If you wonder just what you’re supposed to be getting out of therapy, perhaps this might help explain:
1. I will give you my undivided attention. However, I cannot be your parent, spouse, or lover, nor can I be master or servant. I’m just me, and I’ll be as real as I can.
2. I will make my values known to you, and will endeavour to be professionally competent at all times.
3. I will be available for you, as time permits. I am human too, and have my limitations. I get tired, bored, angry, annoyed, depressed, restless, etc. Therefore, please do not place unrealistic demands upon my schedule and my abilities. I might suffer “burnout.”
4. It is important to discuss your goals with you. What brought you here ? What do you hope to achieve ? What expectations do you have ? How committed are you about finding solutions?
5. I will help you find the answers that are right for you, but I cannot give you advice or information (except when appropriate.) I cannot do your growing for you. You must find your own answers during and outside the process of therapy. I will accept you and your behaviour every step of the way. I accept that your values will often differ from mine. I respect all cultures and orientations, and will confront any prejudices and biases I find within me.
6. As a counsellor, I can only take you as far as I have been willing to go in my own life.
7. I am strong enough not to feel disturbed or frightened by your words and behaviour.
8. I will not put my personal needs above yours. I will not exploit you. Also, I will not charge a fee for missed sessions if you give me enough advance notice.
9. I respect your privacy within limits set by law, and your right to informed consent.
10. The value of research work will not override the value of our working relationship.
11. I will ask myself, “What are my values, where did they originate and how will they affect my counselling style ? How might my own problems obstruct my work as an effective counsellor? How courageous and willing to take risks am I ? Am I willing to do what I encourage my clients to do ? What keeps me from being as open, honest and real as I might be ? How do others experience me ? How sensitive am I to the reactions of others ?
12. I will do my best to help you get more out of life. If I sense, however, that there is no progress being made I will inform you.