By Lori Jackson
A client and I are in a session together. They begin to whisper when the conversation turns to how they explain to others why they come to therapy. Often times their voice becomes even softer, they look at me with lost eyes, and then begin almost desperately trying to justify every reason why they are sitting in front of me. It often feels like a mixture of fear, confusion, and desperation: fear of judgment or having made the wrong choice, confusion because they are better now than when they started coming (but wonder if that is just because they are not as upset about “that thing” anymore), and desperation because they want me to tell them they are here for the right reasons and validate their choice.
Believe you me, a few years ago, and sometimes even today, I hear the above conversation, and a little voice in my head begins to panic, creating a cocktail that looks similar to the above remedy. I too, doubt myself, my choices, my work, my actions, all…. At…. Times… Why? Because I am a warm blooded human who is scared like everyone else, who wants to be sure that it makes sense, and that “they” won’t say xy or z about little old ME.
Well, here’s the honest to God truth. There is no such thing as “they.” “They” are YOU, ME, our NEIGHBORS, and our FRIENDS. “They” are the next person who is scared, confused, and desperate. So, here’s why I periodically go to therapy: because when I go see Mark, I leave feeling like I could just be me for the last hour, I could talk about myself and how I felt, I could have him lovingly help me to see how what I am thinking or feeling or doing is or isn’t helping me and my relationships. When I do go to therapy, I feel heard, valued, insightful, open, willing, dedicated, determined, loving, happy, accepting, joy filled, honored, excited, hopeful, eager, and most importantly, just BETTER. I often find that the people who judge or ask me why I pay to go or give me their opinion as to why it’s not a good thing to do so, “they”, those people, are often times the ones that need the most love and support, and yep, I’m gonna say it: THERAPY.
Do what you do for you and the world will be so rad!