What life lesson(s) have you, as a therapist or psychologist, learned from your client(s)?

There are so many. I’m very frequently awed with the clients who’ve privileged me by allowing me to work with them. So many incredible people. Here are some things I’ve learned:

  1. What we can accomplish is limited by the stories we’ve been told about ourselves, becoming our internal narrative and sense of identity.
  2. No matter how much we accomplish, we will ultimately feel empty and less than, if that’s the narrative we’ve internalized.
  3. Similarly, no amount of external validation will lead us to feel good about ourselves in any lasting way, if we feel inadequate inside.
  4. People can be incredibly resilient, and capable of incredible growth and change, even in the light of major trauma.
  5. Significant growth and change often starts with a period of feeling lost and overwhelmed.
  6. A smiling face, a joke, or a fashionable exterior, often masks deep pain and sadness.
  7. Knowing something intellectually does not equate to really believing it on an emotional level.
  8. No matter how much we hate what our parents represent, we often still seek their approval, unconsciously or consciously, directly or indirectly.
  9. Sometimes the deepest hurt is the hurt we cannot express or even access.
  10. The most loving parents/caregivers can still cause tremendous pain by not recognizing who we are, and thus neglecting our deepest needs.

These are just a small sampling. I think an entire book could be written about what clients have taught me.

2018-12-13T02:28:32+00:00 December 13th, 2018|Psychotherapy|