Friday, October 16, 2009

Top 10 Things NOT to do if you are a Therapist

(and want to keep your clientele)
(this coming from personal experience)

Ahem:

1. Do not wear plaid one-size-fits-all dresses AND Napoleon Dynamite moon-boots. Especially in the summer.
2. Do not draw fat people on your white board when experimenting with Exposure Therapy.
3. Stuffed moose in your office that occupy an entire rocking chair and are bigger than me are smelly and creepy and intimidating. What are you, four?
4. Don’t take calls from your kids in the middle of session. Do not hash out the fight between your kids involving mowing the lawn and piano lessons and if you don’t do it you can’t go play at your friends listen to your mother!
5. Do not tell me that I need to sit through my feelings. Pish WHAT IS UP with that?
6. Oh and also don’t set a timer that DINGS! when the 60 minutes are up. I understand the need to be aware of the time, but please, do so discreetly.
7. Don’t tell your client that you were assigned to them because “…no one else wanted to deal with you.” Ouchies.
8. Try to ignore the urge to wear socks with Tivas.
9. Bitch Boots are scary. But they’re kinda cute; hey, I’ve got a couple pair! But don’t wear them EVERYDAY because it’s a proven fact that stilettos, when worn on a kinda-haughty-by-nature person, can make one seem unapproachable. And as a therapist, wouldn’t you find being approachable, you know, kind of an asset?
10. Don’t fire me. Seriously, guys, it’s getting old! Guys? Guys…?

Who else has got some to contribute? I want to hear your ideas and input!

27 comments:

THE CREATION OF A BEAUTIFUL LIFE said...

Oh dear. We need more to this post. I mean, are you telling us that you got fired again from the current / new therapist?

brie said...

L, no, no, I promise! W has yet to fire me! I'm just talking about from past experience!

brie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kristin said...

11. Don't act unprofessional when YOU get fired. So not cool! You're supposed to be umm...PROFESSIONAL!

Brie, did number 4 seriously happen?! I cannot believe that!!

brie said...

oh yeah, kristin, #4 happened ALL THE TIME!

Telstaar said...

Don't decide that an issue needs to be resolved because you (therapist) is feeling threatened and go into a double session then charge your client for your therapy!!

Telstaar said...

Oh, don't say that you'll stick around no matter what, that you want to develop trust.....then fire you two conversations later.

lisalisa said...

DO not tell your EATING DISORDERED client that the saying "real women have curves" is just a rationalization that fat women use to feel better about themselves.
!!!

brie said...

lisa, OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!

telstaar...ouchies. i've gotten the whole "we're in this together" speech too, only to be fired soon thereafter too. it sucks. :(

thania said...

after 30 min talk about my reelapse she (my T) suggest the therapy group then I say "i dont feel i fit in Im not eating disordered" (lie).. she answers: "oh really?, ok then ure not".

there goes step one again :/

WTH? i was just lookin for reassurance maybe? i dont even know.. its been a year of the same thing and just deny i have the problem.. << not cool

Keely said...

A timer that DINGS? ha ha ha ha! What the... You need some better communication skills if you're a therapist and rely on a timer to help you end the session....

Krista said...

Ok so I have an inkling of who some of these people might be... in particular #4,#6, and 100% certainty on #8.

My T wears a watch that beeps at the end of the session and the first time it went off she tried to tell me it was to remind her to take her medicine, but then it kept happening every time I saw her! Even when it was a different hour of the day.

Here is my thing not to do if you are a therapist and this actually happened to me...

Don't tell your eating disorder client that you respect her decision to achieve a certain unhealthy weight goal and then hospitalize her before she even reaches that weight.

Keely said...

Don't take your client to Fred Meyer to shop for flowers during the session. I didn't have a garden and had no place to put one. ????

Don't start talking about your own traumas of your childhood (at CFC D, the therapist, was leading group and the "Question Bag" came out since no one wanted to talk. One of us got "What was your worst childhood experience?" And the girl who got it was like what? Who would want to answer that! And D decided to take the question...) It was awkward...

Don't go home and tell your family every little detail about your clients life and problems...except their name- due to hippa.... (!!!!)

Here's one for the Dr's office:
Don't stand outside the door and talk about how I'm not "sick enough" with my ED to get treatment. The MA was like "why can't she go into the hospital?" and the MD said "because she's not sick enough." I vowed to get "sick enough" and unfortunately I succeeded.

brie said...

krista the fact that you especially know who #8 is makes me happy! is she *really* still doing that? i mean really??

brie said...

keely oh no! i can't believe a frickin md would do that!

and D pulled out the question bag all the time too, and talked about her awkward divorce, it was horrible!

i love all these, keep them coming!

"Julia" said...

My short list:
1. Don't tell your patient that you don't believe they have an eating disorder
2. Don't tell same patient that you have to "work hard to keep on weight."
3. Don't have your patient come out to a parent as a joke.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Amen!

Kara said...

I would totaly FIRE my therapist if she had a dinging bell at the end of each session!! So not cool!

alriggells said...

As a dietitian don't tell your patient, "We have waited too long to eat and now I am not hungry." On a phase two pass out to eat when they are inpatient. Bad bad idea

Therapist, don't tell your patient they will use one of your friends to get information about you out.

As a doctor don't diagnose a patient with bipolar when you have only talked to them for like five minutes, patients won't like you.

rachel ramsay said...

i'm assuming #4 was J and it happened 9 times out of 10 for me.

jCroft(y) said...

When your client tells you about a certain ED behavior of hers that is kind of uncommon, don't say, "Wow, that's FASCINATING!!!" It will probably make your client feel like the subject of a science project.

My Life Transformation said...

oh my goodness. i thought those things were all quite obvious no-nos.

perhaps i should become a therapist...

bananas said...

As a nutritionist seeing a client for 3+ years for an eating disorder (and you are supposedly an "eating disorder specialist") do not suddenly say, "No, I don't think you have an eating disorder. I just think you have disordered eating" and then try to tell you about the DSM when you are not in a position to diagnose in the first place!

Thanks for wasting 3 years, E. I loved firing your ass.

Heather Lindquist said...

I remember at cfc when our T used to do that. I even remember it was about mowing the yard! How funny, but ever so rude.

Heather Lindquist said...

Oh wait! I thought of something else.....they should never talk about their other clients in session with you! I, um, totally thought everything was supposed to be confidential......I guess I was wrong. : )

"Julia" said...

See my old T. didn't tell me names, but when I brought up my ED-NOS, she compared me to "an anorexic patient I treated once... she only ate three carrot sticks a day." This was her primary evidence for why I couldn't possibly have an E.D. Like all E.D. patients are anorexic and like all anorexics are that bad.

Brooke said...

All I know is that I am so happy that you love your current tx. I especially love that she uses foul language during sessions!