Welcome to our semi-regular blog series: From the Heart of a Therapist. Often, clients will ask questions that hint at the underlying uncertainty, “What do you, my therapist, really think of me?” It’s normal to bring hopes and desires of being liked and appreciated into the therapy room, so related questions and uncertainties are normal, too! And this series is the perfect place to get the inside scoop on what your therapist is thinking, feeling, and experiencing as they witness your growth, courage, and journey!
Thank you for reaching out. I know it can take some time to gain the courage to make that first attempt at connecting to a complete stranger, particularly a therapist. Thank you for making that first call, sending that first text, or reaching out with an email. I know that can feel scary. Thank you for showing up to your initial session. I know that can feel even scarier. Thank you for continuing to show up with ongoing dedication and courage. I know it does not always come easily.
Please know, that wherever you are at in your journey, by seeking therapy, you have begun the process of caring for yourself and pursuing healing. Allowing and welcoming me to join you along the way has me feeling quite honored. TRULY.
Simply put (which I know it is nowhere near simplistic), life is difficult. It can be scattered, or sometimes even filled, with seasons of pain and suffering. That is likely why you reached out in the first place. You arrived at a point where going at it alone was not enough. You may have walked a line (perhaps for a long while) of knowing you needed more than your own abilities or even those of friends and family around you. You likely felt exhausted, worn down, and defeated. However, in this vulnerable time in your life, despite these difficulties you might have experienced, you took the leap and began the process of sharing your pain. For that, I commend you. TRULY.
As a therapist, I am not only honored to be with you on the journey and thankful our paths have crossed, but I WANT to hear your story and sit with you despite your pain and hurt. I WANT to join you as you sift through the tiny details and big events of what makes you YOU in this life. TRULY.
I have gone through my own share of trials and difficulties, unpleasant life circumstances, grief and loss, and times of pain and suffering. I became a therapist because I know that each and every individual has times in their life when they need to not feel alone in these kinds of struggles. A time where someone joins them on their team to sit with them, hold space for them, and accept them as they are.
During the counseling process you are going to have a lot of feelings and thoughts come up. To ease your mind on some of the elements that may be present between you and me throughout the therapeutic process, I would like you to read and believe the following:
Things that may go on in your head that I will honestly tell you are not true.
- I do not sit and get annoyed with you telling your story.
- I do not judge your circumstances and think you are a terrible person.
- I do not find myself thankful that you leave each week and now I don’t have to see you again for another week.
- I do not think you need to apologize for your presence, experiences, and especially not for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me.
- I am not perfect and nowhere near having it all together.
- It is not your job to care for me. You get the privilege to be free from this duty.
Things that may or may not go on in your head that are true.
- I am fascinated to hear the ins and outs of the unique story that is only completely yours.
- I honestly believe you are doing the best you can in this moment with what you have been given in this life.
- I wonder how you are doing in between sessions and look forward to picking back up again.
- When our journey together is done, and you have met your therapeutic goals, I am overjoyed, albeit a bit sad, that you worked me out of a job. My hope for you in this time, is that you feel ready to depart for now or forever because you have found hope, restored health, and have found ways to enhance overall well-being. Yet, it is important for you to know that my door and my heart are always open for your return if needed in the future.
I think you, others, and even myself naturally attain value and worth, and can be allowed to live a life that brings forth joy, satisfaction, and health amidst the trials, and amidst the pain and the suffering. That is how I see the therapeutic process. Please remember that the therapeutic process is just that, a PROCESS. Together we will sort through and do our best to make sense of the story that is yours. You get to be the driver, and I will be your co-pilot. We will navigate the highs and the lows and the pieces that lie in between. It is important for you to know that my life is impacted by you, and you are often a source of growth, learning, and joy for me as much as I may be for you.
To close, I would like to share a few last points about your value as a wonderfully and uniquely made human being:
- It is okay to identify, address, and take care of your needs.
- It is okay to expect and encourage others to treat you with kindness.
- It is okay to be accepted as you are.
From the heart of a Therapist