Can Therapists Really Share Their Power?


From Psychology Today: It has become increasingly trendy for therapists to talk about sharing their power or even giving away their power to clients. However, it is impossible for therapists to fully divest themselves of power; rather than trying to deny the existence of a power imbalance in the therapist-client relationship, they should be aware of it.

“None of this is to say that therapists shouldn’t think about the power they do have. They can easily do harm when the clout they carry isn’t carefully utilized. As many of us learned: with great power comes great responsibility. Therapists should neither deny their power, nor take it for granted. They must endeavor to use it wisely to help, rather than hinder, their clients. The risk in therapists pretending they can strip themselves of power is that—once they convince themselves they no longer have it—their potential to harm others by seeing themselves as lacking in influence rises exponentially.”

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