Present
October 25, 2012 by
Categories: Relationships

What is it that is so unique/special about a therapy room? What is it that makes people come for the first appointment and then keep on coming back?

I am often asked those questions. The follow-up questions to my response is then something along the lines of: “Why not just talk to a friend or a loved one about what is going on in your life? Why pay money to sit a room with someone when you can just pick up the phone to talk to someone you actually know?”

I think that I finally arrived at an answer that I am satisfied with…for now, at least.

Think about it. How often do you get the opportunity to have a conversation with a friend or a loved one without any distractions or interruptions? When we are at home there is a television blaring in the background, a cell phone within arm’s reach, and/or a child or pet begging for your attention. When we are sitting in a coffee shop there are way too many distractions to count.

The therapy room is void of these distractions. When I enter the therapy room with a client, I shut the door, silence my phone, sit in my chair and give them my full attention. My clients, in return, do the same. They sit across from me, silence their phones, and engage.

What got me to thinking about all of this was an experience that I had last night. I took a long walk with my significant other  after dinner. During this long walk, I had one of these uninterrupted, nondistracted conversations. We talked about everything ranging from the hypothetical to the light-hearted to the really hard stuff.

Looking back on that walk, I am saddened by the fact that I/we do not experience those moments more often with the important people in our lives. Even when we do have a therapist who is willing to sit in a room with us for an uninterrupted hour of conversation, we still need to experience it with our friends and loved ones. The therapeutic relationship is one that is temporary, ranging from weeks to months. The relationships that we share with friends and loved ones are enduring.

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