Hold up, so you're telling me there is someone that LIKES when I think they’re wrong? I know it seems suspicious but stay with me here. Keep reading and find out why your therapist loves when you disagree.
Some therapists would like you to believe that they are all knowing beings with all of the right answers. As much as I would love to say education and experience has prepared your therapist for EVERY situation a client could throw at them…it’s just not true. While education and experience are the backbone of the therapy process, every therapist is going to have their own thoughts, beliefs, and experiences that guide their practice. Schooling gives therapists the tools they need to help clients succeed; but, at the end of the day the therapist chooses which tools to use, how to use them, and when they will be most beneficial for that particular client. These choices can lead to small differences in the way therapists practice or drastic changes that seem to change the whole direction of your healing journey. There isn’t a singular “right” route that all therapists must take when helping a client. Every client is different and every therapist is different. So how does this relate to disagreeing with your therapist? Let’s explore
Your Therapist KNOWS You’re Different
Your thoughts, beliefs, and ideas are all a product of your experiences. No one else is going to have the same exact experiences that you have. Even siblings that grow up in the same home, with the same parents, at the same time have different memories and experiences. When you add up all of the things that make your experience unique: where you grew up, who you grew up with, your gender identity, your family's socioeconomic status, your race, your sex, your sexual orientation, your personal traumas, your educational journey, and your religious beliefs you are left with just a few of the factors that work together to make you, you. These unique experiences all lead to your unique perspective. While training and education teaches therapists to see the world through many different perspectives they still are who they are. It would be impractical to think that every therapist can set aside every aspect of themselves when they’re helping clients. Because of the infinite amount of factors that can alter a person's beliefs there are an infinite number of perspectives in the world. All of this to say that it is VERY unlikely that you and your therapist had the same exact experiences shaping who you both are.
Having your own thoughts and beliefs is incredibly important, especially in therapy. Your therapist isn’t there to tell you what you should think, feel, or do. They are there to help you accomplish the goals that you have set for yourself by helping you form your own conclusions. You may avoid voicing your disagreements with your therapist because you don’t want to create conflict or hurt their feelings. Don’t avoid it! THEY LOVE WHEN YOU DISAGREE! Disagreements are expected and show your therapist that you are making progress and forming your own opinions! It shows that you are confident and not afraid to stand up for something you believe!
Your Therapist Sees A LOT of People Pleasers
A lot of times clients seek out therapy because they have noticed areas in their lives that they would like to improve. Some common reasons clients go to therapy is because they have experienced trauma, they need help creating boundaries, and they struggle to prioritize themselves. Something that all of these clients likely have in common is being a people pleaser. People pleasing can also be referred to as a fawn response. A fawn response is usually when an individual tries to avoid conflict by appeasing others and doing whatever they can do to make the other person happy. While this is a common response and not something to be ashamed of, your therapist wants to help you grow. As a therapist it is nice when a client agrees with you; however. when your client consistently agrees or displays people pleasing behavior it is hard for your therapist to determine if you’re actually benefiting from their help or just people pleasing. When you disagree with your therapist you are showing them that you are learning, growing, and no longer just avoiding conflict, or trying to please them.
You Can GROW Together!
Anytime you disagree with your therapist they have the chance to gain vital insight and knowledge to continue learning. Every client is different and each client’s needs are unique. These differences allow therapists the opportunity to see things from so many different perspectives. Practicing therapy requires continuous learning, changing, and adapting. Disagreeing with your therapist creates an opportunity for growth that they may have never encountered otherwise. So speak up! Disagree! Celebrate your differences!