I see myself in my clients.
When I am sitting across from a client, I understand that I have an impact on them, but truthfully, my clients inspire me. Numerous times, I find myself sitting face to face with a client, wishing that they could see all that I see in them. I hear their words, and my thoughts are: "Wow, me too" or "Oh my, I just experienced that." Or the most humanizing of all: "I was just struggling with this."
There is a common misconception, permeating our culture, that we must have it all together. The idea is that if we do not, what are we bringing to the table? Consequently, this evokes the thought of how can I possibly sit in this chair, listen to my client, and provide constructive feedback knowing I was or am in a similar position?
In these moments, I remind myself that having it all together is not a requirement for showing up and helping. I rely on my faith and spirituality to remind myself that I was not created a perfect being, and I do not have to be a perfect person to help someone on their journey of healing. In fact, I am on the continuous journey of healing. Though I may continue to feel the pressure of not measuring up to what my clients need, I am confident that the more I utilize the tips I give my clients and the more seasoned I become in the counseling world, the less I will continue to have these thoughts and feelings.
If you're thinking about seeking therapy for the first time or contemplating coming back into therapy but have a fear that your therapist will be a perfect robot looking down on you, remind yourself that we are all complex human beings that come with our own imperfections. Do therapists need therapy? Yes. In fact, most therapists have their therapists. Our strength of empathizing with people can quickly become a weakness if not channeled correctly. We are human beings with a passion for helping people and a hope to create positive change in the world.
Finally, to the person struggling with their self-esteem, the mom not getting enough sleep at night, the individual struggling with grief, the kind soul struggling with their identity, the person who feels like they give every last piece of themselves away and feels there is nothing left, the person who feels misunderstood, the individual who is desperately trying to make sense of their trauma—to each and every one of you: "I see you, and I see me." Thank you for your strength.