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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Therapist's Thoughts

A Personal Story

This morning, on my way to work, I stopped by the Peet's Coffee which is inside the bakery, which is inside the deli, inside the supermarket I don't have a way to make coffee at work, so, sometimes I stop there because the coffee is better than most.  They do a good job of brewing there.  Sometimes I stay, if I have time, and have my cookie (they give a free cookie with the coffee order and now, I get offered 2) and cup of coffee and read a magazine at one of the tables.  Today I only had time to take the coffee to go.  The women who work there have come to know me and I, them.  Today the manager served me; as she was finishing up the business transaction with me, as she does at times, she made a personal comment.  This was a bewildering comment.  She said:  "Don't get hurt."  I was a little surprised and I said something like, okay, thank you, and she said:  "Because if you get hurt, so will everyone else."  I think she meant, so will some other people.  It was about my work I think, the patients I care for in my practice and who depend on me and, probably, to some extent, my regular readers here.
I feel very responsible for the people who come to me for therapy but I don't think of myself as being particularly important to them or, special to them in some way.  The bakery lady, who looked incredibly tired today but, nonetheless, took the time to say something important to me, made me stop.  She made me think a little.  Maybe I am beloved to some of my clients in some way.  At first, right after she said it, I wanted to dismiss it in my own mind.  But, then, I thought, she made the effort to tell me that so who am I to devalue that sentiment?  So, I have tried to stay with it today, to let it abide within me and feel whatever I do about it.

 I am on the verge of re-decorating my office.  It looks good and most people, the first time they come, remark upon what a nice office it is.   But I thought maybe it was looking a little shabby.  So, I have started gradually and have pointed out the new things and told my people what I am considering doing.  Some have expressed personal attachment to some of the furniture or the rug.  It isn't very often though that a therapy client offers appreciation to the therapist, or validation, or affection.  After all, they are there about themselves so I figure that is as it should be.  However, knowing that, when I have been in therapy myself, I make a point of saying, thank you, and of, appreciating the relationship, and I remark upon points the therapist made that were astute or helpful.  I do this on-going when I have a trusted therapist.  But, as I said, it isn't usual.  So, here comes this person at the bakery, saying it for everyone. 
~The good moments in life sometimes come from unexpected/strangeplaces.~

(pay attention---so you don't miss them)
As I continued to hold myself  to staying with what she said to me, I remembered her saying a little while back, when I was there another time, "You are a treasure."
So, when I was with my last patient today, I told her that I had awakened recently in the morning and immediately written a letter for her in my mind, while still in bed, one that she needs to write to someone she loves but with whom she is in a problematic relationship.  At the end of the session, she said to me,  "Without you, what......Oh, I am so lucky."  Was I more open to receiving this kind of response because I had not let myself dismiss, out of hand, the bakery manager's kind words?  Is that why it happened?
What do you think?
I wrote this story for you because the title of my blog is A Therapist's Thoughts.  Of course, the posts I write ARE my thoughts.  These posts are the stuff I think about.  But, I can tell, from search words and so on, that there is some wish on the part of some of you to hear something more intimate or individual from me.  So, this is a sample of how I am.  My interior world is very full.


  1. It is the simplest, smallest gestures that often make the biggest impact on the heart. Sometimes it's a few words, sometimes it's a smile from a stranger that you held the door open for. It's just hard to hold on to those gestures.

    1. Purple Dreamer, Sometimes I say to myself: "Read your own blog!!!"
      Because of your comment, I re-read this post. It is a way to "...hold on to those gestures." (a suggestion since you have your own blog).
      Thanks for all your lovely comments, Paula