I love my job, I love people, I love minds, emotions and speech patterns. I love history, beliefs and all that makes a human being, just be. In therapy I hold hands and encourage metaphorical swims through the deep waters of the subconscious. I often swim along. I am honest with my
clients, I value congruency and will tell them if something affects me. I believe there is value in this, the therapy is not the only game in town. there is so much more going on in that room. Two human beings are intensely listening and talking in a very rare space.
The interaction between them is just as important as the language.
But, there is a danger in that room, a fearsome beast, a wolf in sheep's clothing and it is this; there is a power disparity here. For all my empathy,
consideration and tears I'm the only one who gets paid. I get to open and shut the doors, take notesand I have the tissues. these are all
cues which say I have the power here and you do not.
There is a reason why training in therapy involves therapy itself, vulnerability, trust and your technique are the key components of any interventional method. It's important to be able to taste before you can cook well and we learn more about others once we
have learned about ourselves.
Perceptual bias being what it is, everyone has blind spots and according to many psychologists the issue we criticise others for is often the thing we are guiltiest of ourselves. So I regularly swap with other therapists, there I can I feel my emotions and work with them and through them in a therapeutic context.
My therapist will keep me safe, monitor my skin colour and breathing, she calls me back to the grist of the matter.
"Have you looked at this?"
"What is happening now?"
She reminds me of that most precious thing, I am a verb, not a noun. I learn by being and doing. I am not static. I journey and I explore. She keeps the light on for me and because of this I learn to find my way home.
At times I am helpless, triggered, upset and although I know how I got there and indeed vaguely how to come limping back, the value of handing over some of that to an experienced navigator is worth gold to me. Every time it happens I am reminded of what precious work it is that we do, not just for love or money it's something more than that.
It's grace, and how can two people find grace if only one of them has let go.
My job title is not just a label, doing therapy is my life. If I did not travel along the same roads as my client how could we ever meet up in those places on the edge
of nowhere, depression, anxiety, grief, paranoia, obsession and fear. Even if our destinations androutes are different, it is the
movement that is key and I call it grace.