Choosing a Therapist
As in any profession, there are therapists who demonstrate greater and
lesser amounts of responsibility in their practices. Neither ASCA NOR THEMORRIS CENTER is in the business of evaluating individual practitioners.However, we encourage ASCA participants who are interested in individual and/or group professional therapy to select their therapist(s) carefully. Do be an informedconsumer. Do ask questions about the therapist's training, experience and licensure. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask about the therapist's theoretical orientation and what kinds of techniques or practices s/he uses in therapy. To the extent possible, trust your senses.
The current debate about child abuse, memories and recovery often mentions "repressed memory therapy." As a point of clarification, there is no such identified discipline. There are various therapeutic techniques some more reputable than others that therapists may use in working with clients.Therapists may use these same techniques with clients who have no abuse issues as with clients who either know or suspect that they may have been abused. The real key to competent therapy lies not in techniques but in the expertise and ethical stance of the therapist.
Once you have entered into a therapeutic relationship with a professional, if you feel yourself being pushed too fast or encouraged too much, or you are uncomfortable with suggested therapeutic methods, try to discuss your concerns with your therapist. If the therapist's suggestions don't feel right or aren't compatible with your memories, feelings or beliefs about your abuse, then try to discuss this as well. You should be comfortable with the pace of your therapy and be able to discuss your progress openly with your therapist. An ethical therapist will never force you to engage in an activity or recovery technique about which you are truly uncomfortable. Ultimately, you are the authority on your own experiences. Although your therapist is a professional and may possess knowledge and skills that you do not, you bear the responsibility of being an active participant in your recovery.
This isn't to say that therapy won't, at times, be painful and difficult, especially when working on deep-seated issues around child abuse. But there is a difference between your natural resistance to looking at and dealing with painful memories, and the discomfort that arises when you feel that something is being suggested to you that is instinctively wrong or uncomfortable. If this happens, and if you and your therapist cannot come to a mutually agreeable solution, then perhaps it's time to consider changing therapists.
Survivor to Thriver, Page 12
© 2007 THE MORRIS CENTER, Revised 11/06