The other day when I saw my therapist for treatment of my obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD I described an incident that made me particularly angry and I cursed. Within the next 15 minutes I felt the need to say another curse word, but for some reason stopped myself and asked the therapist if she minded if I swore sometimes. She replied that she had noticed that I had done that at times. She then proceeded to say that she never curses and doesn't go out with people who do. I asked her why she had this stance and she answered that it was due to her religion. But she also pointed out that the therapists are instructed to walk out of a session if the patient does a lot of cursing.
Feeling defensive, I pointed out that I speak in various tones, sometimes using the educated one and other times I prefer to sound earthier. Dr. Romero nodded her head in agreement. After that exchange no earthy language came out of me.
Later on, I reflected on the session and began to wonder if the doctor had a valid point in only wanting to hear cleaned up language. I could understand that it could be very annoying and downright offensive if a patient exclusively used cursing in their expressions. But every once in a while? Was that really so bad? Should a patient feel inhibited because he or she has to watch what they say, I wondered. Is using colorful language every so often really offensive? Frankly, I don't think it is.
Now, if a patient wants to have a good rapport with the therapist in this situation, then I would advise the patient to yes, watch his or her language, as I plan to do. Pretend the therapist is a school teacher, and you have to mind your p's and q's a bit. That's how I feel anyway. One does want to be respectful of the therapist's religion which does not permit cursing, but on the other hand the therapist should be mindful of the patient's need to self-expression, even if it will make the therapist inwardly cringe a little. This is part of her work, and sometimes if not often, work of any nature will include a few unpleasantries.