There are boundaries in therapy. Chief among them is that the client is responsible for their change.

There are many misconceptions about therapy, and one of them is that the therapist / psychologist is responsible for changing the client. But as one of my favourite sayings go, I can’t even change your mind on what to eat tonight. At most, I can influence it by directing your thought patterns, or encouraging you to try something new.

The job of a therapist is not to change clients to their own version of “right”. Nor is it to change a client to be the client’s version of “good”. They can only help, influence or direct. The goals are to be set together.

This boundary is important for proper long lasting change, and must work both ways for a healthy therapy relationship. Some therapists, especially untrained self-licensed therapists, attempt to force clients down the road they think is best for everyone. Some clients go in thinking that their problems will all be solved, that they will be given a customised roadmap that they can follow to solve the issue they think they went in for.

Neither is helpful, and will only harm the relationship and the client more.