The Therapist as the Narcissist
Hello again world! If you have been a regular reader to my blog, you will have noticed that I have been absent from writing for 6 plus months. I have been convalescing after a battle against Covid-19. I am getting better by the day, but I am not here to talk about me. Today’s return topic is when does self-disclosure become narcissism? The answer is a bit complex.
Let me use my own example. Is it right that clients should have known I was ill and is it appropriate for me to write about it here? I would argue yes, in the very limited way that I just did. In other words, there are people who needed to know about my absence and this gave them the basics without the gory details. Now, had I gone on and on about it in fine detail, there would have been a lack of professional detachment. That is not to say that there are not times when self-disclosure is able to be used as a lesson to others. Indeed, the UKCP have interviewed me regarding Covid and what practitioners can learn from my experiences with the disease. This is a podcast that has purpose and will be used educationally.
I have noticed in my convalescing that there is a small minority of practitioners using self disclosure to the point of narcissism. Whilst their experiences may interest them, it is not appropriate to share these things with the world (ie clients). Worst still is when this constant me, me, me is used to flog things like recordings or even other products created by the story teller.
Before my illness I taught my last class after 27 years of training practitioners in both hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. I admit, I have been wondering where to funnel some of my professional energy. That is where this blog comes in. I firmly believe that good practice should be celebrated and less than good practice discussed and learned from. It is my hope and intention that this blog will be reinvented into being a teaching tool for professionals primarily, but also for clients and potential clients to learn about what they should be looking for in a practitioner and how to take an active role in making informed choices about what it is they want.