​answer my student in a positive way.

answer my student in a positive way.

Wow! Reading this chapter couldn’t
have come at a better time! I have been dealing with 2 different types
of stress at my practicum site. The first, is the anxiety mentioned in
the book about seeing clients for the first time. The second, also
eluded to in the book, is being okay with making mistakes. Typically, I
would say that I am. However, this can be especially difficult when
others are being overly critical or harsh while you’re learning (office
politics is an issue that I wish I had been a bit better prepared
for, but I digress).

The list of personal characteristics was incredibly encouraging to me
because it wasn’t surface level things like being “nice”, but more
about the type of person that you are. Now I don’t want to sound
conceited here, but I honestly could see myself in several of those
descriptions. Don’t get me wrong, that means me now, in my old age. My
twenty-something self? Not so much. The book even mentions these
things being more or less prominent at various times in our lives and
explains that they should be considered on a continuum. We should
continue to grow on our journey as a matter of course. I think that’s
why the point from the chapter that resonated most with me was, “Ultimately, your single most important instrument is the person you are” (Chapter 2-6p). For that reason, the 3 most important characteristics of a therapist are:

* authentic, sincere, and honest

* have a sense of humor

* make mistakes and are willing to admit them

I’ve heard time and time again that the “therapeutic alliance” is our
best tool and the most important aspect of therapy. In order to
achieve a strong alliance, I think we need to be genuine, funny, and
yes, even fallible, with our clients. In our society, we already seem
to have to live up to unattainable ideals. Maybe it will come as a
relief to our clients that it’s okay just to make peace with who they
are, as hopefully, we have done with ourselves.

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