“Let’s get this very clear: therapists are humans; humans are human. And, therefore, we experience the same things as our clients.” ~Bianca Hughes
Perfectionism, professional pivots, and the privilege of creating space for healing. So many bases covered in this conversation with Bianca K. Hughes, LPC! Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the cultural exchange insights – Bianca’s a British ex-pat residing in Atlanta (shout out OTP and ITP!) – or the book recommendation…or the NARM chitchat. Yes, this episode features all the things!
If there’s a single overarching theme to this discussion, it’s sacred vulnerability. Bianca makes a case for living and practicing in the glory of our imperfections. As a first-gen Brit born to Caribbean parents, Bianca brings a multi-directional perspective to her Atlanta practice. Her style is less linear, outcome-driven. For her, healing is a circuitous journey she shares with her clients. She’s quick to let them know she’s not the ultimate oracle or guide. Sometimes Bianca’s a few steps ahead; sometimes, she’s catching up. “Someone said once you can only take your client, as far as you have been yourself,” she explains, “and I’ll never forget that. And it’s true. Every time I do my own more personal work, the more I could go deeper with a client.”
It’s evident in conversation that Bianca isn’t shy about doing her work. She’s also not afraid to set guidelines for herself and her clients in session. “I think that’s one of the most important characteristics as a therapist to have boundaries, to have really good boundaries you can fall into,” she says. When set, defined limits allow Bianca’s patients to experience the growth as their own, not hers. The boundaries also serve as a reminder to let a patient’s healing bloom even when the moment feels uncomfortable to her personally.
There’s a truism about therapists specializing in the areas where they need the work or have experienced the most growth. Bianca’s focus on perfectionism – and women, in particular, who struggle with its weight – is no accident. “Going back to that privilege,” she says, “…I think that specializing in perfectionism because of my own stuff, and I’m continuing to do my own work, helps me a lot easier with the clients that I work with.”
Doing our work and sharing that knowledge is how therapists hold space for healing.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain – by Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD
CONNECT WITH BIANCA HUGHES
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