Why is my Counsellor So Nosey?
This is something that a recent client said, half in jest (well I think so anyway) but it
got me thinking.
I am guessing this is something that my clients might think from time to time. It isn’t
often that we reveal so much of ourselves to a stranger and it may sometimes feel a
bit intrusive. I always tell my clients that they can tell me as much or as little as they
wish and only as much as they feel comfortable in sharing.
Of course, the more information I have the better I can understand what is going on
for my client and the more I can help them to understand themselves and the best
way they can make beneficial changes to their lives. Very often there are links that
they hadn’t considered and, with full information and my professional experience, I
can help them to put things together. Just as when you would see the doctor about
your aching foot – you wouldn’t just say it ached, you would say where, for how long
and what you had been doing. Your doctor would also ask you questions to
ascertain the diagnosis and the treatment and we are quite used to these questions
being asked in a medical context. Would you think they were being nosey?
This questioning has a name – ‘professional curiosity’ – which means that the
information gathering is for the benefit of the patient and for their best outcome.
Similarly, with therapy, I use my professional curiosity to help my client to receive the
best service and any questions that I ask would be for me to further understand
them. The questions are definitely not because I am being nosey. However, this
can feel intrusive at times and sometimes my client needs to feel a bit more
comfortable with me and the therapy before sharing personal information and I
completely understand this.
Always remember that I work within strict bounds of confidentiality and, unless there
are issues of safety, I am not allowed to disclose information about a client and what
happens during our sessions.
So remember, your counsellor is definitely not being nosey!