I want to start off by saying that I am honoured that people take the time to comment on my pictures and ask me questions about therapy. I love to hear what you have to say and feel proud to be able to share my knowledge with you!
I really wanted my Instagram account to be motivational, but I also wanted to it to show that therapists are normal people too! We do normal things, we don’t always think about things in our lives in a therapeutic way, and believe it or not we can struggle just as much as the next person.
I wanted to write this because I’ve been getting quite a few direct messages from people asking if I would be friends with them outside the realm of Instagram. I’ve had to decline these requests and wanted to explain why. I also felt this might be helpful topic to write about because they are the same reasons that I, and other therapists, would gratefully decline a client’s offer of friendship.
As a registered professional I adhere to a specific set of ethical principles and boundaries that are set by my governing body. These principles are designed to protect me as a therapist as well as you as a client. Just as an example, they make sure that I keep your details confidential and treat you in a way that is not likely to cause you any harm.
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that therapy is not a friendly chat over a cup of tea, but a considered, evidence-based intervention designed to address your specific difficulties. Developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship that takes your preferences into account is very important however, as a therapist it’s also very important that we can take a non-judgemental and un-biased approach to challenging the information that you bring to sessions. A lot of progress can be made this way, but for me to be able to see the information in an un-biased way, and for you to feel as though you’re being heard and understood from a therapeutic perspective it is important that the relationship is boundaried and that you see the therapist as a therapist, and not a friend.
I hope that this has helped to clarify the boundaries of therapy and my decision about how to run my Instagram account in particular.
Thank you so much for your continued support and I hope that you continue following @lovelifeandtherapy.