On being a Therapist

I cannot even begin to describe to you what a privilege it is to be a therapist. To hear people’s most intimate details, the memories they suppress, the finer points of their life they will not share with other people, bears great responsibility as a listener and healer. To witness a person’s truth is the single most validating experience an individual can have because, as a therapist, your job above all else is to listen to the person- unconditionally with no distractions or judgment. When I listen closely enough with an empathic heart, there is a reason for any feeling, any defense mechanism, and any behavior someone exhibits. Imagine for a moment approaching an animal that is injured. They growl, show their teeth, and become ready to attack anyone or thing that approaches. Are they angry? Maybe they are just scared; scared to be in such an exposed position where seeming weak can mean life or death. People can be like that too; puffing their chest, drinking too much alcohol or using drugs, putting on a mask to cover themselves, but the job of any good therapist is to listen without making assumptions on why this person in front of you needs to be on guard.

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