The importance of the role as a trainer of the psychotherapist
Sep 13, 2021
The theme of this article is very specific: the need for every psychotherapist to be a good trainer.
As is well known, there are several functions that a psychotherapist performs during a therapy process: creating a healthy and safe relationship, continuous improvement of communication channels with the client, discovery of behavior patterns, provision of the necessary quantity and quality of feedback ...
The truth is that the development of all these functions is carried out jointly with the client and is not usually It is necessary to do it in a hidden way: the ideal is that everything is done consciously and, as far as possible, nice.
Building a healthy and productive relationship takes time and a lot of attention, since it is always usually subject to adjustments and changes, depending on the progress and improvements that are made in the process.
We could say that any therapeutic process carried out in a serious and professional way is a "tailored suit" that adapts perfectly to the client, allowing to optimize the use of all available resources.
But there is one element that is not usually paid due attention: the role of the therapist as a trainer.
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Training in psychotherapy
It is essential that every psychotherapy professional is a capable and effective trainer.
One of the phrases that is heard the most, especially during the first days of the therapeutic process is: "I do not know what's happening to me". When the patient comes to the consultation, he usually has a series of thoughts, sensations and feelings that he does not quite understand. Obviously, he has tried to find an explanation for them, but has not been successful. He realizes that all this set of experiences is harming him in his daily life.
And this is where the work of training the psychotherapist begins. In addition to all the functions we have mentioned and many more, This professional must be able to create a reliable and realistic, effective and practical account of the client's situation. And he must be able to pass it on.
For this reason, a good psychotherapist must have experience, a great listening ability real, a remarkable ability to discover patterns and a great deal of background knowledge. Not to mention an enormous ability to respond to unforeseen situations, which will always be presented (let's not forget that psychotherapy is aimed at life, which is an ever-changing process).
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Beyond theoretical knowledge
It is not enough to have extensive knowledge of psychopathology and the most common problems that affect people's lives. You have to be able to use tools such as active listening, storytelling, the creation and application of metaphors, the creative use of humor ...
In addition to that, it is necessary to have a large bank of scientific information, to be able to recommend videos, articles or books to clients, depending on their needs and abilities.
You also need to know stories, thousands of them. Some will be real, others will not, to be able to offer models in which the client is reflected. Stories in which it is also easy to see how they have been resolved. And those stories have to cover many registers, since it is not the same to talk to a person in love with books, a movie buff or someone who is only interested in current affairs, for example.
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Establishing a common language
On the other hand, it is very important the creation of a common language. This is an element that is usually ignored, but that is of the utmost importance: it is not the same to speak with a computer engineer than with a sanitary, with a fervent Catholic or with an atheist convinced. The entire therapeutic relationship is based on this common language, which will be created based on the particularities of the client rather than those of the therapist.
One of the most interesting resources for finding a common language is using hobbies as common ground. For example, a person who is fond of gardening can be spoken of "pruning useless thoughts", "fertilizing parts of life with a good attitude", "burning the stubble of resentment", and so on.
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If we put together all the elements that I have just mentioned (and many more that I do not comment due to lack of space), we see that it is essential that a therapist be a first-rate pedagogue. Because an important part of her functions is to create an operational work structure and know how to transmit it, to offer her client a realistic story that allows her face and overcome her situation and transmit in the most effective way possible the most relevant knowledge and techniques for the life of that person who has trusted him therapist.
In addition, you must explain how to apply knowledge and techniques in daily life, since above all, we seek understanding and effectiveness, that is, changes for the better.
As you can see, the training of the psychotherapist is an endless process, in which you can always learn more and more. It is an endless learning that is joyful for those of us in love with this art-science as difficult and as beautiful as psychotherapy.