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Journal #16: How My Self-Doubt Has Become Exactly What Made Me Successful

I notice the topic of self-doubt coming up a lot in my sessions with clients. Generally, I do try to help clients build their self-confidence. That said, I don't believe self-doubt is bad in small doses. I think it has made me a better therapist, and I think I'm at my worst when I'm most confident.

It is easy to get over-confident once you get more comfortable in your role. When this happens, I have noticed that we miss important things in our practice with clients.

A healthy amount of self-doubt can keep you curious about your clients.

  1. It leads you to consult about clients with your supervisor, even if they are an "easy" client.

  2. It leads you to seek out trainings, books, or mental health podcasts.

  3. It leads you to ask questions of your clients, even if you think you already understood.

  4. It leads you to ask for feedback about how sessions are going for the client and what they would like to change.

  5. It leads you to explore why a skill dis not work for a client

  6. It leads you to practice cultural humility and curiosity, never assuming you know it all.

  7. And finally, it leads you to carry an overall demeanor of openness that can make clients feel safer.

What is a healthy amount of self-doubt?

Healthy self-doubt looks like a willingness to be wrong, ask questions, be curious, and learn. I try to practice it by scheduling time to consult with other therapists or my supervisor, even if I feel my caseload is going smoothly. Additionally, I have made it a habit to question my methods and overall exploration in sessions if I notice myself having too many "easy" sessions. Therapy, in my opinion, should be a safe space for clients, but growth should feel uncomfortable from time to time.

To summarize, too much confidence can lead mental health professionals to cease to criticize their methods in sessions and grow. Take time to be willing to look for areas for potential growth.

Thank you for reading and I hope something was helpful!

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