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Nine Tips for Ghostwriting Success No. 6 Don't Mistake it for Therapy

It May be Therapeutic, but it is not Therapy

Ghostwriting brings clients close to unfelt feelings and memories. Especially for memoirs or projects with autobiographical elements, clients find they trust the ghostwriter with stories and incidents. It's common for clients to cry and not uncommon for ghostwriters, when in the flow, to shed a tear now and then.

All this is by way of saying that sourcing sessions can sometimes have the qualities of an emotional therapy session,

Think about it. There's an explicit assurance about confidentaility. Clients are paying the ghostwriter as they do their therapists. Sometimes they trust their ghosts with stories and incidents they are telling for the first time ever. Secrets are revealed. Clients often project unto ghostwriters some of the feelings being discussed.

Ghosts have to tread a careful line. You want to encourage the clients to be authentic and real and share the hard truths of their lives. At the same time, you need to respect your limits and stay in the lane reserved for ghostwriters. In short, you need to respect boundaries.

The bottom line is that it's easy for a sourcing session to slip into something that looks scarily similar to therapy. Ghosts, refuse to go there. Ghostwriting may be therapeutic, but it's not therapy. Listen, ask questions, respect the tears, serve the project. You don't have any answers for the clients' unanswered questions. Leave the client's emotional well-being in the hands of licensed professionals.


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