The Uniqueness of Mental Health Therapy Jobs
Those who have mental health therapy jobs enter into a unique relationship with their clients. Discounting personal relationships, where do you find an interaction so heavily focused on listening, feeling, and communicating with such care and precision? Bottom line: therapy is both a fantastic opportunity and an awesome responsibility requiring constant character refinement.
A critical function for those in a mental health therapy job is to be a role model for the client. It 's hard to overestimate the impact upon the client in seeing how the therapist has successfully resolved her problems. Therapy reaches beyond the boundary of the cognitive and enters into the realm of the experiential as the client is not only told what do, but sees firsthand how to do it.
This modeling requires far more than wisdom. Clinician occupying mental health therapy jobs must have undergone a journey yielding self-knowledge, aside from recognizing and accepting various aspects of her inner-self. Being such a role model creates an imperative for the therapist to refine her character regularly to maintain and maximize that influential position.
Due to the client’s vulnerability, trusting the therapist is nearly impossible unless the clinician is compassionate. As such, therapists must be warm, caring, and empathic. If you don’t genuinely care about people, then a mental health therapy job is not for you! Your client needs someone who is warm, who understands, and who cares. Words aren’t enough – the client needs to feel it.
That empathy and compassion needs to be continually refreshed and refined to remain genuine. Therapists who burn out emotionally not only lose their effectiveness, but also could become a liability for their clients. Their insensitivity and feigned concern can be toxic. On the other hand, the clinician whose heart is expanding becomes a more trusted, beloved and effective therapist.
Generally speaking, those successful in mental health therapy jobs tend to have an optimistic outlook and a strong belief in the possibility of personal growth and change. However, that doesn’t mean that they underestimate the strength of the defense system. While being sensitive to people’s fear of change, particularly at crucial points in the therapeutic process, they remain hopeful.
Hope is a powerful motivator, especially in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. Feeling that something is going to work is often critical to effective treatment. For a clinician to be successful, reality must be balanced with hope. As the therapist becomes a more hopeful person in general, sessions become infused with greater potential and promise.
The Fringe Benefit
Although knowledge, skills, and experience are crucial to success in a mental health therapy job, therapists must not ignore the need to refine their character constantly. Neglecting to do so will let down your clients and may stymie your career. On the other hand, undertaking this refinement will indeed transform your therapy. You know what – it will transform you as well!