My friend Jonna’s husband wrote this pledge back in 1986 which I ascribe to.
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 influentual 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 alow 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.
Robert Alan Webb, Ph.D June, 1986
Have you written out a parent’s pledge?
Have you made a pledge to yourself, on behalf of yourself?
I challenge you to do these 2 simple exercises and then evaluate how you feel or think about yourself.