Working with Clients and Their Personal Needs

Topic: Applied Psychology
Words: 842 Pages: 3

Individuals in helping careers, like nursing, psychology, counseling, social work, and psychiatry, must take special care not to impose their views on their patients. Value imposition is a form of boundary infringement that might impede a client’s therapeutic progress and self-determination rights. To minimize interference during the therapeutic process with the clients, professionals must pay close attention to their thoughts and feelings and create boundaries with their customers. It is critical to be mindful of one’s own personal needs in order to avoid interfering with one’s work with customers.

It is not appropriate for a support worker to discuss their own concerns with clients during treatment, such as psychological stress, financial difficulties, or marital problems. The discussion of personal information within therapy sessions is known as self-disclosure. Counselor self-disclosure can take many forms, from revealing details about personal life and events to sharing personal thoughts regarding certain problems and occurrences. One of the main drawbacks of self-disclosure is a change in the treatment’s emphasis away from the customer’s needs and therapeutic goals. The client can perceive the counselor’s excessive disclosure of their own personal problems as an indication of the counselor’s incapacity to carry out their professional responsibilities appropriately. Counselors who reveal too much about themselves personally risk offending their clients. It could give the impression that they do not care about their client’s problems, which might harm the therapeutic relationship.

One crucial aspect that may interfere with one’s work is burnout. According to certain research, social workers such as nurses are more susceptible to depression due to burnout (Mousavi et al., 2017). Among other symptoms, burnout can cause mental or physical tiredness, a loss of motivation, sleep deprivation, and a detachment from the workplace. Professionals may see a direct impact from rising absenteeism, declining employee performance standards and inefficiency. In order to encourage workers to communicate their concerns before they get any worse, it is crucial to foster an environment of transparency and support at work.

Taking care of oneself emotionally and physically is crucial to preventing one’s own needs from compromising with their working with customers. Self-care might include a person’s actions to relax or achieve emotional well-being, such as meditation, writing, or seeing a counselor. Sometimes, depression can lead to a lack of care for one’s health, such as a loss of drive, hunger, energy or a feeling of self-hate. All of these might hamper the capacity to look after oneself. In addition, self-care includes regulating the emotional self by controlling feelings like sadness, rage, and worry. Setting boundaries with others, particularly those who are unsupportive or negative and could have a detrimental impact on one’s mental health, is a common way to practice this self-care. In addition, self-care practices may help social workers and other health professionals mitigate compassion fatigue, which is frequently brought on by work in a stressful or traumatic atmosphere and can result in self-blame and ethical issues.

A person must cultivate self-awareness skills to recognize personal needs without having them interfere with those of others. Self-awareness is one of the individuals’ most vital strategies to prevent imposing their values on clients (Magaldi & Trub, 2018). Hence, this entails making a thorough inventory of personal thoughts, values, attitudes, and behaviors. At the same time, it involves observing one’s response to the statements and conduct of their clients, particularly those that arouse strong or unfavorable emotions. Maintaining a friendly attitude while avoiding influencing customers in one’s direction can be challenging. Personal values may be checked, and the client’s values and beliefs can be taken into consideration when devising strategies to combat this tendency. In therapy, it’s crucial to attempt to be honest with oneself about one’s ideals and biases. This can foster a higher sense of self-awareness and aid a person in staying away from unintentionally imposing their beliefs on clients.

Additionally, recognizing personal needs might be addressed by seeking clinical supervision. When managing conflicts of personal values, supervisors might be helpful. According to Sewell, clinical supervision is occasionally necessary for even the most seasoned helping professionals (2018). When dealing with demanding clients, where significant value disparities may be present, oversight from superiors is especially crucial. When someone cannot pinpoint the exact problem, supervision is a helpful tool that may aid in developing awareness of the issue and one’s sentiments. If a person’s personal views and beliefs are intense that they are unable to operate objectively or without prejudice, it may not be suitable for one to keep working with a particular client.

Finally, it is crucial to be mindful of one’s own personal needs in order to prevent interfering with one’s work with clients. When interacting with clients, social workers should maintain a professional and respectful approach in that they should refrain from using disparaging or disrespectful language. One must be aware of personal needs to prevent interference during work with clients which might impede therapeutic relationship. In addition, one should seek clinical supervision, cultivate self-awareness skills, and maintain a neutral attitude throughout therapy to prevent personal needs from interfering during work with the clients.


Magaldi, D., & Trub, L. (2018). (What) do you believe?: Therapist spiritual/religious/non-religious self-disclosure. Psychotherapy Research, 28(3), 484-498.

Mousavi, S. V., Ramezani, M., Salehi, I., Hossein Khanzadeh, A. A., & Sheikholeslami, F. (2017). The relationship between burnout dimensions and psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety and stress) among nurses. Journal of Holistic Nursing and Midwifery, 27(2), 37-43.

Sewell, K. M. (2018). Social work supervision of staff: A primer and scoping review. Clinical Social Work Journal, 46(4), 252–265.

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