When am working with a client, I am fully in the moment, in flow. I don’t like chess that much, but I think my focus is that of a chess champion when somebody is sharing his or her most intimate concerns.
I feel compassion, respect, and empathy, and it’s like for a brief moment I am in that person’s shoes. They say you live a thousand lives as a psychotherapist. Well, that’s true.
You kinda get tired of superficial conversations, and because you have a certain vibe people, outside of work, open up to you very easily. Often people talk to me for five minutes, share something deeply personal and start crying. I’m usually fine with this, but sometimes when I’m very tired it can be a challenge to comfort that person. You also often get asked advice and people around you try to get free therapy from you, I often have to stress that I cannot be their therapist. I do listen to them, but if I emphasize that what goes on between is us is in no ways the same as therapy. Most people understand this.
It’s the best profession in the world, it really cuts to the core of what makes us human.
You do notice how extremely important our childhoods are, how the influence of our primary caregivers goes deep, how most people do what they do to get love or to give love, that in the end we do have the same needs, bur different strategies to get there, and that people do a lot of things without really being aware WHY they are doing them, clients usually repeat patterns in the process of transference. If you are working with clients who likes to ridicule men, then chances are the client will try to do the same in working with a male therapist. The great benefit in therapy is that the client is totally free to do that and will still be accepted, will still be safe, the habit and underlying beliefs can then be uncovered.
It’s always a bit like solving a puzzle, like a dance, and I tend to agree with Irvin Yalom and other therapists who see the relationship between the therapist and the client as the biggest healing factor.
I love my work, and if I were a millionaire I’d still work as a psychotherapist.
The work also requires you to continually explore yourself, map your habits, beliefs, convictions, influences, prejudices, etc.
The work has made me a lot calmer than I used to be, very forgiving not just to others but also towards myself.
In the end I would say that although people do lots of shitty things to each other and to themselves, their core is still seeking to do good and ultimately almost all of us are responsive to acts of kindness. We are wired for reciprocity.
I congratulate everyone who seeks therapy, because it’s a process that demands a lot of courage.