When you enter therapy, the hope is that you will forge a relationship, built on trust and mutual respect, with the goal of identifying, clarifying, and healing from your problems and painful experiences. Your therapist is human, just as you are, and therefore, your relationship will not be perfect. However, your therapist should be competent, licensed, and highly trained. At a minimum, you have the right to expect certain things from your therapist, including safeguarding your privacy, maintaining professional boundaries, and having a genuine and supportive interest in your wellbeing. Following are five things your therapist shouldn’t do.
- Compromise your privacy. Your therapist is legally bound to protect your right to privacy, such as when contacting you at home or work, or running into you outside the office. Your therapist cannot discuss your case or even disclose you are in therapy to anyone, with just two narrowly defined exceptions: You give your express written permission to do so, or you pose a threat to yourself or other people.
- Have sexual contact with you, or you pressure you to do so. This cannot be overstated: Physical intimacy between a client and therapist is absolutely verboten. Even if you are the one to make a romantic overture to your therapist, it is never acceptable for them to return the gesture. Doing so is illegal and unethical.
- Seek a friendship or business relationship with you. Though successful counseling is built on trust, your relationship with your therapist cannot extend beyond the office. No matter how close you may feel to your therapist, it’s unethical for you to become friends or associates outside the context of counseling.
- Put you down or minimize your feelings. Your therapist’s role is to help you clarify and resolve issues in a supportive way. If you feel that your therapist belittles you in any way, or treats your problems as insignificant, look elsewhere. Your therapist should never yell at you, threaten you, direct profanity at you, or abuse you in any way.
- Talk too much about themselves. Your therapist’s duty is to focus on you. With few exceptions, therefore, they should not go into great detail about their personal life. Your therapist may, however, choose to answer a few questions you might have, provided these are relevant and helpful to you.
Recovery doesn’t just happen. To fully recover in mind, body, and spirit requires professional guidance. You have work to do. At Harmony Place, you never have to do the work alone. We believe in your right of self-determination. We’re meeting where you are and taking you where you want to go. For information on our total continuum of care and luxury residential treatment and a private consultation, call us today: 1-855-652-9048