Jeff Levy, LCSW
Mental Health, Relationships, Trauma, Identity
Jeff Levy, LCSW
(originally posted on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, August 2014)
While discussing a case with a colleague, the topic of feeling fraudulent arose. The young woman she was working with was exceptionally bright, attractive, and accomplished, yet still she felt a sense of fraudulence. She believed that if others really knew her, they would “find out,” and once she was found out, she would be rejected and shamed. Logically this made no sense to her, but it felt so deep—so ingrained—that it seemed impossible to believe otherwise.
As we talked more about her client, I became aware of how many people I’ve worked with over the years who have also experienced this sense of fraudulence. From the flutter in my stomach and pressure on my chest, I realized how much the theme of fraudulence has been one I have also managed for most of my life. I know there is a component of feeling fraudulent that has pushed me to work harder and to succeed both personally and professionally. I suspect, however, that there is a heaviness to holding this fraudulence that holds me back; that weighs me down because on some deep level I don’t believe I know what I’m doing.
All AIDS Anger Apologizing Asking Questions In Sessions Authenticity Beginnings And Endings Being The Expert Boundaries Boundary Crossing Boundary Violations Breaks From Therapy Collaboration Between Therapists Coming Out Compassion Fatigue Contact Between Sessions Continuity Between Sessions Courage Crying Death Depression Disclosure Disclosure And Technology Dogs Email Emotional Support Animals Emotions Empathy Ending Psychotherapy Endings Expectations Experiments Failure Finances Forgiveness Framing Therapy Fraudulence Gifts Goals Grief Happiness Healing Rituals HIV Holding Back Homework Honesty Hope Human Animal Bond Identity Imposter Injuries Interpersonal Neurobiology Intersectionality Long Term Therapy Loss Loving Yourself Memory Metaphors In Psychotherapy Microaggressions Money Multiple Identities Neurophysiology New Information New Normal Normal Not Knowing Pain Physical Contact Positive Emotions Present Moment Priorities Privacy Questions Rage Real Relationships Resentment Resolution Rites Of Passage Rituals Rupture And Repair Sadness Safe Spaces Safety Safety Plan Safety Versus Comfort Secrecy Session Structure Short Term Therapy Silence Stigma And Mental Health Suicide Survival Strategies Themes In Psychotherapy Therapist Client Relationships Touch Trauma Trigger Warnings Values Vicarious Resilience Vicarious Trauma