Why Being a Therapist Doesn’t Make Me Any Less Indulgent Than Anyone Else
Updated: May 19, 2020
It’s funny to me to hear people’s responses when they hear that I work as a therapist.
“Oh wow. You must really deal with a lot.”
“That’s hard work.”
“It must be difficult to ever stop thinking about work, right?”
I got into this field selfishly. I like the job and that’s why I’m doing it. Sure, are there days, like any other job, that I worry too much or get turned upside down in emotion? Of course. But, for the most part, I can hardly believe this is a real job. I get to be with people for a living and explore the most dynamic, interesting parts of them with them, as they discover them. Therapy is not just a job; therapy, and particularly the way I relate within it is an expression of who the client is, who I am and what we create together.
The therapeutic agreement is truly an incredible and healing agreement to enter with another person, and it’s my hope that I get to share the magic of it for a long time. The work is always changing, whether it is different work within the same clients or new ways of relating and exploring with new clients. Being a therapist is the most indulgent career I can imagine.
Here are three things I experience with clients as a therapist that make my life adventurous, awe-inspired, and a continual discovery:
1. We learn to ride the inner world like a rollercoaster.
Variety is the spice of life. Without the depths of despair, how can we know the height of ecstasy? Without the slow crawl of the rollercoaster up the incline, the quick drop wouldn’t be the same. I love to track my clients as they describe where they are in their ride. Valuing every single aspect of the human experience is so precious, and riding it right alongside someone else makes it even more amazing.
It takes courage to be present with the whole spectrum of experience. Most of the time it takes practice. We close our eyes at some points and raise our hands in the air at others. It’s risky to show up, but it definitely makes life more fun.
2. We find resonance in them, us, and in the world around them.
When the goal to know one’s self is set and two people are consistently working together to reach that goal, it’s bound to happen. There are moments along the therapeutic journey that a client finds resonance within themselves. The perfect alchemy of their mind, physiology, and emotions all align at a particular moment and they know themselves in a clearer way that illuminates a path before them. This is an honor to witness.
As a therapist, I get to witness the fresh paint of conscious, living, breathing art. The closest I can describe the experience for me is like hearing an amazing song or seeing a famous painting. It resonates. I haven’t lived my client’s stories, but they still resonate with me. Their experience, though unique in flavor, is a human experience. There’s something in me that knows it, even if I’ve never met that experience in my own life.
When the client becomes familiar with certain tones of resonance, they look for them in their world, notice where they harmonize and where they clash. Then, they bring back their experience and I get to hear the new notes.
3. We witness the opening of new worlds by reassembling the one they are in now.
If therapy were limited to a way to get back to level ground from a deficit, I might feel an attachment to clients staying where they are so I can continue to be in relationship with them- which would be disempowering and unethical. One of my favorite things about therapy is that clients continually discover new realms within themselves, conquer new feats, and claim new victories. They open worlds of freedom, authenticity, and expression. They open different ways of relating through their language, emotions, and body. The possibilities are endless.
Therapy isn’t inherently a miserable, pointless drudge. It’s two people working together toward a goal, and that gets to be what we make it. If you want to read more about the therapeutic agreement from my view, read this blog.
What parts of your rollercoaster would you like to explore? Maybe it’s your time to explore the heights and depths of your experience, add more equilibrium, or loops to the ride.
Are you feeling in resonance with yourself and the world? In what ways would you like to find more resonance?
How are you orienting to your current world? Is it one you may like to reshape and step through into another?
If you’d like more information about working with me either individually or in a group setting, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions.