Methods of dealing with your own emotions in therapy

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Methods of dealing with your own emotions in therapy

Postby worldly » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:31 am

Hello, I'm currently in my training year to be a psychological wellbeing practitioner and have recently started doing assessments. Despite all the lectures we have received on presentations, treatments and therapy, there has been very little on regulating your own emotions and what to do if you're feeling overwhelmed by a clients story. I have a background in the ambulance service and therefore have been exposed to events that a lot of people would describe as traumatic, but this never affected me to the point where I would cry at work and I managed to deal with it. I recently had a client who's story made me feel huge amounts of sorrow and after the call I felt very emotional. I understand this can be normal, but what took me by surprise is when I broke down whilst having supervision regarding this client. I received some good advice and support, but I was wondering if anyone had advice from their own experience, or what they do when they're feeling overwhelmed with sadness after a therapy session?

Thanks very much in advance.
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Re: Methods of dealing with your own emotions in therapy

Postby astra » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:08 am

When I worked in a team, it was always simply the case that if someone had had a tough session, they would seek out a trusted colleague and have a chat to process things. There was always time for this in the past but as I got towards the end of my time in the NHS everyone was seeing people almost back to back and there was no time for dealing with difficult stuff. Which was a big part of why I left. I left to focus on my private practice where I work solo, so now I don't exactly have people I bump into in the kitchen to say "hey have you got a few mins to talk about a client?" I ensure I have supervision regularly, plus with many years of experience, and using the strategies I teach my clients I am able to process and manage most things now, and to recognise when I need extra support. I can't overestimate the value of having had my own therapy at various times throughout my career too, and would resort to further therapy at the drop of a hat if I was feeling burnt out or overwhelmed with work/client issues. You're at an early stage and need to take good care of yourself. Make sure you use all the supervision available and ask for extra if you're particularly affected by a case, and think about personal therapy, it helps you grow in so many ways.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Re: Methods of dealing with your own emotions in therapy

Postby worldly » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:12 pm

Hi Astra
Thanks very much for your reply, I think you make some really important points. Luckily I've been able to chat to colleagues about it as you say, and do a lot of reflective practice on why I responded in that way. Personal therapy is also something I'm considering but fully aware of the costs so just trying to see if I can afford it and whether I need it but I definitely see how it would be very beneficial especially in this line of work.

Thanks again :)
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