I'm a Therapist and These Are the 6 Hard Truths I Can't Tell My Clients
A therapist confesses to keeping these things from her patients.
If you've ever sat across from your therapist and wondered what they've been scribbling in that little notepad, you're definitely not alone. It's common to question what your therapist is thinking, and especially what they're thinking about you.
Though most go to great lengths to maintain a professional demeanor in your presence, your therapist of course has opinions, feelings, and hang-ups—just like the rest of us. However, that doesn't mean they're free to share these sometimes hard truths with their clients, who trust them to provide a safe space for healing and processing.
Holly Kristina, LCSW, a psychotherapist, social worker, and content creator who goes only by her first and middle name on public platforms, says there are a handful of things she usually keeps to herself where her clients are concerned. Now, in a recent video, she's lifting the veil on the things that she thinks about behind the scenes but doesn't dare say in a session.
She sometimes cries after sessions.
In a TikTok video, Holly shares that oftentimes, after a particularly emotional session with a client, she becomes emotional, too. "Sometimes after our sessions, I will cry. It's hard for me not to feel the things that other people are sometimes feeling," she says.
This makes sense since the therapy relationship is one built on empathy and support. If you're opening up about something hard that you're going through, your therapist may have their own feelings about it, or it may bring up some of their own past traumas.
She gets nervous to meet new people.
If you've ever started therapy with a new mental health provider, you might have felt the jitters going into your first session. Holly says that the feeling is mutual—therapists are just as nervous to meet you as you are to meet them.
"I get just as nervous for new patient appointments 10 years into my career as I did on day one," she admits in the video.
She thinks of her clients between sessions.
It's common to wonder if your therapist thinks about you outside of your regularly scheduled hour together. Holly confirms that in her case, she regularly thinks of clients outside of sessions—sometimes storing away ideas that could be helpful for future sessions.
"Throughout the week, there are probably things that I see that remind me of you," she notes.
She spends time prepping.
In addition to the time your therapist spends talking with you, they also spend time reviewing your past sessions and bringing themselves up to speed on any important current topics. This helps them jump right into the issues that matter to you most and push you forward toward more progress.
"Before you come in, I will spend a few minutes prepping for our session, looking over notes from the previous week," Holly says.
She feels guilty taking time off.
Holly says that another hard truth she doesn't share with clients is that she struggles with taking time off from her job. Though she knows it's important to allow time for herself, she's aware that she has a full roster of clients relying on her for emotional support.
"I feel guilty taking time off work because I feel like my clients need me to be here," she explains.
She loves seeing pictures of the people her clients talk about.
Finally, Holly says that she particularly enjoys therapy sessions when her clients offer visual aids while spilling the tea. This gives her additional context for her clients' stories and adds more dimension to the conversation.
"I secretly like it when people show me pictures of the people they're talking about or read me the text messages," she admits.
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