In times of uncertainty, we seek the familiar, to connect us and make ourselves feel safe
I thirst for others’ words when I am feeling uncertain, to find meaning and understanding of what I am experiencing.
In my early training I found this clarity and insight in the words of Yalom, Jung, Rogers, Bowlby, Assagioli, Hellenger. Recently, I have found resonance with columnists Grace Dent and Bryony Gordon; such is this time of shared human experience – we are all trying to make sense of the same thing.
I am confident the tide will turn and I will search again amongst the great theorists and thinkers, but in seeking affirmation, validation and reassurance for myself, I seek, through my own words, to offer the same reassurance, validation and meaning to others, especially to my clients past, present and future.
We are in the same storm, but different boats
Never before have I felt so exposed, and at the same time so balanced, as a therapist. I entered this phase as vulnerable to COVID-19 as my clients. I had to learn to social distance; my business suffered loss and dramatic change; my family circumstances and family members were all thrown into a state of uncertainty, insecurity, vulnerability.
Yet, how liberating, unusual and unifying it has been to have these shared experiences with the rest of the world.
It is not now our differences that I hold in the work, but our shared experience
Less now the focus on validating and managing difference and more on respecting and holding the benefit of shared experience. Less now the ‘blank screen’ and expectation, perception, however false, that the therapist is the healthy and all-knowing one. Marie Adams’ (2014) ‘The Myth of the Untroubled Therapist’ and the knowledge of the Wounded Healer is very much out there now. Buber’s posit ‘I-Thou’ resonates loud and clear.
We are all touched by this pandemic and we are all finding our way through
I welcome this experience of unity.
I am not prone to self-disclosure; I value the necessary and holding boundaries within the therapeutic relationship. At the same time, I am human and continue to grow. I am thankful to my clients for their warmth, kindness and humility over this period. They have met me in this strange place, just as I meet them.
And so we go on
I look forward to time bringing learning and clarity, when we can look back at this time of separation and loss and see too where the new growth has happened.
I look forward to opening the doors to my room again for my clients, safe in the knowledge that we have come through something together, albeit differently.
#intherapy #stayconnected #letstalkaboutit