Being a therapist is a unique privilege, allowing me to know others in ways that we rarely do in everyday life.
After more than thirty years as a therapist, I enjoy my work as much as when I was new to the field. I am still excited by the “detective work” of the first phases of treatment when we sort out what the problems are and establish a plan to resolve them. I enjoy the slower “working through” middle phase of treatment, supporting clients as they learn to confront and change their behaviors; and I especially enjoy seeing clients terminate therapy and strike out again on their own.
Working with clients has taught me compassion, empathy and patience about the human condition; and optimism about our ability to change.
Some clients require a lot of space to explore and grow during their sessions, and for those clients I tend to sit back a little, allowing time for some free-association. Key issues can sometimes be linked together into a meaningful pattern when the client reports whatever is floating through his or her mind. In fact, almost all clients need this from time to time. However with most clients I tend to jump right in. I engage with my clients in an active manner.
Without a doubt, the most important single factor in therapy is the relationship between therapist and client. Over time, and with patience, a trust can develop which makes the work go faster.
As a therapist I can not be your friend, but I hope to be your ally – someone you trust enough to relax your usual boundaries and defenses and work on core issues. Someone who you trust to accept your embarrassments and shames, and who understands that your particular struggle to be happy may take many unexpected twists and turns.
I understand that if what you are seeking in therapy was easy to find then you would get there by yourself; you seek help because the task is difficult.