Sunday, January 03, 2010

Therapist bad habits

Ah, yes, I have to be fair.

Having raised the issue of the 'Last Minute Bomb', thanks to a reader who kindly *grin* directed me to an article by John Grohol over at PsychCentral - The 12 most annoying bad habits of therapists.

Only 12 you say?

Read the article for more depth but basically the list of therapeutic crimes reads as follows:

Showing up late for appointments Sometimes a delay can't be helped if an earlier scheduled client is experiencing a crisis situation. Having a buffer time between clients helps minimise that likelihood.

Eating in front of a client You really don't need to see me eating my lunch. However, I do have a drink of water to hand and I always offer clients tea/water to drink before starting.

Excessive yawning/sleeping during session zZzzzZzz. If I did this to a client, I'd expect them to be looking for a new therapist.

Inappropriate disclosure Therapist disclosure has to be kept to a minimum and used with excessive care. I could spend hours sharing my snake phobia with you and explore why I moved to a country with so many venemous snakes but shouldn't the session really be about you, not me?

Being impossible to reach by phone or email This is where I usually err but in the opposite direction. I believe it is important to be available but boundary setting is critical (and a work in progress on my part!).

Disturbed by phone/cell phone/computer Guilty on occasions. The practice where I work has no land line and I leave my mobile phone on mute for ease of use in an emergency. I don't want to wait minutes to get network (ah, Optus). I always explain this to new clients and everyone is fine with that. Occasionally, either because of my technical ignorance or the pecularities of the iPhone, the mute doesn't work. It's unfortunate and I apologise and reject the call/silence the phone.

Expressing racial/sexual/musical/lifestyle/religious preferences Ha. Might freak clients out totally if only they knew of my musical tastes! An 80s tragic (but, I hasten to add, no MC Hammer harem pants even if they are back in fashion).

Bringing your pet to therapy sessions What all six? That would be a madhouse indeed.

Hugging and physical contact Guilty in part. I have never initiated hugging but clients have hugged me. They have usually asked first and as this has typically happened at the end of therapy, I haven't minded. The most poignant time was for a client who had terminal cancer where we knew this would be our last meeting ever.

Inappropriate displays of wealth/dress I don't think I'll ever have to worry about the first. I'm way too much of a Brit for the second.

Clock watching Wonder why the clock sits directly behind you? When I'm running clients without a break inbetween, I must keep an eye on time and while I usually have a rough idea of how long the session has been running, it's helpful to check out time on occasions. This way I can keep track without explicitly diverting my attention from the client.

Excessive note-taking I used to be guilty of this when I first started out. I think that's possibly true for most therapists. Now I just note keywords to jog my memory later. Sorry, but I'm aging!

Years ago, I had a therapist who used to crack his knuckles incessantly which drove me insane. A good therapist, I managed my reaction to that. What wasn't managable was his insistence on smoking in sessson (obviously in more smoker-friendly times) and that was enough cause to change therapist for me. Those 'crimes' didn't make the list though.

So...anything else missing?


Dreaming again said...

You've listed mine ... although the late doesn't bother me unless I need to talk and because we started late, they're running behind and we wind up with *me* being the patient they use to get back on schedule. Starting 20 minutes late and ending on time ... in a 45 minute session ..not cool. (especially since it tends to take me 30 minutes to warm up enough to really talk!)

I would FREAK if someone ate in front of me. OK, so I have freaked ... I had to drop something off at a therapists once, she invited me back to her office since she didn't have a client, my nutritionist was in the office next door and they both ate in front of me and I completely got wigged out ...then again, I was in treatment for an eating disorder, and I was more wigged out at what the nutritionist was eating than the therapist with the idea of "if you think I'm EVER going to eat that, you're nuts!"

Current therapists beeper goes off in every single session ... 3 weeks ago I learned it's the front desk notifying her that her next client has checked in. Ok, I can live with the beeper and no more arriving 25 minutes early where I'll disturb the client before me! lol

My therapist yawns occassionally, but I probably start it. Therapy time is at my nap time lol.

My first therapist (the one I saw eating) brought a dog when it was a puppy, a bit odd I thought.

My current T is bad about both clock watching and note taking, although she's not as bad as previous therapist (that was always late) who wrote CONSTANTLY. At least L puts her pen down for a few minutes here and there. First therapist never ever took notes. Which was equally weird.

I have noticed with L that her clock watching decreases when my honesty increases. She once described me as 'resistant' ... I think I've been difficult for her.

BTW .. I started a new cooking blog (yes, odd for a pt w/ an ED ..but it is a cooking blog, not an eating blog, and I can't quite bring myself to call it a 'foodie' blog)

HP said...

Thanks for the comments Dreaming Again. Sounds like you've experienced pretty much all of these bad habits at one time or another. On a positive note, I guess, you didn't add any more :)

Popping over to check out the cooking blog now...although I have the kitchen equivalent of 'black thumbs'

Dreaming again said...

If I follow a recipe I my son would put it ...have an EPIC FAIL.

I can make my own recipes up, but I can't follow someone else's and it come out ok. IF I make my own adjustments, it's fine. Weirdest thing.

Hey, I got straight A's again last semester, most of my basics are done and I'm on degree focused classes (still trying to get through the zero level algebra and college algebra classes ...other than that, all psych!)
Adult Psych, Women's Studies and Child Psych for this semester (as well as the dreaded intermediate algebra. I may, finally feel like a psych major!

Clenbuterol said...

I don't think that these are costs only of this profession