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  • jane@northside

5 Ways Critical Thinking Skills Can Help Me Be A Better Therapist

Updated: Mar 1

Critical thinking

What is critical thinking?

Lets start with looking at what critical thinking is. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, evaluate, and interpret information to form reasoned judgments and make sound decisions. Every time we use our thinking skills to consider information, arguments or evidence to form an opinion or decision we are using critical thinking. Critical thinking is an essential life skill and can be applied to any situation or problem and so isn't limited to professional or academic life. We can develop these skills with practice.

So how does it help me in my role as a counsellor or therapist?

You may not realise it, but as a counsellor or therapist, critical thinking is an important part of your role.

1. Making informed decisions

Counsellors and therapists need to be able to think critically when working with clients. They need to assess the client's situation, understand the client's perspective, and identify the underlying issues that may be contributing to the client's problems.

2. Problem Solving

Ok, now you have gathered all that information, the next part of critical thinking is problem solving. It helps us analyse the client's problem or reason for coming to therapy, identify the root cause and develop effective solutions. This is the bit where we work out the treatment plan.

3. Identifying bias

Critical thinking also helps us to avoid biases and stereotypes that may impact our work with clients. We use it to recognise when our own assumptions or prejudices may be influencing our judgement. Critical thinking helps us to be more objective and open-minded.

4. Clear communication and explanation

This is where we clearly and effectively communicate the reasoning behind our decision or judgement in a way that is appropriate to our audience. This may be to our client or supervisor. For those in training or writing professional articles, it is the ability to set out ideas and reasoning clearly, logically and persuasively.

5. Working with best practice

Critical thinking is also about adapting. That is, adapting to include, where appropriate, the best practice in the field. It is where we don't adopt new ideas blindly but navigate by evaluating the quality and validity of research findings and applying them appropriately to our work with clients.

In conclusion, critical thinking is essential for counsellors or therapists to provide effective and ethical services to clients. It helps us to assess clients' situations, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, avoid biases and stereotypes, and stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in the field.

What to know more?

Nea Clark is running an online workshop on Critical Thinking on Tuesday 21 March

5.00pm - 7.15pm. Tickets £25

The purpose of this workshop is to support professionals in critical thinking and is designed for counselling and psychotherapy trainees and practitioners. The workshop includes:

  • Understanding what is critical thinking?

  • The different aspects of critical thinking

  • Practising critical thinking and analysis and synthesis during workshop

  • Learn to express you experience and feeling in written form and confront the belief of 'I am not academic enough'

  • How to use all of these to meet the criteria in essay or article writing.


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