What is the job of a good therapist?


People often expect that my job is to tell them what to do or give them good advice. Certainly there is wisdom that comes out of counseling sessions. But the goal is not for clients to rely on the wisdom and expertise that I can offer.

It is much better to work to remove the blocks that get in the way of you developing and using the inner resources that are already available to you. Counseling is at its best when people are discovering—with surprise and delight—the ways that they have been unknowingly blocking themselves from awareness of their own intuitions.

If therapy were about following my “advice”, then you would just be learning to live your life the same way I live mine. That’s a terrible goal: One, because I’m not perfect, and two, because you’re not me! But if you get in touch with your own intuitions, you can start living your life as you would live it if you were really in touch with your best self. Now that is a fantastic goal.

[The above image was originally posted by The Mindful Dietitian, and was shared by a good friend of mine, Rebecca Schmitke, who is a fantastic dietitian. Obviously I slightly edited it and co-opted it for my own purposes because it’s awesome.]