I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You’re a therapist, you should have it all together.” My next favorite phrase was, “You must be crazy in order to be a therapist, I’ve never known a therapist who wasn’t crazy,” (I truly despise the word crazy, geesh). However, are any of these statements true? No. But why do we apply these statements to our therapists? I think it’s a similar reason as to why we make gods out of our medical doctors- we forget they are human; and as such, we place them on a pedestal that they are all-knowing and all-powerful.
I want to smash these stigmas today, but I know it will just be one person explaining their story. Your therapist is a human, just like you. I did not start out knowing that I wanted to become a therapist. A series of life events, some incredibly painful, led me to the decision that I could either a) suffer in silence and be a real big pain in the neck to not only myself, but anyone I got close to, or b) I could maneuver around that pain and utilize it to help others. And so, I signed up for a master’s program in marriage and family therapy, and I began my journey.
I think that some of the reasons that therapists decide to do the work they do could be like mine, maybe they want to help others because they have gone through difficult experiences themselves. Perhaps your therapist is having a terrible day, perhaps their daughter is sick, or maybe they are dealing with other difficulties. Does that mean they are depressed? Perhaps, they have feelings of depression. Does that mean they are broken? No, in no way. Does this mean they are a human being having a human experience? Most definitely! So, please, next time you feel that you should have it together, know that you are doing the best you can- and so is your therapist. Have a wonderful day!