It's a great relationship that we don't have

The counsellor/client relationship is a strange beast. I've been seeing my current counsellor for about 10 months and I'd say we have a great relationship... except technically we don't really have a relationship at all. Well, we do, but how do you define it? We're certainly friendly, but we're not friends - we don't have coffee or go shoe shopping together. (And if we were friends she really shouldn't be my counsellor.) It's a professional relationship... and yet this woman knows far more about me than any of my friends. She probably has a better insight than anyone I know into my fears, my hopes, my insecurities, my anxieties. Sometimes we talk about things that make me horribly uncomfortable or highly anxious - conversations I wouldn't dream of having with my friends - and although it's often difficult to talk about these things I always feel safe to do so. I trust my counsellor with the fragile and raw things within me; and she has seen me at my most vulnerable.

I'm pondering this tonight because today I emailled my counsellor some entries from my journal. Now, I've seen plenty of chick-flicks and I know that you should never let anyone see your diary. It always ends in tears (or in wacky hijinks, if it's that kind of film). And yet here I was, happily sending off portions of my diary - my DIARY! - to a woman I didn't even know a year ago; a woman who is paid to chat with me; a woman who seems to care about me but who is not a friend. It's really rather strange, when you think about it.

Still, my counsellor is great... and I'm happy to say that we have a wonderful non-relationship. :-)

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6 comments:

Hippomanic Jen said...

I'm glad that this counsellor is so much better than your last one, and someone you can be vulnerable with. It must take some courage to open up to a stranger, testing them with a little bit more each time to see what they will do with it. But I see your point about the fact that they are not a friend. Weird. But good.

Lilly said...

I dont know I think she is a professional and is bound by an ethical code of conduct and we need to share. Its a load off and I think you should feel ok about it. We are all more alike than we are not. That is my belief and I say go for it, really let her know what you are thinking and feeling. She is getting paid to facilitate healing for you and I think you should see it that way. Its all good if you feel comfortable with her.

Femina said...

Oh, I have no problems with it - our roles are appropriately defined and I'm totally happy with the way we're working. It just strikes me occasionally how strange it is to have shared so many intensely personal moments with someone who's not a close friend (ie, the person you would generally expect to be sharing that stuff with). Of course, the fact that she's not a friend is probably why I'm more willing to share...

Cairo Typ0 said...

Hi, visiting from SITS! :)

I'm glad you feel comfortable with your counsellor. I ended up telling mine what she wanted to hear regardless of hte truth. Feeling emotionally safe with is important. :)

Rocksee said...

I'm glad you feel comfortable sharing with someone, even if she's not someone you'd hang out with, it's always nice to have someone who can give you an un bias outlook on things isn't it?

Equidae said...

its easier to speak to a total stranger as its safe so to speak and friends well its difficult to assess how really friends they are....i got trust issues and so very few friends ha! passed by from sits...

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