Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Roles

Advertisement


Question
What roles do clinical psychologist typically play in  therapy? I've become uncomfortable with mine. He seems heavily focused on getting me a better job. It's true I don't make what I think I deserve but I hate  that my job has to be the center of his one direction  discussions with me. Do therapists often play the role of career counselor or is it unusual? I'd rather learn to be content with my current situation rather than be reminded about how my job just isn't enough to feel good about myself.

Answer
Hi, James, that's an excellent question. IDK, of course, how your therapy is going, or whether your therapist is doing a good or bad job.

I do know, however, that therapists are human; we do make mistakes. Sometimes we stay focused on one goal that the patient brings, and fail to notice that things have changed. There could be a dozen more 'reasons' why this isn't working for you.

I also know this - that one of the best things a patient can do is to express 'bad' feelings toward their therapist. Anger, sadness, disappointment, shame, etc. Not only does it clear the air, but it helps you learn how to better handle conflict in your daily life - because the therapist will engage, with you, about your issue, and explore your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Then you take use what youve learned in your outside relationships.

A therapeutic relationship is supposed to be 'safe', one where you can say almost anything you want, and you will learn from doing so.

A therapist can't read your mind, so go ahead, be assertive, speak up.

ADDENDUM:

Let me add just one thing, James - I expect your therapist should be glad that you have been assertive and expressed negative feelings. IF, for some reason, your therapist does not respond positive - say, s/he is angry, disapproving, disappointed in you, or otherwise rejects your message, then (based only on very limited information, granted), I would hazard a guess that that IS something you don't want in a therapist, and I would disapprove of that therapists action. Judging other therapies is always very difficult, especially over the internet like this. Some patients CAN ruin their therapy by being very negative toward their therapist, it is true. But most of us avoid such topics, because we don't like conflict in real life. Most of us therapists welcome such honesty with open arms.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.