Beginning therapists often struggle with feelings of inadequacy and ineffectiveness when first meeting with clients. Teyber and McClure (2011) offer validation and guidance for these common, and often unacknowledged, experiences for students. The authors state, “…new therapists need to be patient with themselves and appreciate that learning to be an effective therapist is a long-term developmental process” (Teyber & McClure, 2011, p. 4).
The authors explain the path to feeling more grounded and confident in therapy can take three to five years. It is important for beginning therapists to realize their feelings are normal. It is also important that new therapists refrain from putting pressure on themselves when they perceive this process is taking too long.
Teyber, E., & McClure, F. H. (2011). Interpersonal process in therapy: An integrative model (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Danielle M. McNeill, M.S., M.A.
WKPIC Psychology Intern