There is always something you can learn from everyone. No matter how good or bad it is, it’s still a lesson and it’s also a part of our nature as individuals to learn. I’ve found time and time again that working with people puts me in a situation where I have to meditate on my own behaviour, reactions and feelings. Sometimes I am surprised by my reaction: I can be as still as a mirror and reflect back what my clients bring in the session. Other times I want to cry with them and tell them that even though I haven’t been through what they have have been through, I can feel a part of that pain. Afterall, I am only human, but something great happens when I sit down with certain clients: they open up and share their inner world, their own universe, and I get to be a part of it. It’s simply fascinating! Words are almost useless in describing moments like those.
Something inside of us as human beings feels secure and connected when we start sharing our story. I’ve been trained not to disclose personal things about myself and I respect that — it’s about having healthy personal boundaries. But I do share what I feel, what I think, what’s going on with me and inside of me in that relationship. I am a part of that connection and I have to do my part by being authentic and honest no matter what, and also protect the relationship, even though it’s not a friendship relationship, but a therapy relationship. At times, I believe the therapeutic relationship is better than a friendship. You get to explore things from different angles, you get a different type of insight.
Up until a while ago I believed short term work is not rewarding. I mean, how can someone benefit from just a couple of sessions? My clients proved me wrong, fortunately. Some of them made such great progress that I was shocked. Then I realized there’s always something I can learn from each one of them. It might sound as a cliché but I find it to be the truth. Too many times I’ve put myself into the “specialist’s” position and I missed the whole point of why my client even came for.
What I’m actually trying to say is that we learn a lot from each other, no matter what the setting or context is. The key is to be open — don’t think you’re better than others and always, I mean always, be authentic. Don’t be something you were taught to be. Be exactly who you want to be.