It falls silent in Esther’s treatment room. Her client, Anna, sits opposite her and looks at her hopefully and expectantly. The requests for help that Anna makes overwhelm Esther a little. They are more complex than she had thought and require a lot of empathy and solution-oriented thinking for a novice, inexperienced therapist. She would prefer to think about these questions, but there’s really no time for that. She only has one hour with Anna and will have to work with her in that time according to a structured plan. That’s her job and that is what Anna is entitled to. For a moment Esther has to fight against a slight panic. The only thing she can ask herself is: When will she see through me? When does Anna find out that I am still very inexperienced at this? That I don’t have that much experience yet?
Beginning therapists and coaches often struggle with these feelings. It’s very difficult within the hourly schedule to get an idea of what a certain client needs and how you can facilitate this. Therapists and coaches regularly wonder when they will be ‘found out’ and are very insecure about their first sessions. They do not yet see themselves as a real therapist and often wonder what a professional would do now.
Uncertainty is positive
Perhaps you recognize yourself in these feelings. Let me start by underlining that I think this is a very healthy feeling. That uncertainty tells me about the desire to do the job really well. If you are afraid of being seen through, it’s very valuable. You acknowledge that you still have a lot to learn. You don’t play lightly with the trust that clients give you.
Let me also say this: I’ve not forgotten that I was in that position 30 years ago. That is why it is my mission to make my knowledge and love for the profession available to young therapists and coaches who deal with their clients in such an ethical manner.
Just by the way: dealing ethically with clients and colleagues is discussed extensively in this blog: Ethical dilemmas in your practice, how do you solve them?
Fly on the wall
Many starting coaches would like to be able to look into the consulting room of experienced therapists. You can learn a lot from watching with an experienced coach or therapist. Practice shows so many more facets than you can find in a book. By seeing how someone else practices the profession and reflecting on it, you get an idea of how you work and how you can build your own professional identity. You learn in depth and work efficiently. Because that uncertainty, that feeling that you actually cannot do this, you want to get rid of that as quickly as possible.
Building a practice has many demands. There’s a danger that a beginning therapist will be swallowed up by the issues of the day. This can threaten the development of your professional identity. A good professional takes themselves seriously and also takes responsibility. That is why you have chosen this course. Then it is wonderful to relax with a group of like-minded people, to be yourself and to reflect on learning your profession.
TA experience group
In order to assist new coaches in this phase of their practice, I offer the TA experience group. The atmosphere in these work groups is inspired by the San Francisco Seminars as Erik Berne organized them. Here you’ll have the opportunity to work with an experienced therapist/coach, observe well and ask questions. You’ll also exchange experiences and theory with colleagues and learn from practice. Books are well and good, but you need practical experience to be confident as a coach. You get the opportunity in this group. There is always a maximum of 8 participants, so that everyone gets personal attention and guidance. By joining the experience group you learn in practice and you never have to feel frustrated about lack of training or tools to facilitate in depth work.
Would you like more information about this TA experience group? Then visit this page and register.Yes, I want to know more about the TA experience group