We’ve all been there. A comment from a peer or supervisor or boss or another colleague on social media. A comment about what we should or shouldn’t be doing.
It may even be phrased in terms of “the evidence”.
And this one comment whirs around in your head and takes on a life of its own.
“maybe I am doing something/ everything wrong”
“maybe I’m not really a proper psychologist, counselor x insert your professional title x here”
“maybe someone is going to report me to my professional body.”
The anxiety and self doubt begins. You may even lie awake at night and worry.
The beauty and the curse of working as a mental health professional is that there are many ways to help our people. Fabulous clinicians have developed, and continue to develop, a range of therapies to help solve the problems that people experience.
However, because our brains like simplicity we tend to over time to select certain approaches over others. That then becomes what we think is the correct way to practice. Like all humans we have a need to believe in something, even if that includes our therapies. Also we need to have confidence with our clients, so being a little passionate about your treatment choices helps.
About now some people are probably thinking, but Nadene, what about the evidence?
Yes, the evidence is important. We can help more people if we use the approaches that have research evidence. But, the problem is there are lots of approaches that have evidence. And when you’re aligned with a particular therapy you start to only see research that supports your model of choice over others.
So next time someone makes a comment about what you should or shouldn’t be doing consider these questions:
Why did I select this treatment option for this person?
Does this approach have evidence for this problem?
Is the person making this comment a die-hard fan for one particular therapy?
Does the person making this comment know anything about the client I have in front of me every week?
Is the client improving?
Next, consider those answers. Do they check out?
If so ..Is it worth losing sleep over one person’s opinion?
As someone who often talks about EMDR on social media I am used to these kinds of comments from my peers. Some are polite, some not so much. And I can tell you, it’s not worth losing sleep about. What does matters is how your client is responding to therapy.
Stop losing sleep. Because you are good enough. And one person’s opinion is just an opinion.
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 contact me for a free