New Therapist Anxiety

Here are references relating to different types of therapeutic interventions we can offer and different types of mental health issues, developmental disorders and other presenting problems.
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:32 pm
Location: London

New Therapist Anxiety

Post by Ruthie »

So you've made it. Landed your first AP post, got a GMHW job, started the DClin and suddenly you're getting ready to go into a room where it's just you and a client. Suddenly, you might have all kinds of worries that you won't know what to do, doubts in your competence and concerns that this might have a negative impact on the person you're seeing.

The first important thing is to recognise that this is normal. Almost everyone feels daunted at the start of taking on something new, and it is a strength to recognise what you don't yet know and seek out knowledge and support. Take the pressure off yourself. It is not a sign of incompetence to discuss your worries with your supervisor/manager. Often employees worry that they are sometimes going to be 'found out' by their managers as incompetent, especially after starting a new job. However, they have employed you because they want you and think you have potential. If you are new to this kind of work or undertaking a training course then they are not going to expect you to know everything straight away.

What you need to learn will be individual to you, and will depend upon your background, the service structure, the client group, the dominant therapeutic model, your supervisor, etc. So there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. The most important thing to do is to take it to supervision and work out what you need to learn and create a plan to get there with your supervisor.

While no substitute for supervision other things people find helpful might include:

-Remembering that you wouldn't have got the place in the first place if your supervisor/manager didn't think you had potential
-If your supervisor is letting you work with clients, they think you are doing this in a safe and competent, good enough way. They wouldn't let you do it just to be nice
-Try using the same materials you might use with your clients to help you with your anxiety. e.g. thought records, cognitive restructuring, relaxation techniques. This can help you manage your own anxiety as well as get a better understanding of and confidence in the therapeutic model you're working with
-Don't over-read. We've all had that anxious amazon book shopping spree or library trip where we get several new books that sit unread on our bookshelves. Concentrate on one or two key texts and take your time. Trying to cram it all in will only make you more confused and frustrated.
-Last but not least, take comfort in how normal this experience is. Don't believe me - take a look at this: ... /cttsd.pdf

I made this wiki to amalgamate info from a few posts we've had recently about new therapist anxiety. It's a bit rough and ready so it would be great if people want to add it it, edit it and tidy it up a bit. Ruthie.

Note: If you have a suggestion about how to improve or add to this wiki please post it here. If you want to discuss this post please post a new thread in the forum. There is information about the structure, rules and copyright of the wiki here.

Content checked by qualified Clinical Psychologist on DATE and checked by ell on 26/02/12
Last modified on 26/02/12
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