I truly feel blessed in the work I do. Individuals, couples and groups walk into my office and unpack their internal world. They give me the opportunity to see into the nooks and crannies of their lives. I believe that one of the greatest therapeutic and healing capacities a clinician has to offer is in the working relationship. Yes, this relationship is unlike others – there is an imbalance of sorts, there is a fabrication, there is money exchanged, there is confines to date and time, etc. I try hard to walk the balance between taking my clinical knowledge, gathered by readings, conferences, course work, supervision, and the relationships with colleagues and 25 years plus of work AND the presentation of myself to my client as a real human being – eye-to-eye in the relational journey. It is not their job to take care of me, but rather my job to care about them and challenge them to know more about themselves and to ultimately take the best possible care of themselves. That process, however, often if not always, has them care about me. This exchange deepens the work – builds a thread of attachment and healing. (Please see future posts about the vast importance of attachment.) Pain and trauma often lies in the places of attachment – breached, broken or battered.
It is through this clinical and relational process that many patients return to our work. We have created a safe and productive place to return, to come “home,” to pick up from the knowledge of the past and bring to the present. They walk through the door again (and sometimes again and again) to set off on another journey of self-discovery, healing and growth as it relates to the current chapter in their life – a marriage has dissolved, a tumor has been found, retirement has knocked on the door, a child has left the nest, an elderly parent has become frail, a cherished dog has died, a friendship has ended, a loneliness has settled in, a bout of depression has emerged. Here, at this moment of now, we will unpack the current, as we tenderly hold the history and set off into a journey of greater clarity, healing and growth. As a result, I feel blessed all over again.