Counselling Dilemma: An “Emotionally Draining” Client
You have been working with a male client who has been experiencing anxiety and depression issues. He said that he came to see you after his wife asked him, because she said he was “suffocating” her when anxiety is a major feature in his life.
The first session revealed that the anxiety may be persistent as he was not happy at work, although he did fleetingly mention that he is not talking to his brothers because “they let him down”. When he attended the next session, three weeks later, he was upbeat and said that he had managed to stave the anxiety and depression as he had addressed the work issue. Whilst enquiring about the abilities and resources that he used to help him, you suddenly feel drained.
What would you do next? Would you ask yourself any questions about what you are experiencing? How would you stay present? Would you consider it appropriate to raise how you felt with the client? Does gender affect the way you would communicate with the client?