There is a kind of unwritten rule in psychotherapy.
It’s a nice when one has worked well with a client and they say something like:
“Thank you for all the help you have given me, I feel so much better and made changes with the work we have done . You have been a great help, thank you.”
A very nice stroke without a doubt. But it is probably safe to say many therapists respond with a comment like this:
“Thank you but it has been you that has done all the work and taken the risks with new changes and feelings, You need to be complimented and acknowledged for what you have achieved.”
Is it OK to accept reverence or should we be more humble or maybe this is not even the question to be asked
It is kind of expected that you will respond with a comment similar to this. And the logic behind this is meant to highlight all the work the client has done and the therapist is merely a facilitator with the client doing all the risk taking and so forth. Also there is always the danger of the client playing the game, “Gee you’re wonderful professor”, so therapists may respond as such to avoid the possibility of playing the game. Or maybe some therapist are just uncomfortable with accepting praise.
This is all true in various situations but I wonder if the therapist is also discounting the client and in particular discounting the connection the client is wanting to make with the therapist.
Psychological change is a very personal and intimate thing that can touch the very core of who we are. If a client reaches out to a therapist and seeks to acknowledge their role in what has been a very personal experience for them, maybe it is a discount not to do so. Maybe the therapist needs to acknowledge they have played a significant part of this intimate chapter of the client’s life. This in itself would be therapeutic compared to the usual rebuff that therapists most often do. For the therapist to acknowledge the work connection between them and the intimate role that has played in the client’s life may not only be a nice thing for the client but also therapeutic.