Do great therapists have a secret weapon?
I’d venture to say that successful therapists have one quality in common whether they specialize in trauma, hypnosis, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, grief and loss or any other therapeutic lens that exists.
When this “secret weapon” is authentically provided and executed in each session, clients experience wonderful progress across all modalities of treatment.
I want to share with you what I believe this secret is AND explain how you can start utilizing it TODAY.
The weapon is… HONESTY.
Honesty is telling the truth. The WHOLE truth. Seems easy enough to tell the truth… but is it?
As perceptive human beings, we can sense even the slightest bit of judgment. The first session with a therapist is called an “assessment” where clients are being evaluated for a diagnosis. If we feel judged (and labeled), we may minimize our honest thoughts and feelings. Rather than hope for progress, we will feel guarded, ashamed or pressured to perform.
The foundation of healthy progress MUST begin with honesty. Therapists who provide a non-judgemental environment help cultivate a space for positive work to begin. Pressure or shame is replaced with validation, support and hope.
A mental health provider can read every single psychology book and have several masters and doctoral degrees, but if they fail in providing a nonjudgmental space – then their work will lack 100% honesty. *This is the same for life coaches, specialists, and addiction and recovery counselors.
Here’s another secret: We can begin telling the truth without a therapist! Right now, after reading this, you can sit down and speak your own truth. Identify your feelings. Give them a name. Write it down. Recognize what feelings, thoughts and struggles you hesitate to put in writing.
It’s hard to be honest about some of these feelings. It’s not comfortable saying “I am embarrassed.” Or to say “I’m scared.” We are shamed by society for having anything but positive emotions. The stigma around seeking therapy leaves us lying to ourselves and others about what we’re feeling. We avoid being honest with our friends and family because we are afraid of judgment. We choose to “fake it till we make it.”
A therapeutic space (in an office, an online session, or in your own heart and mind) where there is no faking, pressure to perform or fear of judgement is a wonderful foundation for insight and clarity.
Look for the secret weapon in others. Or BE the secret weapon.