Making the relationship the most important aspect of therapy
Something I learned early on in my career that has stuck with me over the years is that the relationship between therapist and client is the most important aspect of doing therapy. My graduate school professors framed it for me like this: many times as a therapist, you ask your clients to reveal parts of themselves that are so bruised and broken, so sad and painful, so difficult to even acknowledge, that it takes real trust of the other person, and courage in yourself, to do so. And as students we were asked, would you do that with just anyone? Really, would any of us? Of course not. We have to believe that our therapist has our back. For us to relax, to breathe, to feel secure, we need to trust in our therapist so that we can explore those parts of us that we keep locked away, medicated, or otherwise hidden from ourselves and our loved ones, so that we can heal. And so from the very beginning of my career, I learned to make my relationships with my clients sacred above all else.
And as I started to grow as a therapist, I was able to lean on this, too. When you're new to the field and you feel the pressure of responsibility to help someone because they've sought you out, and you have only a "newbie's" understanding of the process, you sometimes feel this pressure to perform, to give something to your client. And that's where the relationship comes in. When I felt as though I wasn't enough, I relied on the relationships I formed with my clients to help them stay safe. I trusted the the connections I built with them, the caring I conveyed, to be the beginnings of healing. That is how healing begins, with a therapist you feel connected to and can trust. And that is how it continues, too, once the bandages come off.
Northwest Arkansas has a lot of therapists; by some websites' counts there are 19 schools in the state offering some kind of psychology degree, so there are more every year. So as a consumer of mental health services, you have dozens, maybe hundreds, of therapists and counselors to choose from. However, I started Bentonville Counseling to create a place that puts an emphasis on the relationship you have with your therapist; your safety and trust in the therapy process are of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, not every mental health provider does this, to the detriment of their clients. And if you don't have the right fit with your therapist, you won't trust that person to help you grow and change. So let Bentonville Counseling be the provider you trust, and benefit from the best mental health care that Northwest Arkansas has to offer.