Welcome - A Psychotherapist's Pledge

Welcome to my new Blog. As many of you know, I recently relocated to Southern Indiana. And I’m setting up a new therapy practice in Jeffersonville. So, with that I’ve launched a new web site. This Blog will be a regular feature of the site.

In this blog, I will cover various topics related to my therapy practice and my specialties in Trauma Treatment, Grief Counseling and Addiction Recovery. Since I’m also an avid mindfulness practitioner, and offer mindfulness-informed therapy, I’ll also be writing about various topics related to mindfulness. I’ll also be covering other topics that I think are relevant and interesting.

But I thought I’d begin with a general statement about my take on psychotherapy and the kind of commitment that I believe I need to make to my clients and others as a psychotherapist and healer.

Some years ago, I was participating in an on-line therapists’ forum, and a psychologist named Gail Carson-Webb in Chatanooga, TN published what she called “The Psychotherapist’s Pledge.” I really liked it, and thought it eloquently summed up the commitment I need to make to my clients, my profession and my community as a therapist.

So, I offer it here as my pledge to you:

The Psychotherapist's Pledge

As a psychotherapist, I am privileged to know many people in depth and to help them in their efforts to resolve their emotional problems and live more fully. Often frightened, confused, and in great pain, those seeking my help must trust me to care about them and be able to provide the help which I offer.

To be worthy of their trust - -

- I must be aware that psychotherapy is a relationship based on the love of one human being for another.

- I must try to empathize fully with my clients so that I may better understand their problems and know their pain.

- I will accept my clients totally without judging, finding fault, or condemning them for their mistakes and I will attempt to communicate with them in the clearest possible terms.

- I must always be aware that I may participate in my client's struggles only as a teacher, guide, and friend, knowing that ultimately they must heal themselves.

- I will encourage all of my clients to be hopeful and treat all of them with kindness and respect.

- To inspire my client's trust, I will never flatter or encourage them falsely and I will always speak the truth. Though at times I must be firm, I will never be unkind.

- Realizing that a psychotherapist is in a very influential position, I will guard against any desire to control others.

- I will make every effort to be aware of my own values as well as my shortcomings and try not to impose them on others.

- Realizing that my clients are vulnerable to me emotionally, I will avoid romantic or sexual involvement with them.

- I will respect my client's right to privacy and never treat their confidences as my property.

- Though I may be paid for my services, my love is freely given and I will never allow payment to become more important than my desire to help others.

- I will always be aware of my client's investment in their psychotherapy of time, money, and pain. Within the constraints of doing it well, I will complete their therapy as soon as possible.

- Knowing that I may become an exemplar to many of my clients, I will always strive to be authentic and to achieve my highest level of personal growth.

- With an appreciation for the uniqueness of every human being, I will strive to help all my clients realize their own potential.

- Recognizing my need to understand the endless and beautiful complexity of human beings, I will dedicate myself to a lifelong study of humankind.

- Though I cannot be perfect as a psychotherapist I will always be conscientious in my efforts, knowing that I am privileged to have helping others as a profession.