Never let it be said that therapists aren’t, first and foremost, human beings too.
It’s not just our training that makes us decent partners, guides and guardians in change processes both big and small. It’s also, if not largely, the compassion we can develop as a result of our own human experiences outside the scope of clinical encounters. Like our clients, we have Good Days and Bad Days, big life-changing experiences and small ripples that seem to spin on forever. We get distracted, we get sick, we gain and lose people in our lives. We celebrate, we work, we laugh, we grieve.
It’s been One of Those Years for me, too.
It’s always easy to tell how busy the rest of life gets when the blog posts drop past the point where I even have time to write on and queue up all the things I’m reading that are of professional interest. I ended one contract at the beginning of the year, dealt with several months of health issues, started (and subsequently lost) another job, finally bought a long-overdue new car, lost my father (having had the indescribable opportunity to be with him when he died), supported members of my own Tribe through various forms of crises, managed to attend some amazing professional therapy-based workshops and training opportunities… and through it all, continued to stay present with and focused on my clients. Having so much going on doesn’t make us better or worse people, but it’s an amazing invitation to us all to learn how to hold space for ourselves and for other around us in compassion, as we use our own understanding of joy, or grief, or anxiety, or fear inform a more compassionate understanding of what the people sitting in front of us are experiencing when they describe their own feelings of joy, or grief, or anxiety, or fear.
If I have a goal for my own self in 2017, it’s to work on being a more compassionate human being, and allow that to inform my clinical work as much as my own personal work. (If I have a secondary goal, it’s to get caught up on posting here so I can *FINALLY* clear out the backlog of tabs and bookmarks in my browser.) It’s nice to be back!