Therapist Goals.

As a therapist, I regularly have ideas about how I would changes that would help my clients. That may be increased confidence, fitness, dietary changes,  or even relationship changes. From time to time, whenever I find myself thinking about my clients in this way, I remember a client (some years before I trained as an aromatherapist) in a mental health setting who would regularly return to a man who would physically abuse her to the point that some days she would come into the mental health day hospital with bruises all over her face.

The whole team, not just myself believed and quite rightly so in my opinion that the best thing she could do was to leave him for good. The trouble with this was, that psychologically, she was not ready to make this step and after brief stays at the local women’s refuge would return to him.

As a therapist, be that working through aromatherapy or some mode of psychotherapy, the same applies. I need to work with my clients towards their goals and not my own. This will not of course stop me from thinking of my own possible goals for them and sometimes over time these become shared goals. So long as the client’s goals do not conflict with either the code of conduct of professional associations or my own ethics I will stick to that. If such a conflict does exist, even if it makes me uncomfortable, I say so. (That hasn’t actually happened since I have been working in aromatherapy though it did from time to time working in the mental health system.)

Of course, as a therapist, part of my job is to help the client ascertain what their goals are but I need to do that without leading them into my ideas as to what they should be and these may well change over a number of sessions, indeed if I am doing a good job they likely will change as the first goals are achieved.