In December, I decided to take a break from my counseling internship to focus on me, my health. I want to be a therapist. I want to be as present and supportive and attentive to people as possible. When meeting with clients last quarter (my first quarter of internship), I realized that I had so much going on personally. (And on top of everything, I have depression and anxiety, so those were being triggered big time). Too much going on. When my clients talked about their thoughts, emotions, frustrations, dreams, fears…I thought about mine.
With one client, I wanted to commiserate. “Yes! I feel that way too!” She would say, “I feel like I’m not worthy, like I don’t deserve what I’ve been given.” My intent ‘therapist’ self would counter with questions and reflections to assist in guiding her to see that she has earned, (and was not simply given), the admirable and hard-won things in her life. She is worthy. She doesn’t believe she does, but she has so much value.
All the while, my non-therapist voice would say, “Fraud. You know exactly what she’s feeling and you feel that way too.” I just wanted to talk to her as a friend. Share my struggles so she didn’t feel so alone. I wanted to vent and get things off my chest. Share a bottle of wine with her. But that’s not what therapists are trained to do. That’s not what therapists are paid to do.
So I chose to take a step back. Figure things out a bit more and build patterned behaviors and skills to better position myself to be the most effective and supportive therapist I can be. Because every person deserves that. Myself included. I deserve to treat myself well so that I can be with others when I am at my best, or at least, when I know I am more ready and capable than I was. Because I’m capable. I’m definitely capable. That’s not a question. I’m just human. And I have things to work on. And that takes time. And I’m taking it. For me. And for whomever else ends up on the other end of the sessions I can’t wait to have with people. They deserve the best of me. I deserve the best of me.