Help! What is an appropriate gift for my mental health counselor, trauma therapist, or social worker?! This is a question I’ve gotten before, as a therapist to help point family and friends in the direction of what might be considered ‘appropriate’ to give to your therapist for a holiday or at the conclusion of your work together. Not only are these great small gifts to fit that need, but they’re also great to give to a friend, a sibling, parent, or child who works as a therapist for their birthday, Christmas, or Hanukkah. Without further ado, I present to you my top five favorite designs from a therapist for a therapist.
While the therapeutic relationship is personal in nature, gift giving is not expected or required as part of the therapeutic process. I want to clarify, you do not need to get your therapist a gift, and often times there may be a policy regard gift giving. Check with your clinician first to see if they do accept gifts, and if they hold any boundaries (i.e., low cost) around receiving gifts. Please honor and respect any policies from your clinician. For additional information, I invite you to read more about some of the concerns related to receiving/giving gifts here on GoodTherapy.org.
1. Mental Health Is Health T-Shirt and Matching Mug This tee features an eye-popping rainbow brain design and is totally wearable and appropriate for a long day at the office, or even to wear around town because mental health is health. Our brain is an absolutely essential organ, and tending to our mental wellness is absolutely key for overall health functioning and wellbeing. Also available in black mug!
2. Five Senses Mindfulness Mug This mug is one of my favorites I’ve designed so far, because the ‘five senses’ grounding exercises can be soooo helpful. It’s my personal strategy for managing some more difficult parenting moments (doing a quick 5-4-3-2-1 when my toddler is fighting his bedtime can really save the day to nourish my nervous system!). Mindfulness is core to my work as a therapist and functioning as a human being. Check out our blog post about starting a mindfulness practice!
3. Not A Mind Reader Mug
This is one straight from my heart! Often I find myself dispelling the myth that I'm trying to or even can read someone's mind! This mug is a funny reminder that a therapist is not a magician, a mentalist, or some other form of mind reader. Rather, your therapist is another human being sitting across from you, offering an open reflection and supporting you to gain insight and connect to your most authentic self.
4. I'm Feeling A Bit Nervous T-Shirt
This t-shirt was actually inspired by some healing work I did through visceral manipulation with my physical therapist! A lot of our work together incorporated some somatic release and healing. IT. WAS. POWERFUL. I gained a very intimate perspective on the mind-body connection and used my work with this provider as inspiration to create this tee--and even though it was created for a physical therapist, the sentiment remains for a mental health therapist. This "Nervous Shirt" is a great conversation starter, or just a 'heads up' to those you're preparing to socialize around that your nervous system might just be on a higher alert.
5. I'm Listening Mug
This mug was actually one of my very first successful designs on Etsy! Because of that, it's near and dear to my heart. This mug is perfect for the empathic therapist, counselor, social worker, or other healer in your life. With this mug, your presence remains even when you're taking a sip of coffee or tea with a gentle reminder of "I'm Listening." This is one of my favorite mugs to use while I'm in session with a client, so I've selected it as the final design to round out this list! Available in black and white ceramic.
While I consider some these my top designs to gift to a therapist, psychologist, counselor, social worker, etc. the greatest gift I can say I have received as a therapist is just witnessing the beauty of human change. I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to have the job I have, and honor the vulnerability and courage I continue to see in my clients.