clinical training

Negative Therapist Characteristics

Have you ever wondered why you didn’t connect with your counselor? Or, IMG_0921maybe you did connect but something went wrong and therapy didn’t work? Every therapist/client relationship with have disagreements or ‘breaks’.  After all, it is a relationship, subject to all the same stuff as every relationship, but some factors on the part of the therapist have been shown to be problematic. Here are some reasons why therapists fail to maintain a strong therapeutic alliance with their clients:

1. Intrusive behaviors – the therapist imposes his/her own views, makes irrelevant comments, uses inappropriate techniques (Hartley and Strupp 1983).

2. Personality characteristics – the therapist is very rigid, self-focused, critical, or uninvolved (Marmer et al 1989)

3. Attributes that make it hard to connect – the therapist is exploitative, critical, moralistic, defensive, or lacking warmth or respect. (Eaton et al 1993).

4. General problems – the therapist is not confident, is bored, tired, blaming or unsupportive.

In more than 25 years of teaching new therapists, I can safely say that these are not common characteristics to find in your therapist.  In the hundreds and hundreds of students with whom I worked, maybe there were a few who belonged in some other field. Generally, you will find that people who go into the counseling, field are warm, interested, supportive, involved, not blaming and on your side. They are invested in your well-being and have no personal stake in the  outcome of your situation  (other than mental health) so you have the opportunity to forge a somewhat unusual, but rewarding relationship.

There’s a good therapist in this mystery...

Object of Obsession

4 Tips To Take You From Grad School To Real Life

Since many people are finishing up graduate programs this month (and I still dream/have nightmares about my own graduate education), I thought that I would share some thoughts on the transition from grad school to employment in the real world.

Initial years of employment for professionals tend to be stressful with reports of stress, frustration, anxiety and disappointment. There is a big discrepancy between the hopes/expectations of work and the real world of work. Most grad students have not been socialized to fit into workplace organizations.dreamstimefree_741620 pencils

1.  Graduate students often relocate upon completion of their degree. The MYTH: I will feel settled once I unpack. REALITY: Geographic relocation, settling in, leaving friends and starting over produces strain. ANSWER: Be realistic about the impact of your move, your job, and your life changes.

2.  New professionals are thrown into organizations. The MYTH: People will welcome me and I will be accepted. REALITY: Don’t count on it. You may find competition and a slow adjustment to you. ANSWER: Give people a chance; they may have lost a colleague; you may be unsettling to the status quo; they are busy so, let them get to know you. You need to stay in touch with your support systems.

3.  New professionals want to get going and show what they know. The MYTH: I won’t be an apprentice. REALITY: You are a subordinate to many people in the organization. ANSWER: Take your time and learn the ropes; cultivate inter-dependence rather than pure independence.

4.  New professionals often struggle with the ‘impostor syndrome’. MYTH: I have to be an expert; I have to be perfect. REALITY: No one expects you to be perfect; it is only you who is applying intense pressure.  ANSWER: Accept your unique strengths and weaknesses.

Source: Is there life after graduate school? S. Olson et al. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice V 17 #5: 415-419, 1986.

Someday, you may want to read and write again. Start with my mystery novel.

OO v3

“Learning Curve” – cartoon # 58

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 

 

“Wanna Join?” – cartoon # 57

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 

 

"Eclectic" – cartoon #56

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what do i say edelstein 

 

“Plan Ahead” – cartoon #55

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 

 

“Group Forming!” – cartoon # 54

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 

 

“What Do I Say?” – Cartoon # 52

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 

 

“Tell Me More” – cartoon #51

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 

 

“PSY.D” – cartoon #50

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein