I'm a Therapist and These Are the 3 Things I Wish I Could Ask My Clients
He'd never actually ask them, but he might be onto something.
"And how does that make you feel?" is perhaps the question most associated with therapists. It's their responsibility to let clients come to their own conclusions and broach subjects only when they're ready. But that doesn't mean your therapist is sitting there void of any curiosity. To this point, marriage and family therapist Jeff Guenther, LPC recently took to TikTok (where he's known as Therapy Jeff) to reveal the three things he wishes he could ask clients—but never actually would, of course. Read on to learn what's really running through his head during sessions.
"Can you show me a picture of this person?"
In a TikTok video, the first question Guenther says therapists "so badly" wish they could ask is to see pictures of "all the people that are in your life, just based off of genuine curiosity."
"Will this impact the type of therapy I provide for you? No, it won't. It could. But it shouldn't," he adds.
And alas, it's that gray area that prevents him and other professionals from making such requests.
"Have you seen me on a dating app?"
Remember when you were a kid in school and you saw your teacher in, say, the grocery store, and it was a shock to the system? The same principle can apply to therapists: It's easy to forget they're actual people, too.
For that reason, Guenther says he wishes he could ask his clients if they've seen him on any dating apps.
"Because if you have, I'm humiliated, and I can't be your therapist anymore," he quips. See, we're all human.
"Can I read the texts?"
Turns out you're not the only one who's gone into therapy and paraphrased a text conversation. But are you accurately relaying the exchange? Are you putting negative inflection where there probably wasn't any? That's why Guenther says he'd love to be able to actually read the texts.
"Give me your phone whenever you're describing text messages between somebody that you're complaining about in session. I wanna know every single word that was written. I don't need a summary," he says of his unrealistic dream scenario. "But that feels very invasive."
The therapist might be on to something.
It probably goes without saying that all three of these questions are unethical in the world of therapy. However, commentators on Guenter's video actually like the idea of breaking down some of these walls with their therapist.
"I have printed out screenshots of my texts for my psychologist in the past, and always show photos. oversharing is fun," wrote one person.
"I once made my therapist a PowerPoint of the people in my life and titled it 'The Reasons I'm in Therapy and Other Honorable Mentions,'" said another.
"I always show pictures and text messages. I even mapped out a color coded family tree 5 generations long to aide my description of our family……" commented someone else.
In these cases, it's acceptable if the client is proactively sharing the information about themselves. But don't expect your therapist to ever bend on sharing their dating profile.
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