I'm not good with receiving compliments. I never have been and I'm still not comfortable with them, despite years of meaningful personal therapy.
So when clients tell me that "I've changed their lives", it presents me with both a personal and a professional dilemma.
Your life has changed by coming to therapy. I have no issue with that statement whatsoever but I can't agree that it's me who's changed it.
Psychotherapy is a process involving two human beings making contact. Two people, who will each be affected by what is happening to the other. It's an absolute two-way process. It can't work any other way.
So, the changes which happen are very real but there's a whole school of thought that thinks that the actual "therapy", in terms of change, happens more between sessions than in them - and that means that YOU are doing the work because, between sessions, I'm not even there!
If your life has changed because of therapy, it is YOU who's done the work. Yes, I may have facilitated the process by means of exploration, asking new questions, unpicking old belief & thought patterns, editing life scripts, sharing insights & observations and by holding a safe space for you but it is impossible for me to make changes in your daily life. YOU will be the one who's done that, through your own courage and self will.
So, having been told twice in less than a week, that I have changed clients' lives, I am left delighted and deeply moved by the declarations but I will always remind you, as my client, that the changes have come from within you, and only supported, all the way, by my role as your therapist.
As I've said before, psychotherapy is a place to reclaim your own power, not to give it away. So embrace the changes you've had the courage to make and let yourself be proud of your own achievements.
To find answers to more of your questions, please visit my website at www.damiangeorge.co.uk