, their self-reflection is decreasing their ability to feel confident and authentic as a therapist. Yes, we should strive to do well in our sessions, but it is not helpful to feel anxious about doing well, because it means we go into a session afraid we are going to be bad.
If your self-reflection is code for self-criticism, I encourage you to work with a mentor or supervisor to change that. If your history has also confirmed or encouraged self-critical thinking, you may need individual therapy to work on those schemas.
P.S. Did you like what you read? Are you ready to feel good enough? If you are interested in becoming a more confident therapist, to be brave, curious and authentically you, I might just be the mentor for you. Sign up to my mailing list to be the first to receive new articles and resources
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