I went to my first counselor when I was in 4th grade. I was a kid who was dealing with a challenging relationship with a friend, and I knew that the school counselor was someone who would help. Actually, my amazingly insightful teacher Mrs Shank suggested I go, so I went.
I remember feeling so welcomed with opens into the counselor's lovely, warm office. She listened intently and made me feel understood. I left feeling so much better about the situation which was now much less scary, impossible and upsetting. To me, it felt like magic.
I knew from that moment that therapists are indeed superheroes.
Through the years, I've been to several therapists, whether it was because of a more intense issue or just a "readjustment" when I was going through a life transition or change. Each and every time I learned something about myself that I didn't know before. It is always, always, fruitful.
As a therapist who specializes in therapy for therapists as well as other helpers and healers, I know what it is to sit on that side of the "couch*. Facing my vulnerability, being present with uncomfortable feelings and raising sometimes painful truths are, in my experience, simply growing pains for the inner transformation at work. When I am working with therapists, I know how it is to feel both skeptical and a fraud, with both imposter syndrome and wholly judgmental. These are totally normal and welcomed--all feelings have their place in therapy!
One thing about 2020 is that therapists are suffering too. We helpers and healers are indeed holding the collective's pain and worry and fear, yet we often don't take time to support our own inner wellness and keep our bright light shining.
My heart is breaking with the kind of strain counselors and therapists are under, and yearn to support them as much as I can. I am offering a supportive circle just for women therapists, so that they too can have space to breathe in the chaotic times we're living in. I continue to offer free 30 minute support calls to all frontline providers, including therapists.
What if that school counselor was so burned out she couldn't be present with me that day? What if in my time of distress there would have been no one to talk to? Perhaps I wouldn't have had the incredible, life changing experience of knowing how an objective, kind and compassionate counselor can be just the salve to my distressed heart--and perhaps I wouldn't have been motivated from such a young age to seek a helper's vocation in the first place!
When it comes to superheroes, therapists are some of the toughest, most resilient and life-change agents there are out there. What I would do without them?
Wouldn't be where I am today.
In deepest gratitude,