Vegan growth

Working with fellow vegan Jo has been an amazing positive experience. Her vegan ethics shine through in her kindness and empathy, and her commitments to the EMDR process have made the sessions feel very safe and nurturing. I came to Jo at a very challenging point in my life and her support and the EMDR made a huge, positive difference.

EMDR therapy client

Vegan Therapy

I have had general counselling, but over time I’ve come to a point where I could no longer feel a benefit from a therapist who isn’t vegan. One of the key elements in all therapy is ’empathy’. The definition of empathy is, “the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation” (Cambridge dictionary). The definition goes on to say, “the capacity to place oneself in another’s position” (Bellet & Maloney – The importance of empathy). 

In my role as a counsellor/therapist (from now on referred to as therapist), I have felt able to feel that empathy in relation to a client’s thoughts and feelings. Therapists may not have the ability to fully understand how our clients feel, but we focus heavily on the depth of our understanding. There are however some things that I feel conflict with the definition of empathy. Differences of views and beliefs between client and therapist need not impact the therapy as differences can be acknowledged, but when the therapist partakes in what is causing the pain for the client, we are breaching that empathy and cannot provide proper therapy. The best way I can explain this is as follows. 

If a therapist was racist and provided therapy to a client pained by racism, how could they continue to be racist if they feel empathy towards them? If a therapist was homophobic and provided therapy for someone pained by homophobia, how could they continue to be homophobic if they feel empathy towards them? As unlikely as this seems I describe this only to demonstrate the difficulties faced by a vegan seeking therapy. I need to show how serious this is. This is how I feel that a therapist working with a vegan who is pained by the suffering of animals could only show empathy if they decided to stop consuming meat and dairy, the minute they create that therapeutic link.

In addition, I see that it is enough of a struggle to explain our thoughts and feelings in general, without having to attempt to gain vegan compassion from our therapist. I believe we have the fullest therapy experience if a vegan gets help from a vegan therapist. 

Free Consultation

If you are unsure and would like to talk about whether you would like to start you can have a 15-minute free consultation.

No commitments will be needed.