Lately I have seen so many posts with people wo have seen a practitioner put them on a pedestal and rave glowingly about how amazing they are. While it is great to appreciate those people that have helped you, it actually makes me cringe a little and rings huge alarm bells for me. This goes for all type of helping professionals, whether it be counselling, coaching, psychology, art therapy or other complimentary therapies.
If you see a therapist their role is to facilitate your own exploration. It is not about them knowing what you need or for you to have the perception that they have all the answers. The solutions are within you and when you rely on someone elses practice to find it for you, it actually disempowers you. It is about seeking knowledge from an outside source rather than using your own wisdom and knowing that comes from within. You do have the answers and it’s for the practitioner to help you find them. By giving them the credit for your work it discounts what you have done for yourself.
When we have stars in our eyes, and put people in a huge pedestal, it can be shadow material that we haven’t owned for ourselves. We see something in them that we have struggled with and by projecting and idolising someone else we are not owning that part of ourselves. We all have golden shadow and what I hope is that you are able to recognise it, have a look at it and learn how to incorporate that aspect for yourself. How good would it be to incorporate the things that you admire in others into your own being rather than projecting it or making it unachievable for yourself.
Another part to this shadow business, is you can be bitterly disappointed when you realise that we are all flawed – including those that we admire. Believe me it’s a long fall from that pedestal and sometimes we can feel abandoned and deep seeded wounds come to the surface due to the reality of the practitioners humanness.
I guess the question that needs to be asked is ‘who is this about?’ To me, the answer is always be about the client, it is your experience and you need to be taking the credit for the growth that you have. This is not to say that the therapist isn’t brilliant – they can be and are – they can walk alongside, offer space and time, challenge, connect and affirm you in your strength, growth and resilience but ultimately the healing cannot happen without you doing the work.
Appreciate them yes, but be mindful not to discount your own abilities to find the answers for yourself. For sure, they might be the only person that you confide in, hold the safe space for you to explore, hold the trauma, sadness and frustration or help you to realise your own potential. They hold the mirror so that you can see things for yourself, or reflect back to you what you have already shared – they are facilitating your growth, not rescuing you from the situation or coming up with the solutions for you. They share the space with you, just don’t dismiss yourself in the process and please take time to take credit for your own resources, insights, power and knowledge rather than just handing it to someone else with over glorified thanks.