Sometimes clients come in expecting me, as the “expert”, to give them some specific advice about their particular conundrums.
However, one thing that makes me quite different than some other therapists, is that I do NOT see myself as the expert in the room. I think that you, my client, are the expert here. You are the one in the room that knows you best, and no amount of training on my part, or getting to know you, will ever change that fact. Therefore, my expertise is in finding the right questions to ask, such that you don’t really need my advice, because the answers you give, provide you with the direction you seek.
It’s probably the toughest task that a therapist can be charged with, refraining from offering their opinions or ‘expertise’ to a client that’s having a hard time. But with the right questions, the client gets to figure things out on their own, and then they get to have ownership of the next right steps they will take.
I sometimes tell my clients that I have the dumbest business plan ever. My job, if done well enough, is to weed myself out of your life so that you can get back to the business of living it successfully.
Rebekka Ouer, LCSW