When a client comes to you and wants help, you’re going to assume that they’re telling you the truth. They want to heal from whatever pain they’re going through, and that’s why they’re coming to therapy. The problem is that when you realize that a client is not truthful, it’s difficult to help them because you don’t know what their actual problems are. What do you do as a therapist when you recognize that your client is lying?
Pathological liars aren’t deliberately deceiving others
Not all lying is malicious. It certainly can be, and there are people who have personality disorders who compulsive lie so that they can manipulate others; however, some people lie to survive, and not to hurt their loved ones. People that struggle with pathological lying have usually learned to do this from a young age. They’ve seen evidence that telling the truth didn’t get them what they wanted, and they likely used lies as a survival mechanism. Maybe as a child, the person was severely abused. They learned to lie to appease their abusers. Their lying serves a purpose, and it’s your job to solve the mystery; what is your client gaining by lying to you and their loved ones?