Joy Sackett Wood

Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Grief Transformation Coach & Author

Do you think therapists make money out of people’s misery?

I am writing this from my heart…please read on.

Two and half years ago when my son died, I joined some online Facebook Grief support groups for people coping with grief. This was a very personal choice I made, and my reasons for joining were purely about me, to help me through my grieving process and to be connected to others also going through the same thing. Respecting sensitivities all around, I have been very aware and conscious of the fact I am a professional counsellor so deliberately did my best to be careful with what I posted and shared, and how and what I responded to others to be both supported and supportive. I don’t believe I ever let it be known what I do within these groups.

I was quite shocked when a couple weeks ago I read quite an aggressive post from an administrator of one of these groups who stated in capital letters to say that all Therapists and Psychics only take advantage of vulnerable people grieving and want to make money out of them. So, no therapists or psychics are welcome and should leave the group. Feeling quite uncomfortable, although knowing I had a clear conscience as I knew I had never ‘touted’ for business in this or any of these groups, I was very interested and continued to read the replies from members of the group.

Some people agreed with the administrator and were very damning due to their preconceived ideas or possibly their personal experiences, whilst others were more positive supporting the place of therapeutic and psychic support through their grieving experience as they perceived it.

I spent some time pondering what felt like an ‘attack’ on my integrity; questioning, examining myself for feeling hurt and then becoming quite angry as my own personal intentions as a therapist have always been to help and offer healing to others.

I thought about all my many years of experience, both personal and as a professional (see my LinkedIn profile); my own financial and personal investment in achieving this; the years of hard work and dedication in gaining my qualifications; my regular ongoing continuous professional and personal development (CPD) and training about which I am most conscientious. Also, for the excellent supervision I financially and personally invest in monthly and the thousands of client supervised hours I have accumulated;  the many membership bodies I belong to which also ensure I work within ethical boundaries and care with my clients; for voluntary activity being on the panel for Clients Complaints for the National Counselling Society for years.

This is what clients pay for when they come to see me and, since my son died, I have extended my services to specialising in grief to help others, and not for making money from grief but because I understand grief and have learnt how I can  help on a much deeper level than before.

This is why I wrote my book, ‘From Hole to Whole – Embracing the Transformational Power of Grief and Loss’: to be of service to others, and to offer further support through the courses I developed from the book. In fact, I have self–funded, paid out a lot of money in getting this book published, and a new website and all the work that’s gone into it to offer free online support and advice, and the new social media platforms etc. So far, this financial investment has not had a return, which actually I truly don’t mind, just as long as it is of some help to anyone on their grief journey.

Additionally, I have always offered discounted costs to all my sessions to students and those in challenging financial circumstances in order to, ethically, further support them through their present difficulties to a happier place of peace and contentment.

Don’t people pay for prescriptions from the doctor, the dentist, the chiropractor, etc when they need to?

Really, are therapists just making money out of other people’s misery?