4 Qualities Every Therapist MUST Have
Ineffective drugs, insincere social media messages and superficial quick fixes won’t heal the worldwide mental health crisis. Really good Therapists will.
The world is a deeply challenging place to be right now. People are struggling. Prescriptions for anxiety and antidepressant medication increase but the problem isn’t going away. Richard Ashcroft was right when he sung ‘The drugs don't work, they only make things worse’.
We are in crisis. The solutions offered - ineffective drugs plus Facebook and Instagram offering us cliched memes, meaningless soundbites, insincere and inauthentic messages - don’t raise people out of their suffering.
In amongst this mess are, thankfully, increasingly louder voices of reason; people who have found how to lead by example and help others in a meaningful, sincere and effective way.
I genuinely believe things are shifting; that humanity is changing; that we are indeed living through the end of one paradigm and moving into a new age. Although we are not out of the woods yet, things are tangibly changing, for the better, in terms of the collective human consciousness.
The role of therapy
I have been reflecting on the work that I do, and in particular the Practitioner Training Course, and how this work is my small contribution to a global movement.
I believe that processing and resolving our individual emotional issues is one of the key ways in which we can reclaim the wellbeing of society and humanity.
We need effective tools to do this; We do not need superficial quick fixes which keep us locked into our old conditioning.
Hypnosis, NLP and CBT are often sold as some sort of magic fix that will wipe out all of the pain and suffering from your mind. The focus of many hypnotherapy courses is on tools, techniques, therapeutic tricks and marketing but there is very little focus on the personal development of the Trainee.
Even with more traditional forms of therapy, the Therapist can be positioned as the expert, as if they can peer into your inner mind and know more about your suffering and how you should heal than you do. Neither of those things are true or helpful in terms of expanding our awareness and resolving our trauma.
What makes an effective Therapist?
Effective Therapists are people who have experience of clearing their own personal issues. They have done enough processing of their own trauma, pain and suffering that they do not need to use their clients to meet their own emotional needs.
1.They can hold the space for healing
They are clear enough so that they are able to hold the space with a client and allow the client’s feelings to really come to the surface.
We don’t resolve the pain and trauma by shoving it away, wiping it out or trying to press the delete button. We move beyond it by feeling it.
Feeling the pain is tough and people need somebody to witness it.
For the Therapist to be able to witness this pain, they have to come into the room with no agenda. If they have not cleared enough of their own stuff, they will unconsciously or consciously be putting certain demands upon the client; Perhaps having a need for the client to heal in a particular way or heal in a particular time-frame or focus on particular issues or even not deal with certain issues at all.
2. They are detached from the outcome
An effective Therapist is completely detached from the outcome. They are open to following the cues from the client and working in whatever way that client needs to work.
The thing that stops Therapists from being able to trust in this innate healing ability is fear.
Fear stops us from looking at difficult, painful emotions.
Fear stops a Therapist from allowing a client to feel their feelings or heal in their own unique way.
Fear is the tool that the mind uses to put a lid on feelings, which at the time they arose were overwhelming and beyond one’s capacity to deal with.
Fear manifests in the therapy room as control; the Therapist trying to control what the client looks at and how they process their emotions.
3. They have learned to let go of control
Learning to let go of the control freak is an essential attribute for Therapists.
As Therapists, we have to understand the importance of letting go of the need to control the healing process. This is exactly what the Trainees on the Practitioners course acquire. It isn't something that can be taught in the way a technique can be taught. It is a skill that emerges organically through the process of one’s own emotional clearing.
Trainees naturally find they relinquish the need to control and discover a deeper trust in their own inner mind and in the client’s mind. It is through experience and practise that the Trainees come to understand and know the innate healing ability of the mind.
4. They trust the process
Despite my many years of experience and positive feedback from clients, I still like to ask myself whether I am an effective Therapist.
The conclusion I come back to is that I know I can sit with a client, no matter what they are feeling and have 100% belief and confidence (even in the moments they don’t) that they can process, heal and come through whatever pain, suffering and trauma they have experienced.
I have sat with clients who are in the absolute depths of despair, feeling suicidal, where - despite the odd moment of doubt and fear because I am feeling the enormity of their feelings - I always come back to a place of absolute trust in the process.
Feeling your feelings, no matter how difficult or frightening those emotions are, is how you set yourself free.
I am able to do this because I have processed enough of my own fear. I have been to those very dark places and emerged. I absolutely believe, know and trust that we have the ability to heal whatever trauma we have experienced.
I also know that if a client doesn't sit crying or being emotionally demonstrative that this doesn't mean it isn't working. I am confident in myself and in the process to trust the client to take whatever they need out of a session and heal in the way that is perfect for them - no matter what it looks like from the outside. There is no judgment and no expectation either way.
Are you ready to go on your own healing journey?
This is what the Analytical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Diploma is about. It is not about learning tricks or techniques.
in-depth personal development
diving into your own fears and your own deepest pain and suffering
gaining an understanding of the process so you can be there for your clients
That’s why the course is a year long and why the journey of learning through experience continues for the new qualified Practitioners long after the course has finished. A lifetime’s worth of experiences do not disappear in one session, a weekend or even a few weeks..
Freud wrote, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
I remember hearing that quote when I was in a very intense period of my own healing and balking at it. How could this pain and intensity of feelings be beautiful? Now I get it:
Struggle is beautiful because it’s the key to your freedom.
Find out more about the Analytical Hypnotherapist training and apply to join this year’s group - healing your own pain so you can sit with others as they do the same is a gift to yourself and the world that you’ll never regret.