How it feels to be a ‘new’ therapist

Image of a seedling in a pair or hands. from

A seedling

So, I’m into double figures of client hours now. In many ways, how I feel at the start of each session is how I felt at the start of the first session. I still worry about what I’m wearing, about the way the room is, about when *exactly* is the right time to walk down the (very long!) corridor to collect my clients, when to suggest that time is drawing to a close. And I could go on. And you’d probably wonder why, with this much anxiety about it all, I continue to try becoming a therapist. And to be honest, so do I…

But I guess, in amongst all of this, I see progress, in me, and some change in my clients. I cannot help but feel that the process would be easier if I were working for an agency and clients were picked ‘for’ me as being suitable but that’s not the path I’ve chosen.

I am still making mistakes – that will never stop – but I’m able to see where, and I can apply some of the theory to the process, which is a positive thing. It helps that my current assignment is a process report on a piece of practice work we did in class. Applying the theory after the fact seems strange, but it is useful to see that my ‘mistakes’ are actually congruent with certain aspects of theory, and where they are not, actually I’m often on the right lines – I just fail a bit in my application. I’m still very new at this, after all. If this was a full time job, I wouldn’t yet be at Wednesday lunch time in my first week.

I wonder when, or if, I will reach a point where I do feel more relaxed about all of this, and I suspect to some degree, that that will be when I have had my clients for longer. I’m not a big fan of beginnings and perhaps this is showing through here. When I’ve had my clients longer and it is a bit more relaxed for me, then perhaps I will be more relaxed about the process.

The big thing for me in all of this in all honesty is my supervisor Fred. He has been able to point out my person-centredness in my approach, and to see the PCness where I have tried but failed. Feeling heard is a good thing here, and I am fortified by seeing him. Before getting supervision I wasn’t sure of the effect it would have, and now, I am so so grateful for it. I wouldn’t change him (unless it was to make him live nearer to me!)

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