We are just like you, you are just like us

How can a therapist go to therapy?” you might ask.

Here at Pneuma Healthcare, we warmly welcome humanness within the therapy room. We are passionate about spreading the message that therapists also struggle with difficult emotions. Contrary to belief, therapists are not resilient to life’s suffering. Therapists often listen to their own story each and every day through the vulnerable words of their clients.

Good therapists not only know what deep sadness is, but they know how it feels. In fact, your therapist may have been on both sides of the room – both as the client and as the therapist. Your therapist may too have experienced the first daunting therapy session that you are about to embark upon. This is where the beauty of empathy, understanding and compassion stems from.

Therefore, your therapist will do all in their power to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether this be a light as big as the sun, or a small flashlight, we want to show you that there is light.

When we experience adversity, we can either run and self-destruct, or we can use it to strengthen us and in turn, strengthen others. Cleary and Armour (2022) recently published an article that highlights how a client vulnerably opened up to a therapist when the therapist shared their own lived-experiences - “That absolutely flipped the whole therapeutic relationship. The lad's hood came down, he sat back in the chair, and he began to open up, and it developed into an absolutely amazing therapeutic relationship where he has changed beyond recognition”.

The therapeutic relationship is at the core of improvement and so perhaps one may argue that lived-experience practitioners have an advantage in gaining that essential alliance. Knowing that their therapist has experienced, overcome and healed from mental health difficulties provides clients with the hope so that they too can overcome darkness.

The conclusion and takeaway message from this blog is that therapists too are human. Human to human, we will get through this together. We are all essentially the same. We are just like you. You are just like us. Maybe there is no ‘you’ and ‘us’. There should be no hierarchy in the therapy room.

Here at Pneuma Healthcare, we welcome collaboration. We encourage a “we are in this together” approach. We believe that once a client senses that humanness from the therapist, that is when true connection and alliance is formed. We must end on an inspiring quote from Conchar and Repper (2014) – “lived-experience practitioners are, therefore, embodiments of possibility”. Let us provide you with possibility. Let us provide you with hope that you too can overcome your darkness.