Today, I saw my client who always tells me I became her therapist because we do more than just discuss the “flavor of the week.”
What did she mean by this? She had previous therapists, and she would just talk about whatever happened that week … without drawing any conclusions about how to make life changes or reach any treatment goals.
Sadly, I have heard this kind of complaint from many clients over the years!
Of course, talking about your “flavor of the week” is frequently a part of therapy. However, you should not only be discussing your current flavor! It is your therapist’s job to help you understand how whatever happened in your life that week ties in with your overall therapy goals.
It is the therapist’s job to remind of what your therapy goals are, even if you are completely caught up in a “rocky road” kind of week. They should help you to see if what you are describing from your week is a step forward towards your goals or a step backward or a complete detour!
Then, they should give you some guidance and support regarding the next week. Make sense?
There are a few occasions in which a client has told me they want supportive therapy. They want to talk about their “flavor of the week” and that is enough. In these cases, I make sure that the flavor of the week kind of discussion helps the client in some way (for example, perhaps reduces anxiety symptoms or helps reduce their sense of isolation). In these situations, I have provided this type of client-centered therapy.
However, I believe that most clients want more direction, more guidance, and they want to really resolve their problems and meet certain goals. Just talking about what happened during the week with a therapist listening is not going to provide the kind of results that most people need from therapy!!!
If you are only getting a “flavor of the week” from your therapist, then you should ask them for more guidance and more direction! Then… if you still do not get it… it is time for a new therapist who is more engaged and active.
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