It’s not just the common cold or the seasonal flu that mental health counselors risk passing on to our patients, our emotions are contagious too. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on which emotions you are sharing. When you are filled with positive energy, you pass that on to your patients and it can help them to recover, making your work most effective. But when your attitude is negative, you run the risk of passing that on to your clients as well.
As a mental health counselor you must be conscious of your attitude and reactions toward your patients. If you pass your negative emotions on to them, you can actually slow down the recovery process.
First, it is important to examine your own attitude. Are you feeling stressed out, defeated, or just negative in general? Your patients will be able to perceive the strife you are carrying within you and they will in turn take it upon themselves. If you feel like your negative attitude is just a temporary mindset, work to snap out of it. Exercising, volunteering, or making a list of things you are thankful for can usually help you see things from a different perspective. If you feel like you are unable to handle the negativity on your own, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Sometimes mental health counselors need a mental health counselor of their own.
As you work with your clients, be careful to monitor your reactions. Everyone sees the world differently and has different ways of doing things. Resist the urge to pass judgment, which can only slow the recovery process.
No matter how careful we are, sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. In the event that your personal emotions contaminate a counseling session, you risk facing serious allegations. Because of this, professional liability insurance for mental health counselors is vital to protecting yourself from a lawsuit. CPH & Associates provides professional liability insurance for a variety of therapists and counselors so you can be sure you’re covered if your actions are ever questioned.