Counselors: Consider keeping this metaphor in your back pocket to help clients understand grief, addictions, trauma and other challenges that seem to linger — no matter how much you want them to go away and stop “barking.”
Counselors sometimes have a “gut feeling” that a session with a client went really well or the therapeutic relationship is clicking. But the client doesn’t always feel the same way.
We master our craft by working with the hardest clients, facing the most difficult ethical problems and pushing ourselves professionally in every area. You will never sharpen a knife with a soft piece of wood, and you will never sharpen your skills by taking the path of least resistance.
There is a frightening truth in our profession: After we leave our graduate programs and finish supervision, nobody is there to tell us what to do. It is up to us to focus on ethics and, sadly, this is where things start slipping.
Regardless of your theoretical orientation, one can’t deny that Freud gave us a lot to think about.