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How does a counsellor detach himself from the patients?

Q: I am a 36 years old male. When I listen to my wife’s feelings or problems, I always get affected emotionally. But when a psychologist or a professional counsellor or a psychiatrist listens to his/her patient, s/he never gets affected. In other words, how do these specialists manage not to take things personally?

A:When we interact with people we are related to or familiar with, the content affects us emotionally as we are usually involved emotionally with that person or event or situation. On the other hand, in a professional counselling situation, the person is professionally trained to be emotionally detached and to focus on the problem, feelings and the intervention itself. In case one does get affected emotionally, one is trained to take a break, refer the case to another specialist and to get counselling for oneself. Counsellor burnout is a known phenomenon and there are ways of dealing with it.

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