If You Knew How Much We CARE.
It’s been the usual morning routine, personal care, pet care, coffee and log on/commute to the office. On the way the schedule plays in my head actions: phone calls I need to make, emails I need to return, people I will see, clients, and clinicians I will supervise. The day is speckled with personal time to take breaks, breathe, walk the dogs, eat, but for the most part, on clinical days, it’s game on!
I arrive at the office, turn on the diffuser, open the laptop and glance down at my daily schedule. I see familiar faces for regular scheduled sessions recalling where we left off, some returning clients from past sessions wondering what sparked the restart and curious about the updates, and ooop a new person; I immediately review your intake documents.
Fast forward, you walk into my office and appear slightly/very uncomfortable. It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. Yes we, because I knew your intake was coming and I have read carefully what you told me about yourself before you arrived. We greet and take a seat, or maybe you came onto the teleport, either way I put my head in the game and get ready to listen to you intently, hear what you have to say, and maybe what you don’t say. I conjure up some thoughtful questions and explore some of the things your are sharing with me. I gingerly push, and know when to pull back and allow you to share what feels comfortable to you. It’s perfectly fine to set aside a topic if you’re not ready to discuss it. You see we, therapists, are trained to listen with a sixth sense, the sense of getting to KNOW you, not expose you, not scare you and definitely not scar you because WE CARE.
Unlike social relationships, where the common exchange would usually run down a mental check list, shallowly asking the seemingly disinterested, “How are you? What do you do etc.” Typical social relationships are nice but how often do you feel like people really KNOW you. And sure not every person will be YOUR person, and some civil exchanges are a start to wonderful life long relationships however often people are left hungry for more. The therapeutic relationship leaves you feeling curious, supported, validated, and receptive to feedback. The therapist, is your person and the purpose of the therapeutic relationships is to KNOW you, the real YOU, even prompt questions so that you start to KNOW you. We hold space, lots of space, for you to do the deep dive of introspection and explore for yourself in a way that is comfortable, not rushed or trite. You might wonder why. The answer is simple: WE CARE, perhaps more than you realize.
Once we have gotten past all the intrusive surface level stuff, where you reveal “here’s what happened to me to this point in my life,” medical history, family history, mental health, developmental, social, even financial and legal stuff, you will discover the therapist is still there, hold the space and you through it all, we are not scared away. And you may be very curious, even if you are feeling are slightly exposed, about how you were received why someone would want to let alone be able to hear some of the hard stuff and not shrink back. And still….WE CARE.
The relationships with your therapist evolves over time, sometimes you will learn little bits about the therapist as a person, but for the most part the therapist is YOUR PERSON. The trained and seasoned therapist will always do what is in your best interest. Now that is not to say that sometimes you will find a therapist that is well meaning but may not be a good fit for you. Something may even feel out of sync. Trust the process of therapy and know that if you are feeling unsupported or disconnected it is okay to reevaluate. The therapist is a sounding board, even discuss this with YOUR PERSON. What you may be hearing is your gut telling you something is shifting and consider that the therapist that may have come across as the least effective, just by being themself, has taught you the most valuable of all things, to trust yourself.
A therapist will always operate from the WE CARE and not take offense. Therapists as a profession, WE CARE; We Eagerly Cultivate A Real Engagement to the one you have been seeking in the first place, a connection more precious than any you will find externally, the connection to honoring what is inside of you, WE CARE till you do and then like any true mentor, we are glad to see you take off on your own.
WE CARE till you can care for yourself.