Still floating in the haze of the passing New Year, I find myself reflecting further upon life, gratitude and noticing things around me that I might not be so tuned into during the hustle and bustle of daily life. My psychotherapy clients, present and past, are on my mind. Sure, they come to me for help for their individual and relationship strife and I am in a position of “knowing” to them but I’d like to forget about that and focus on what I’ve learned from them about life and people in general.
Here are some of the life lessons I’ve learned from my therapy clients:
People can be incredibly brave. It is hard for some to even get through the door of a therapist’s office let alone open up their most wounded parts to another soul. I am touched by the strength of people to be able to present themselves in the ways that they do.
People can be incredibly insightful. It amazes me how wise and intuitive some are. It’s a joy to observe and participate in this with people committed to figuring it all out and making the changes they want in their lives and relationships.
People can be incredibly resilient.The fact that people figure out strategies to survive in the ways that they do to overcome the most horrendous situations is humbling. When everything “should” point to a life of chaos after a traumatic childhood but doesn’t – one explanation is they just “came out of the gate” that way and had tools from the onset that others don’t necessarily have. This has been one of the most awe-inspiring lessons of all.
People all primarily want to feel accepted, connected and okay. At the end of the day, if you filter through all of the presenting issues, relationship cycles and the “process vs. content,” people really all yearn for a sense of emotional safety.
I wonder if people realize that some of us therapists are as moved by them as I know many of us are. I love this profession in that I am given the opportunity to sit with people in such a profound way. I’ve heard clients make statements about therapists “not really caring” and it’s “just a job.” Perhaps there are those for whom those descriptions would fit but I dare to say most do care and are influenced by their experiences with their clients as I am.
I look forward to many new life lessons learned between my office walls.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Jan 2010
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Kift, L. (2010). Life Lessons from My Therapy Clients. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/01/18/life-lessons-from-my-therapy-clients/