In the shrink's office: recognizing the “red flags”
A shrink or a therapist who promises you results or the guaranteed success of your therapy is immediately “very questionable”, warns Christine Grou, psychologist and president of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec .
“Even if we do our best as a shrink, we can never predict what the results will be. We also cannot know how long the therapy will last”, also underlines the psychologist and speaker Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier.
Crisis of tears
Of course, psychologists are also human beings with empathy and sensitivity. Fortunately! But if your shrink bursts into tears as soon as you talk about a sensitive subject, it could be a problem.
“It's one thing to express an emotion and it's another thing if the client feels as if he has to console his shrink or that he no longer dares to broach certain subjects for fear of provoking too many emotions” , summarizes Christine Grou.
To deal with testimonies or difficult situations, professionals can also ask for follow-up and support from a colleague.
In the same vein, a therapist can talk about personal experiences, but is not supposed to constantly talk about his private life.
“Yes, the therapist can open up a little on his life, concedes Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier. But a therapeutic relationship is not like a friendship where everyone talks about their life and their problems.”
“It is the person who consults and not the psychologist who must be at the center of the discussion,” adds Christine Grou.
If there's one place on Earth where you should be safe from judgment, it's in the shrink's office! Moral remarks therefore have no place here.
“The only judgment made by the psychologist must be a clinical judgment, an analysis. Whatever his personal opinions, he must not pass value judgments”, underlines the president of the Order.
Be careful, however, not to take your perceptions for proven facts, she nuances. Clearly expressing the fact that you have felt judged can sometimes clear up a misunderstanding.
Finally, according to the code of ethics, psychologists and psychotherapists must stick to their field of expertise: psychology (surprise!). They cannot therefore replace other professionals. For example, psychologists and psychotherapists are not allowed to prescribe drugs or sell you anything.
“We cannot practice our profession outside of recognized scientific criteria,” attests Christine Grou. For example, no matter what our personal beliefs, we cannot appeal to esoteric or spiritual methods.”
So if your therapist advises you to treat yourself with stones, it can be that he is not a psychologist at all…
Good to know
In Quebec, all psychologists and psychotherapists are accredited by the Order of Psychologists of Quebec. Their practice is governed by a code of ethics and they must all have undergone recognized training.
“If we have the slightest doubt and we think we have spotted a red flag, it is worth Better to get informed rather than leave things in suspense. We can call the Order to ask our questions, just ask to speak to the syndic or an ethics advisor, ”advises the President of the Order, Christine Grou.