How We Connect Through Stories
We all have a story to tell — at least one. This story can be shared through words, through behaviour, or through our very own presence. It’s interesting how sharing thoughts and feelings with someone can immediately connect you to a completely new world, different from yours, with new perspectives and new insights on life and everything that surrounds us. Sometimes we get captivated by that, other times we find it to be quite boring. I guess what makes a difference is whether we can relate to it or give it a meaning in our own terms. Selfish or not, it helps us connect and engage with the other person.
We do have something in ourselves that makes us desire to bond with others. Here’s something I really enjoy when it comes to people: being able to sit down with someone without knowing anything about their past while entering a new world where things do not make sense at the beginning. It is probably one of the things therapists really like: to help clients find meaning and offer them understanding in a secure context where everything can be shared. And why shouldn’t it be that way?
Nevertheless, there must be a connection between the therapist and the client. Besides the “human” side of it, there are expectations that need to be addressed and adjusted to the environment and special context we find ourselves in. We tend to think it’s an easy thing to do. Well, I found out it’s not at all easy. I quite like the challenge, even though sometimes I feel stuck and as if there’s no place to go. I guess that is my own process as a therapist and human being, and my clients offer me the privilege of discovering myself during their own process of self-discovery. What a great reward!
I would not change that for anything. It enriches my life to get to know someone else’s experiences, it moves something inside of me and stirs interest and curiosity. Even though sharing past or present experiences is something the client gets to do more than the therapist in the process of counseling, that does not mean I do not engage with them by sharing my own story. It’s just a different kind of story, with both similar and opposite aspects. But the point is, I am there for them — for the clients. Everything that concerns me regarding my own issues and struggles is left outside of that secure context I need to nurture so they can feel comfortable enough to work on facing their own challenges. Just writing about it makes me feel that thrill of knowing there is such a great deal of impact and influence taking place in that counseling room — on both sides.
Thank you to all my clients for helping me become and grow as a professional. This one goes out to you!