The Perfect Client

You attend every session regularly. Despite it being free.

You comply with all of what the therapist says.

You ask questions if you don’t understand.

You do your homework conscientiously. And remember to bring it back to the next session.

You tend to be Axis 1. And not a hassle at all.

You want to change.

You have clear goals for therapy.

You are able to identify your automatic thoughts. And challenge them.

You are willing to put in the effort required for therapy. In and out of session.

You do some things even before we decide to engage in them.

You are the type we read about as examples in books by other psychologists.

It’s a shame that in reality, you are few and far between.

But to that one perfect client I get among every 500 or so imperfect ones…you remind me of why I chose this line of work.

You help me see that change is possible when there aren’t other extraneous factors or personality factors hindering it.

You help me see that cognitive-behaviour therapy is in fact evidence-based. And with the right type of client such as you, it is a breeze.

I just wish there were more of you!

But I guess if that were the case, I wouldn’t value you as much as I do.Β 

Until next time,


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  • Sam Liu
    3 May 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Very true, if everything in our lives were perfect, we wouldn’t appreciate them as much. This was very insightful and interesting to read as I have an interest in psychology, it’s so wonderful to hear the viewpoint of someone who knows what they’re talking about.

  • Legal Alien
    3 May 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Thats true.. without the bad, we’d never appreciate the good as much would we? Haven’t been around in a while so catching up on all your posts now πŸ™‚

  • Titaxy
    3 May 2010 at 2:22 pm

    πŸ™‚ It’s always that way, isn’t it? When we have a lot of something, we tend to take it for granted and not see the real value :). Anyway, wish you get a few more of these perfect clients πŸ™‚

  • ItsNu
    3 May 2010 at 2:41 pm

    LOL…oh and that mean I’m fit for therapy πŸ˜› whenever I will require πŸ˜›

  • Lazy Pineapple
    3 May 2010 at 4:38 pm

    A little out of my league as not being a professional therapist. But I can understand the feeling behind this post…I guess it is an overwhelming sense of relief to get one perfect patient…

    I hope I am right in my deduction πŸ™‚

  • Dew
    3 May 2010 at 4:56 pm

    So true πŸ™‚

  • comfortablynam
    3 May 2010 at 11:18 pm

    And maybe if everyone was like would not enjoy what you do as would not be challenged as would not grow in the field you love as much..

  • bookslifenmore
    4 May 2010 at 10:26 am

    I guess the last line says it all!!! Perfect ppl are rare to find hang on to them when you get one πŸ˜‰

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:34 am

    You’re right…we can extend this to all aspects of our lives. It’s nice to hear you are interested in psychology…keep reading given that I do write a lot about work related stuff. =P

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:35 am

    Long time no see! That’s why we enjoy treats and little luxuries when you are working your arse off other times… =)

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:36 am

    Yes! Oh I just have one teenager at the moment that’s like this and she made me realise how few of these kinds of clients I’ve had and how much I long for them. 3 sessions on and she’s already getting better! =D

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:36 am

    Haha! We’ll let your therapist decide that πŸ˜‰

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:37 am

    Yes you are! As I mentioned to Titaxy, I currently have a girl that’s totally on board and in 3 sessions she has started showing marked improvement in her presenting problem…and it just made me long for more clients like her…

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:37 am


  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:37 am

    True. I probably would not learn how to deal with the challenging clients…and grow as you mentioned! =D

  • Psych Babbler
    5 May 2010 at 12:38 am

    Lol…well, I’d love to hang on to this client but I think she may actually get better soon…

  • ItsNu
    5 May 2010 at 6:18 am

    oh o πŸ™ I thought whenever I require a therapist it’ll be you πŸ™

  • BoxMonkey
    17 May 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I find the 2nd line a great goal, but funny at the same time. From what I’ve heard, people rarely like to actually follow advice.

    -Hey, I have this problem!
    -Here’s a solution!
    The End.

    I just find it funny that people seek help, but then neglect to follow up. It’s like when people just think about eating well. They’re more likely to eat worse because they feel good just thinking about eating well. Apply to any situation involving self-restraint.

  • Psych Babbler
    18 May 2010 at 11:46 am

    “I just find it funny that people seek help, but then neglect to follow up.”

    Tell me about it! I always wonder about that…even people that pay and see someone privately sometimes don’t do everything they can to help themselves! Makes me wonder why spend the money in the first place. It’s almost as though attending is good enough and will somehow make them better. However, if they go to the doctor, they do take meds and get better….not just by talking to the doctor! Oh well…