For the Ladies. Your friends and family are not your therapist.

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I saw this picture and it got me thinking.  It’s unrealistic to ask your friends and family to have subjective opinions about your issues.  It’s a natural response.   It’s normal, if not probably expected for friends and family to have emotional responses to issues that bother you.  Why?  Because they love and care about you.  Many have even made emotional investments and time in you so when you tumble, have difficulty accomplishing goals, make poor decisions  or make mistakes those friends or family members may take your issues permanently.

An example of this is a break up. Remember that friend or family member you called a few times to vent about your partner or ex partner?  Those were the same people that may have seen you through your last relationship and now they’re pissed that another relationship partner is once again giving you hell.  Do you really expect a non biased response from these friends and family members?  We’re often protective of the people we love.

A licensed mental health therapist makes a promise to their licensing board and professional associations to respect their clients’ confidentiality.  Therapists also make a legal and ethical commitment to do no harm to their clients by engaging in nonjudgmental listening and unconditional support no matter what the issue.  A licensed therapist cannot interject/ verbalize their personal opinions about client issues.  We can make clinically based suggestions.  Last but not least we have a legal obligation to protect our clients and sometimes when our clients have severe medical or psychiatric issues we have to breach that confidentiality so that our clients can have the best care.

Confidentiality and Privacy – 2014 ACA code of Ethics 

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I practice the professional practices outlined in the American Counseling Association- ACA.   Section B of the ACA ethics code says:

“Counselors recognize that trust is a cor- nerstone of the counseling relationship. Counselors aspire to earn the trust of cli- ents by creating an ongoing partnership, establishing and upholding appropriate boundaries, and maintaining confi- dentiality. Counselors communicate the parameters of con dentiality in a culturally competent manner”.

If it’s important for your vehicle and personal safety to be insured via health and car insurance why not invest in your emotional safety?  You don’t have to be in crisis or have a diagnosis to see a therapist.  Many of us therapists help strengthen your coping skills, stress responses, and process every day issues using various types of therapies.  I personally utilize a cognitive behavioral therapy or Interpersonal theoretical framework.

Go ahead and take your $50 for your gel nails and put that towards your therapy co-pay.  Invest in your emotional health.  You can’t expect people to respect and protect your deepest thoughts if you don’t take the proper steps to protect them yourself.  Seeing a therapist can be scary but go ahead, try it out!!!

With love,

Shivonne

#ACA confidentiality #privacy #womensmentalhealth #therapy #thetherapistisin

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