It is a stressful time. People feel scared and uncertain. We are confined. Our patterns and rituals have changed. Because we are told to stay in our homes, many are around people and family members who can be stressful. Children are at home. Parents are working from home. I am hearing about interactions that are conflictual. Please reach out for help. Many of us are available by phone. I do phone appointments all day. If you feel abused or likely to abuse, call 800-799-7233. If you feel suicidal, call 800-273-8255.
Please take care of yourselves.
In all of the years I have practiced, I have never before had three clients end therapy on the same day. Each was an appropriate ending. When they first came in to see me, an issue was identified and they had successfully achieved a goal.
The conversation at the last session was very typical. I was thanked for the wonderful work I had done. To me, it feels like being credited with their success.
I do not take the credit.
I point out that I may offer some insightful comments, suggest some viable alternatives, and offer support regarding how they feel. But I do not have the ability to make change in anyone’s life. Change is predicated on a person’s willingness and ability to do the work.
It is important to me that each client recognize their work in causing change in their life. The credit belongs to each person. It is valuable for each of us to recognize and take pride in what we are able to achieve.
Control and success are wonderful.
This has been a common theme in therapy the past couple of weeks. For a couple of people, it emerged as a result of the holiday season, either through the buying of gifts or holiday events to be attended. For others, it was a vaster theme.
In one situation, a person is always tired. During sessions, when her partner is talking, her eyes will sometimes close briefly. When I greet her at the door each week and ask how she is, she always responds, “Sleepy.”
Her partner says she takes care of everyone else, but not herself. She does not agree that this is a problem, and she sees no correlation to being tired.
Another person cancelled an appointment at the last minute because she was training a new employee and felt that was a priority. When I mentioned she was obligated to pay for the session because she cancelled so soon before the appointment, I received a message from her. She said that she decided her own needs were important and therapy was helping her address that issue. She came for her session.
We are each important. It is valuable to be helpful and caring of others. It is not often helpful to put them first. We can develop an underpinning of emotions that can exhaust us.
Take care of yourself.