Mental Health Professionals Need Help, Too
Mental health professionals are the ultimate caregivers. You hold space for so many different people in a given week. You create and maintain the container that gives individuals a safe space for expressing some of the worst things that have ever happened to them. It is magical, important work.
It is also very hard. Working in this field can be draining. You have all of your own countertransference, emotions, and parallel processing going on as you work with each client. Although the relationship is important, you rarely self-disclose. Certainly, you don’t burden your client with the complicated emotions that arise for you during their work. Holding all of that inside is both a beautiful gift you offer your clients and it is a weight you carry within you.
It’s tempting to feel like you have to have it all together. Or to put your feelings in a box. In fact, you might get stuck precisely because you have so much training in professional counseling. You justify and analyze your feelings because of that training, but you may not allow yourself to really feel and work through the deeper emotions.