As many of you know, I was a professional singer before I began my journey to become a therapist and a psychologist. The only thing I knew about therapy was that I’d had lots of it and had never laid down on a couch. And that it had been extremely helpful many times. My decision was made in 1984 and I became licensed in 1993. Nine years is a long time. So, I couldn’t wait to use all I’d learned in school.

But the learning actually started when I began seeing patients on my own. And I also realized that many of the things I’d experienced from being in therapy myself – made me a better therapist. So today, in this episode sponsored by BetterHelp, I’ll talk about ten things that a good therapist knows to do. In fact, here they are:

  1. The importance of timing. Sometimes it’s better to wait.
  2. What true empathy is.
  3. Staying curious rather than assuming I know.
  4. When to listen to my gut.
  5. The vital importance of self-care.
  6. When personal sharing is helpful.
  7. The importance of being myself and not adopting some kind of therapeutic persona.
  8. To think outside of the box.
  9. How to hold a safe space.
  10. How and when to use gentle confrontation.

The listener email is from a woman whose mother sends her what the listener calls “unfiltered” critical comments about her parenting – she’s caught between wanting to love her mom, but not being willing to receive the non-asked for feedback. It’s a tough place to be..

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism or need for control which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions, long hidden away, that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!


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