Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. – E. Rickenbacker
April 9, 2012 by
Categories: Hello World

There are common fears people have before going to therapy: I will be judged, they will give me advice I don’t want to hear, or they will confirm my belief that indeed, I am not normal.

Pushing those fears aside and being a client takes ultimate courage. We are raised to conform our behaviors and cultivate attitudes and beliefs to please the public. As a result, we have many selves, but rarely do we reveal them all. Perhaps we hide our innermost self out of fear of others, or maybe that lingering fear and judgment is one coming from within.

To willingly place oneself in a room  and space for self-inquiry takes a strength that I admire. Sharing your deepest thoughts, worries, and hopes with a stranger takes bravery. Shedding the tightly woven persona worn for the public eye may feel uncomfortable at first, but after time it will be part of what you look forward to. I know so, because I’ve done it.

With that said, some clients have announced it unfair that I gain insight into their lives without them learning much about mine. While it is the general nature of a session to focus on a client, here is my answer: As a person now part of your journey, I am happy to share parts of my life relevant to therapy. In fact, I often do, even when I’m not sharing a personal story.

The truth is, I’ve learned that it is impossible to remove elements of myself in order to fit into a completely unbiased and “professional” role as a therapist. By attempting to tone down my personality and mold into what I think a therapist should be, I end up losing an important piece to the therapeutic relationship– authenticity.

To me authenticity means that my style of therapy will flow in the moment and reflect who I am based on my honest human experiences; both the joyful and the painful.  If you’re comfortable enough to prop up your legs on the chair, or shed tears, I just may do the same. As a lover of quotes, if a quote pops up into my mind that is fitting, I will share it with you.  I believe that when both client and therapist bring their true selves into the room, it creates the best environment to learn and grow.2013-03-09 18.50.44

This blog is an additional way that I hope to bridge the gulf between therapist and client, or therapist and others who have myths about therapists. Writing will be my own courageous way of sharing– offering a glimpse of the evolving process of becoming who I am, and how that relates to who I am as a therapist (though you could argue they are one in the same!).

In posts to come, I will reveal more about how authenticity, empowerment, pain, and self-inquiry has shaped and given meaning to my life. I am looking forward to the conversations it will bring not just with readers, but with the team of therapists on this blog.

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4 Thoughts About Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. – E. Rickenbacker

  • laurel
    April 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm Reply

    I just came across your blog via facebook, and after reading a couple entries I have to admit, a strange desire has awoken in me … the desire to see a therapist!!! hahaha! not something I ever really thought I’d say, but I think that means your blog is doing well! 🙂

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