My Perspective from BOTH Sides of the Couch
“It all becomes beautiful when you know yourself”-Unknown
This was the quote I saw every Wednesday at 12:55 pm for almost 7 years. Where did I go every Wednesday for 7 years at the same time you wonder? That’s easy: therapy, where else? But, I hesitated sharing this…
As a therapist, I was trained to be “a blank slate.” Patients come to us and project their wishes, fantasies and desires, and as the theory goes (simplified of course), it is our job to help them make their unconscious conscious.
Knowing about your therapist has the potential to muddy those waters.(Again, this is the type of therapy I was trained to practice. I am not suggesting this is the only therapy or the only one that works, hence why I am writing this post.) Therefore, if I shared with the world (and I am sure at some point a patient or future patient will read this), then they will know… I have been in therapy.
“So what? Who cares!” you say, and honestly that’s what I say now too! As a therapist if I cannot proudly proclaim I have been in therapy (for a long time – 7 years was my last stint), then why should anyone trust me?I know the process of therapy from both sides of the couch. I know what it feels like to be open and raw and vulnerable and scared with someone who I know very little about.
I know what it feels like to sit on the other side of the couch and have someone feel that way with me. I can honestly say I truly understand each of those feelings.
I know the circumstances are always different, and why someone is in therapy is different than my reasons for going.
What I can tell you definitively is that the changes I experienced were transformative and life changing. And, I have seen similar changes be transformative and life changing for others. Therefore, I am not truly doing my part in helping people if I shy away from talking about it.
I am realistic too. I know that therapy is not for everyone. I know that some people think it’s a waste of time and money, and everyone deserves their own opinion on the topic.
That said, think of how much time you invest in everyone else in your life. Think about the time you invest in your friends; the dinners, the calls, walks, however you spend the time getting to know them.
Think about the time you invest in your partner or people with whom you have thought about possibly being a partner, only to get to know them and realize it is not the right fit.
Think about the time you have invested in your family, taking care of your parents, siblings or children.
Now think about the time you have invested in yourself. How much time have you actually sat with yourself? How much time have you taken to get to know who you really are? Because once you do, I can promise you… “It all becomes beautiful … when you know yourself.”
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