lack of confidence

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    Hello everyone

    I am a new therapist. I have recently compteted a counselling course. And i attend group therapy to development my self awareness. Out of my group i am the only one not practicing. Last night I met with a client.

    I am struggling with feelings of inadequacy and self doubt. I also find it a really strange position to be put in as now i have finished my course friends will tell me problems or talk about other poeples stuff and they will say… ‘you will know more than i do about this… Or I am not the expert… Like they believe suddenly i have all the answers.. Or that I am now some sort of expert in human behaviour.

    I feel like a fruad sometimes.. And yet i do see some of my class mates who really think they have all the answers, that they are experts.. I myself don’t think in that way.. The expert is my client who comes to talk about their experience.. i am simply put a trained listener.. I feel humble to be in the room with them as together we explore life experiences and reactions.

    I am constantly putting obstacles and making excuses not to start a practice.. infact i am taking on a project that will more or less keep me busy for three years..

    I have invested so much time and money and soul into counselling. I have had very positive feedback from my peers and my tutor.. And yet i still feel illequipped and unprepared.

    Any tips on how to move past this block or how to increase my confidence..

    Buddhist Wife

    Hello Laia,

    Congratulations on completing your studies.

    I think it’s a positive thing to be humble and to feel that you don’t have all the answers, particularly in your chosen profession. This means you are keeping an open mind.

    Will this new project stop you from taking on any clients? If not perhaps you could see clients part time? Perhaps the way forward is just to get on with it, within limits. You could tell yourself you are going to try seeing clients for six months and then review how you feel about the situation. I really think that confidence comes with experience.

    Best of luck.


    Congratulations, on your success so far.

    Don’t beat yourself up. You are human, with human fears. Decide what you really want from your career, there will be options. Pick the path that will make you happiest.

    Maybe you are not ready for the next stage just yet. It’s a transitional time in your life, follow the sign posts in your life, there will be many and follow your instincts. Stay positive, there will come a time when you are ready and a natural confidence will come.

    All the best.


    I, too, am in the counseling/mental health field and plan on one day possibly becoming a therapist, so I can understand where you’re coming from. I would examine where this lack of confidence is coming from. Do you feel that you can’t handle the problems, issues, or situations that your clients bring to you? Do you feel that you lack sufficient training or experience to be a good therapist? Once you have a better idea of where your lack of confidence is coming from, you can begin to address it. Also, I would reflect on what made you choose to enter this field and become a therapist and what you hope to offer your clients…This is where you’ll draw your strengths from. As a therapist, I think you have to accept that you don’t have all the answers to your clients’ problems, but you can provide them with a safe, nurturing place to talk about their issues and work through their problems with your support. I also agree with another poster that confidence is gained through experience and it’s normal to feel nervous and somewhat inadequate at first…

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