Therapy Thoughts: You Gotta be You!
I’m somewhat known for being real, vulnerable, and breaking down the counselor norm of being a blank slate here on the web. I’ve told you about ME as it relates to my mission of bashing mental health stigma: Anxiety, medication, grief, infertility, just to name a few.
Ya know, this is a massive rogue move in the therapist world. We’re REALLY REALLY trained to erase ourselves. Be blank. Be a non-personality. Be professional (aka conservative). Wear business casual. Don’t flash. Definitely don’t dye your hair pink.
This training led me to a severe identity crisis for several years as a therapist. I hid my shaved side head. I wore blazers from stores I never shopped at in my life. I didn’t swear. I kept it “what a therapist *should* be.” Clients would ask me about myself and I’d say verbatim what we were taught in school to say. No critical thinking or humanness.
It was all FEAR. I was terrified to be myself. I was so afraid I’d get sued (weird counselor culture literally says this all the time). I was terrified to break ethical rules or have a dual relationship with a client. I thought being human would violate that somehow. I was afraid no one would take me seriously if I said dude. Irony: As I stepped into the authority of helping others claim their power, I was fucking losing my own because I was trained to be soooo afraid of what others thought of me. I’m a lot of things, but being afraid to be me was never one of them. Until grad school. Smh.
I constantly meet new counselors who have the same fears I had. “What about my tattoos, my hair, my fashion, my personality?” Wanna know what you need to do with all that funk? EMBRACE IT AND USE IT TO KILL IT IN YOUR JOB. (Obviously if you work for someone else you gotta follow the handbook, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be you).
I have airtight boundaries with clients. My ethics are pristine. My lawyers have my back 100% with my empire. And I’m myself.
Whether you’re a therapist, accountant, mom, teen, human: be you. Being you is your purpose. And your purpose is being you. It’s WHY you’ll be successful. #therapythoughts
Therapy and tacos for all,