Why Don’t Therapists Give Advice?
Why won’t my therapist tell me what to do? When clients come to see me for therapy, they are often really confused about what is going on in their life. One of their first questions to me is. “What do you think I should do?” Or, more specifically “What do you think my boundaries should be?”
If I am honest, I can tell you there is a part of me that wants to advise you. However, that part of me that has done training as a psychologist and relationships therapist knows that to tell you what to do isn’t helpful to you. Of course, if you were in immediate and grave danger or someone near to you such as a child was unsafe then, of course, I would guide you. However, as a general rule telling a client what to do is actually very unhelpful and here is why:
- I have two identities. There is Elizabeth, the therapist and there is Elizabeth the real person with a real life and real experiences. These two aspects of me are intertwined, and it can be very difficult to separate what is me and what is the therapist. This is why every therapist you go to see approaches working with you in a slightly different way, even if they use the same methodology. The problem is my life is different to yours, so what might work for me may not necessarily work for you.
- Having a therapist tell you what to do might rush you into thoughts you aren’t ready to hear. This can be traumatising and confusing for you. The best therapy leads you into finding your own conclusion about what you should do, so you can do what is right for you.
- Often clients who come to see me feel confused and have lost their confidence. This might be because they have had many life issues bombarding them and or they are involved with a Toxic Toad – an abusive partner who has used toxic tactics to get inside their head and control them. The worst thing a therapist could do is be yet another person in your life telling you what to do. A good therapist encourages you to build you confidence by getting to know yourself inside and out so you can understand what you want with clarity.
So the next time you ask your therapist for guidance, remember they are not being deliberately difficult when they avoid answering your question or do the obvious, deflect your question with another question. They really do have your best interests at heart and are trying to help you.
If you would like to ask me a question you can go to elizabethroebuckjones.com/ask or if you prefer a private session you can book an appointment at elizabethroebuckjones.com/appointment. In my sessions, I will unpack your question for you, educate you and explore all options, even aspects of the question you might not have thought of. However, the action you take, after working with me. That is up to you.
I empower women to make educated relationship choices, rather than change for their partner
Choose, Don’t Change
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