20 Things

The difference between you and your client is luck. Luck can run out. Be the therapist you’d want to see.

The person in your office is paying you to do a job; make sure they get something out of the session.

Your goal is to help a client not keep them.

A client not coming back is usually because of something you did or said. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was wrong.

If a client misses a session without good reason then charge them. If you don’t value your work, why should anyone else?

If your client knows nothing about you then you probably don’t have a great working relationship.

If your client knows too much about you then you probably don’t have any semblance of a working relationship.

If the intervention you created in your head seems new, unorthodox and ground breaking think thrice before using it.

If you know that you can’t help a client then refer out; your client isn’t an experiment.

It has become fashionable to provide a client with help without conducting a formal assessment. This is a huge mistake. Spend the first hour learning as much as you can before you open your mouth about anything else.

Don’t be afraid to call your client on a behavior.

Don’t be too confrontational.

There are times when it is appropriate to work harder than your client; sometimes they need to know someone believes in them.

If you consistently work harder than your clients then you are probably not helping anyone.

Evidence trumps theory.

Outcomes trump evidence.

If you survived the apocalypse then you need to figure out a way to become useful because therapy is now sort of unimportant.  In other words, get over yourself.

If you’re working with a teen then your working with the family.  It’s more important for the teen to trust their family than you.  If they legitimately can’t then you should be nothing more than a temporary fix.

Before you try to extinguish a behavior be sure you can replace it.  Don’t confuse symptoms with survival skills.

If you notice yourself becoming really nervous, sad, embarrassed, gross or angry over something your client is telling you, pay attention.  You may have gotten a taste of what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Think about the strength that’s needed to feel that way most of the time and still keep trying.