Therapists need therapy too !!
Psychologists, Counsellors, therapists, Doctors are also people with their own sets of problems. They also need to talk like everyone else. They also need to learn coping skills like everyone else. They may also need professional help. I often hear people saying “Oh…you are crying…but you are a Psychologist !! ” “Oh..why are you shouting…how can you get angry ..aren’t you a Psychologist?” “What kind of Psychologist you are when you can’t control yourself?”. It seems to be logical to think that mental health professionals should be able to practice more emotional regulation as they have studied emotions and how to cope with them as a part of their education and training. But this expectation is a little more far-fetched than this logic. It fails to take into account the fact that these professionals or practitioners are also human and they have their emotional brain as well. They will also experience all the emotions just like any other human being. For e.g an orthopedic surgeon can suffer from a fracture although he knows all about bones, similarly, a Psychologist can suffer a break-up although he knows better about human relationships. The only difference is that after suffering from a fracture an orthopedician will take utmost care and may recover faster than us, though the healing process will still take the minimum time required for healing. Similarly, a Psychologist may have a quicker come back after an emotional upheaval. But we cannot guarantee that just because I know about bones, I will not get a fracture! Also, the profession itself is quite demanding as it is emotionally taxing and it is very difficult though ideal to remain detached from the sufferings of fellow human beings while providing counseling services. The people who choose this profession are generally themselves empathetic people who are naturally sensitive to other’s needs. They tend to get attached with their clients especially in the early years of their practice and their client’s distress affects them. On the other hand, when they look around them in their own distress they encounter apathy from others, even their own family and friends. Hence, it is imperative for all mental health professionals to invest in their own emotional and mental health regularly. They need to undergo systematic therapy sessions to deal with their own neurosis ideally before they start taking up sessions to help others and on a continuous basis even after that. They need to invest in their own sleep, physical exercise and mental relaxation by way of meditation, reading, and pursuing a hobby for themselves. Friends, remember you can’t pour from an empty cup after all!
Take very good care of yourselves too.