Ask a Therapist: What Did You Help a Client Learn Today?
Therapists share real client breakthroughs and "a-ha" moments
Welcome to a new series called, "Ask a Therapist!" In this series, we'll be asking our team of therapists questions from our community and compiling the answers for you here. To submit your question, click here.
Our first question is, what did you help a client learn recently?
"I helped a client understand that if she pleases everyone she cannot please herself by explaining that if she's always looking at other and seeing how to please them, she cannot focus on her needs nor she can satisfy those." - Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst
"The thing I helped a client learn recently is that Life is not easy but the difference between an adventure and a catastrophe is our perception." - Cynthia Stocker, LCSW
"By focusing on improving her self-care, my client learned self-confidence and the importance of placing value on herself. Subsequently, she was assertive when her abusive ex tried to take advantage of her because she knew she deserved better. It was a great day, I was so proud of her!" - Jessica McDaniel, MA LPC
"I helped a client by realizing that happiness is within, and by thinking the way, my client started to become more optimistic." - Susana Diaz, LPC
"I helped a client learn her worth by challenging the negative beliefs she had about herself (‘I am not a good person,' ‘I deserve to be treated poorly,' etc.). Then I helped her to learn what she wants and needs in a relationship and that she was worth not settling for less than those things." - Alison Humphreys, LCPC
"For me, there is often a higher purpose of therapy once the main therapeutic objectives have been reached. And that is when the client grasps something within themselves that is a universal insight shared by us all but perhaps not always recognized or understood. I suppose you could call it wisdom. Wisdom jumps off of the page to me in words my clients have written and the reverie in which they communicate it underlines that profound sense of ‘ah-ha'ness' that they feel. As much as I would like to lay claim to channeling my clients to these revelations of wisdom I alas can not and am in fact more humbled by them than smug for having been a part of the process.
But one example of wisdom a client recently aligned with was found in this statement towards the end of our time together:
‘I now understand that each pain I have will not be every pain I've ever had, each problem I have will not be every problem I've ever had, and each challenge I have will not be every challenge I've ever had. Everything I experience in the future may be similar to what I have experienced in the past, but it will be different enough for me to deal with it as being something unique in my life for which I can appreciate and know I already have the natural ability to deal with." - Graham Barrone, ICHP, MCBT
"My client is struggling with a very toxic relationship and it's taken some time to make him realise that it's not healthy through acceptance of who he is, what he brings to this world in the context of strengths and the good person that he is. We've worked on his view of a healthy and a toxic relationship which helped him to see what he is going through. It's taken time but we are transitioning into where he is considering ending the relationship. More work needs to be done but we are at a much healthier space than when he started a few months ago." - Lisa de Regt, BSc
"I've been working/focusing a lot on solution-focused therapy where clients try to explore, brainstorm different solutions to their problems. A lot of the clients I work with struggle with anxiety. It's has been helpful for two of my clients to journal different ways to lessen their anxious feelings. They would write it down and we would discuss how the solutions could be put into practice. Then we follow up together to see if any of the solutions have been helpful once put into place." - Trishna Monplaisir, LMSW
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