Deciding how much to share on counselling sites has always been problematic for me. This is most likely an influence from the therapeutic relationship within the counselling session – the therapist keeps personal sharing to a minimum. This makes perfect sense, as the counselling session is not about the therapist and the therapist shouldn’t make it so. The client is the focus. I go by the maxim in therapy of only sharing anything that helps the client on his or her journey. When I am in session and a client asks about my life – a normal tendency of interaction in a less than normal environment – I only share what might be helpful to him or her and then move the conversation from myself.
Having this approach in counselling meant that when I first created a counselling site many years ago, I was a bit unsettled about sharing aspects of my life on the site. What happens to that professional distance? This distance is normal in therapeutic modalities where the therapist is the “expert” and interactions are reminiscent of the doctor-patient relationship. In Narrative Therapy, however, the counsellor is decentred with the focus on the knowledge, expertise and experiences of the client. It is one of the things that drew me to Narrative Therapy. How should a decentred therapist interact outside of sessions?
We all have multiple narratives, strung together in wild and beautiful ways in our lives. The therapist – in this case, me – is no different. My role is not to be a distant expert, but within therapy I will also only share those parts of my life that might be helpful to my clients. This site is different – it is a place where I share my love for therapy, not only for my clients, but also for anyone else who might be in need of assistance or who has an interest in therapy. So, you will find much about me here and that is intentional.
That your evolving narratives will bring you strength and joy!