Working with other therapists is not completely without its difficulties, but mainly, (and I am biased obviously), working in an office while being surrounded by other therapists is amazing.
Most of these good feelings are to do with the fact that we are trying to be compassionate, sensitive people, but also, most therapists, at least in the beginning of their career, are in their own therapy too.
It struck me recently how different companies might be if, at every job, all of your colleagues were in therapy too. Here are some thoughts on how therapy might impact office culture and the work environment:
1. Better communication
One of my supervisors at The Maple Counseling Center believes adamantly that 90% of communication is unconscious. That means that what we register in a conversation has been unconsciously interpreted and influenced by unconscious judgments on our colleagues tone of voice, body language, cadence and posture - as well as the latent or verbal communications. Our unconscious filters out words and places emphasis on others based on our mood, family of origin and a myriad of other factors. Most functioning adults understand each other, but it's fascinating to think about how our perceptions may get in the way of clear communication.
An employee or colleague in therapy should have an easier time understanding their own bias that leads to inferences or miscommunications.
2. Calm, Clear and Concise Communication.
Work can be stressful, but that stress only multiplies when someone loses their professional tone. Colleagues in therapy are not going to be calm all the time, but they might recognize when their stress levels are rising and therapy might give them better tools to handle anger.
Conflict is not necessarily something to be avoided, and often leads to deeper understanding and connection when colleagues have the right tools which therapy can provide.
A colleague in therapy should be able to communicate clearly when stressed and / or angry.
3. Team Work
Colleagues in therapy might make new social connections with more ease, because they can relate to others and communicate effectively. If you’re the head of the team, you’ll find this quality a gift as your team will form faster and more securely.
Team work will improve as communication and insight in the individual grows.
4. The Client’s Win
Whatever line of work you’re in, the client or consumer needs to walk away from any interaction with your place of work feeling good about themselves. If employees had some of the skills we learn in therapy, there’s a chance that they will be able to read client’s better, provide better services and gauge their needs and desires better.
Customer service will improve.
5. Productivity and Proactivity.
If your colleagues are better at predicting behaviors and understanding why people do things the way they do, which often happens as a result of therapy, they are able to make better decisions. They will be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of others and make judgment calls based on those assessments. Someone more in tune with their own feelings and of others might be able to spot a colleague who is stressed and help, rather than get angry or resentful.
The work-place environment will improve.