Before treating others, why does a psychotherapist need psychological treatment?

When we suffer from mental health problems, we often turn to a therapist or a specialized psychiatrist to help us solve these psychological problems, or at least dismantle and understand them to try to deal with them, but does this psychotherapist suffer from mental health problems as well? Especially if he accompanies some of his patients step by step in the journey of treatment, or is he immune to the diseases that he fights with his patients?

And if the therapist suffers from mental health problems, who can help him solve them? Does he treat himself because he is a specialized psychotherapist? Or does he sometimes need the help of another psychotherapist?

A psychotherapist is not immune to the diseases he fights with his patients (pixels)

Does a psychotherapist need psychological treatment?

The short answer may have been seen in the Turkish Netflix series “Bir başkadır”, where the heroine, Maryam, a poor veiled girl who works as a cleaning lady, goes to a psychiatrist named Berry to help her deal with unexplained fainting spells, Berry is the daughter of a family Rich, secular and far from any manifestation of religion.

Berry shows toughness in dismantling the problems of the religious girl Mary, but she discovers her inner fragility in not accepting Mary because of her religiosity, so she goes to another psychiatrist called Gulbin, and although the latter also suffers from problems related to religious appearances, especially with her strict older sister on the other hand, she puts Her colleague Perry faces her real problem in rejecting the manifestations of religiosity and contempt for her patient who is supposed to sympathize with her.

The chain did not stop here, but continued Gulpin’s constant complaints – especially to her friend Sinan – about her psychiatrist and clinic patient, Berry, who is arrogant and despise veils. Here, the series showed how some psychotherapists cannot deal with some psychological problems that they supposedly studied for years and are fully aware of how to deal with them, but also how to make them need specialized help to overcome their psychological problems that intersect or conflict with patients.

In another answer, that a person is a specialized psychotherapist does not mean that his psychological problems will magically disappear, but perhaps their field of study and work may help them to realize their problems and the reasons behind them, but there may still be a need to ask for some help, especially since in addition to their problems and trips that They walk in it with their patients, they are also people with families, lifestyles and personal problems.

Personal psychotherapy

Looking at the lives of some of the great professors of psychology, such as the Austrian physician Sigmund Freud, the Australian Alfred Adler, and the German Karen Horney, it was clear that they suffered from psychological problems, so that their theories were affected by them. For example, we find that the theories developed by Freud such as the Oedipus complex were affected by the feelings of jealousy that he carried To his father, Adler, who believed that humans had a strong sense of superiority because he had siblings who constantly competed with them, and Horney, who believed in male superiority, suffered from a tyrannical father who did not give her opportunities as her male brothers did.

Psychological problems that a psychotherapist may face either as a result of his work with some of his patients, or from his personal problems that he suffers in his life like other people, but facing the dark side in themselves not only helps them overcome these personal and professional problems, but is also necessary to be able to From dealing with patients, especially that some of the patients’ problems may leave a great reflection on the therapist, who has to realize and dismantle the subconscious and achieve psychological balance, to be able to bear the burden of negative feelings experienced in the clinic, according to article Published by Medium to explain the importance of psychotherapy for psychotherapists.

For this; Some psychotherapists resort to dealing with their psychological problems purely personally, based on their professional and scientific experiences, that is, they treat themselves on their own. This type of treatment is known as “personal therapy”And this treatment was originally proposed to be a catalyst in promoting the professional development of psychotherapists by increasing their self-awareness, to the extent that some European countries have imposed it on therapists in their training stages before they are appointed to become specialized therapists.

Primarily suggesting “personal therapy” as an aid to the professional development of psychotherapists (Pixabe)

3 main reasons

“Throughout my studies, my professional life, and my work with patients, I have realized that it is more important to go through psychotherapy if I am a therapist,” said psychotherapist Shailene Forte on the mental health care website Pyramid Health Care. (Pyramid Healthcare).

I believe that there are 3 main reasons that push the psychotherapist to follow up with a psychotherapist, the first of which is to prevent exhaustion as a result of daily dealing with patients’ problems, and to hire another person to help him relieve this fatigue, and provide a better service to his patients, and the second is to address the thoughts and feelings of the therapist who may find himself burdened The problems of trauma, addiction and abuse, which may affect his mental health unconsciously, and the third reason in the opinion of “Forte” is the therapist’s handling of his own problems, anxiety, depression, sadness, loss, stress and many other problems that he may encounter in his daily life.

As for the psychologist Anita Sanz And the author of the book “A Year To Change” answered this question on Quora, where she emphasized the importance of psychotherapy for the therapist as part of his training program, especially as she considers that “psychotherapy is one of the few professions in which awareness is The self is one of the most important tools available to you,” and you need the therapist to be aware of his weaknesses and strengths in dealing with his problems and the problems of others, so that he does not advise them of inappropriate advice that worsens the problem instead of contributing to its solution.

Sanz also believes that a psychotherapist undergoing psychological treatment shows his confidence in what he basically offers, which is an attempt to help people overcome their psychological problems, because he is not a magician or a superhero, not even an ordinary doctor who prescribes treatment and gives a direct result, and if the therapist believes that his advice is fruitful in the long run. To benefit his patients, he will do the same to overcome his problems, as well as help them prevent occupational burnout or stress from empathizing with patients and their problems, as well as their own problems.

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