To empathise means to understand and share the feelings of another.
I could not possible understand and share the feelings of every client that I see.
Even if I could, it would be irrelevant because we all live in our own version of reality and the way I experience something bears no relationship to the way you experience that same thing.
I can’t possibly know what you are feeling. We are all unique.
To help you, I don’t need to understand you. I am a problem solver. You present me with a problem that is getting in the way of your life, and my job is to free you up from that problem.
I don’t care how you live your life. I only care that you have the freedom to make your own choices without your subconscious getting in the way.
After my court case I felt I needed to share my personal experience to help people understand how much I can help them. The problem is, every time I share my experiences I am empathising in some way with you. I am giving away a piece of me to connect with you. That’s not how I work as a therapist, so why would it be right for me to do that to bring people to me for help.
I have realised that if I empathise I drag myself into an experience. That’s not good for me and it’s not good for you.
What I do know is that I can always help you if you’ll let me. I know that with absolute certainty because of where I am now after what I went through. That’s where my experiences help. Not because of what happened but because of moving on from them.
Where my experience really counts is when I have a client in my chair and they are in bad place. I know I can help them move on.
So in the way I work, empathy has very little role to play. Neither does my past experience.
I have never smoked but I can help you stop smoking.
I have never been afraid of flying but I can help you get over that phobia.
I have struggled with weight but that doesn’t make me better at helping you with your weight loss.
I can help you because I don’t need to empathise to help you change. I can help you because I am a problem solver.