What Your Therapist Would Like You to Know

Have you ever wondered if your therapist really cares about you and wants to see you get better? Here are some things your therapist would like you to know.
What Your Therapist Would Like You to Know
Sharon Laura Capeluto

Written and verified by the psychologist Sharon Laura Capeluto.

Last update: 18 April, 2023

There’s a metaphor that perfectly describes the role that a therapist can play: Imagine that you and your therapist are two climbers, each climbing a different mountain. The mountains are extremely close to each other.

The therapist can see a path that can help you climb your mountain better. This isn’t because they’re smarter than you or because they’ve climbed it before,  but because they’re in a position where they can see things that you can’t.

In the therapeutic relationship, the only advantage your therapist has over you is perspective. Although they can guide you on the path they see for you, they won’t climb the mountain for you.

Indeed, only you can choose the path you want to take. Consequently, the most difficult task falls on you.

Being a therapist is a wonderful job. Therapists commit themselves to other human beings in order to see them through difficult times and help them feel better. It involves providing honest support, based on knowledge gained from experience and years of study.

Next, we’re going to list a series of facts that every psychotherapist would like their clients to know.

Man in psychological therapy
The work of the psychologist goes beyond the sessions.

Your therapist really wants to see you get better

Have you ever wondered if your therapist really cares about you and wants your discomfort to subside? The answer is yes. At least, 99 percent of the time their interest in seeing you get better is genuine.

They want your psychotherapeutic process to work, not simply to fulfill their own goals, but because they empathize with you.

Therapists get to know your story, your greatest fears, and your darkest and brightest sides. They know how much effort you’re making. They’re aware of your deepest desires. Of course, they want to see you get better.

They think about your case outside the session

Therapeutic work isn’t limited to the therapeutic space. It involves a process that you, as the client, go through every day both inside and outside of the session.

You reflect on your emotions and behaviors, do exercises that your therapist has suggested to you, and make use of the tools that you learned about in your therapy sessions.

Much in the same way, your therapist continues to work on your process at different times, beyond their meetings with you.

They think about your case and work on different strategies to promote your well-being. Furthermore, you might go through their mind when they read a book that resonates with your particular problem or when they undergo training courses.

While it’s true that you probably think more about them than they think about you (after all, you’re not their only patient/client, but they’re your only therapist), you don’t disappear from their head when your session is over.

In fact, most professionals work on each case outside of the sessions themselves to adjust the intervention plans in accordance with the changes they detect in their clients each week.

Sometimes, they need to tell you what you don’t want to hear

You might have sometimes experienced anger or deep sadness after a comment from your therapist. Perhaps you thought: “Why did they say that to me?” or “Why are they provoking me?” or It seems like they want me to be sad”.

However, your therapist doesn’t enjoy saying hurtful things to you or making really challenging proposals. On the contrary, they encourage you to do certain things that they know might be really complex for you because they consider they’ll make you feel better.

Therefore, they occasionally need to speak in clear, harsh words to make you feel the necessary impact.

Your therapist is also a human being

This means that they also have emotions. Nevertheless, throughout their own journey, they’ve had to learn to show themselves as being rather cold and detached. That’s because, to conduct their work properly, they need to keep themselves intact.

This doesn’t mean that they’re not affected by your emotions. Undoubtedly they’ve wanted to cry with you on more than one occasion when listening to your deep anguish. Likewise, they get really pleased when you arrive at a session with good news.

They’re only human. This means that as well as having feelings, they make mistakes. They make mistakes in their personal as well as professional life. Furthermore, they feel really frustrated in the face of these mistakes.

They wonder if what they told you in a certain session was appropriate, or if they could’ve approached the subject differently.

In short, they make mistakes and try to learn from them. In fact, they have supervision spaces themselves that they attend when they consider it to be necessary.

They seldom tell you what to do, particularly in a concrete way

If you think a psychotherapist will give you strict instructions on what you should do, you’ll be disappointed. Your therapist isn’t going to give you advice or decide for you. Instead, they’ll help you put your thoughts in order so that you can take responsibility for your life yourself.

They can give you their point of view so that you recognize issues that you hadn’t considered until now. Nevertheless, their function isn’t to solve your problems. In fact, one of the main objectives of therapy is to favor the autonomy of the client/patient.

They’ll help you find answers and more questions, but they don’t have them

In line with the previous point, your psychologist won’t tell you what to do because they don’t have all the answers.

They’d love to have a magic wand, say Wingardium leviosa ( for the Harry Potter fans), and have your problems disappear instantly, in much the same way as many doctors, lawyers, nutritionists, etc. would.

However, they don’t have one. In fact, even if they did, they’d probably be unlikely to use it.

Most professionals are a wealth of wisdom (they’ve been studying for years), and it’s the kind of wisdom that’ll help you, but it doesn’t necessarily provide the answers you’re looking for.

Woman doing psychological therapy
The psychologist won’t tell you what to do but will help you find out.

They can see your worth, even when you can’t

They’re aware of your strengths and they’re interested in enhancing them. During your first sessions, they pay special attention to detecting your strengths.

In fact, with the intention of offering a good psychotherapeutic treatment, they allocate time and energy to be really clear about what you excel at and what your most valuable tools are.

When you had your first session with your therapist, you were already able to take advantage of many of these tools, but others you still couldn’t use. Your therapist wants to make you aware of how you can use these tools, as well as accept how valuable you really are.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.