It is dark at 5 pm now. Damn. It seems like mere days ago we were sitting on beaches, playing in sprinklers, and wearing our sportiest swimsuits. I simply can’t pull off a scarf…as hard as I may try. The fall season is firmly upon us. The dropping leaves warn us of the impending winter. You know, if climate change allows us to have those anymore. Another war started a month ago. People are getting blown up everyday. Yet another mass shooting means people went to the store not knowing they wouldn’t come home.
Meanwhile, our elected officials mess around in the halls of congress and in state houses all over the country while an economic crisis looms. All the while, the frontrunner for the presidency sits in court for his civil fraud trial. Shall I mention the criminal indictments…I might have a word limit here. Minor details like reproductive rights, gun control, and the ever looming threat of international chaos will need to wait it seems. I think most of us feel pretty helpless.
Jump cut to your life: a job, a partner, maybe another partner, maybe a kid, maybe another one or three, a family, friends, your favorite sports team. You’ve got bills to pay: housing (a mortgage from 2021 if you’re lucky but probably rising rent costs), car payments on terms so long they might as well be mortgages, food costs so high you may as well be shopping at whole foods, student loans, and the list goes on. I’m sure the cost of the Thanksgiving turkey (or your non-meat centerpiece) is up over last year as well. We all know that nothing in life is free, but does it have to be so stressful?
A lot has changed since I came out of school not all that long ago. A global pandemic normalized an increasingly virtual world that has driven us all further apart. I already talked about political disarray, so I’ll leave that part out here. The science and art of psychotherapy though, have not changed much as I see it. Sure, there are new studies highlighting the efficacy or effectiveness of specific techniques, modalities, or interventions for specific problem presentations. There is cutting edge research about the use of psychedelics as an adjunct to psychotherapy showing incredible promise for dealing with the most difficult cases. All of this is wonderful and I am so excited for how it will continue to unfold. But for me, the tradition of holding space with another person (or two) with the sole intention of breaking out of patterns that no longer serve ought not be forgotten.
A space to think, a relationship that is so beautifully intentional, and the safety of knowing that this person has your best interest at heart. Therapy is one of the ever dwindling number of places where clients and therapists are invited to be themselves authentically. Bring your weirdness, bring your pain, and bring your truth. If this is the only time you hear these words today, I want you to know that who you are is beautiful. You aren’t perfect…that’s not the goal though. Through the healing power of the therapeutic relationship, you can learn to feel this way about yourself. Proud, unique, and worthy of good things in your life.
I know I sound like a kindergarten teacher, but hey, maybe we need more kindergarten teachers in charge of things. Perhaps we would be reminded that keeping our hands to ourselves (unless invited), using words to describe how we feel, and negotiating with each other to reach mutual understanding are actually all effective skills for grown ups too. Let’s stop normalizing violence, hatred, bombing, and shootings. Let’s normalize compassion, understanding, and sharing.
So what does all of this have to do with therapy? At B’well counseling, we work with people, not problems. We don’t believe that the biggest priority should be finding out what’s ‘wrong’ with you so we can ‘fix’ it. Rather, we think it makes more sense to get to know you and help you get to know yourself better. We also think it makes sense to acknowledge the role of the chaos and broken systems around us in our problems. In therapy you’ll probably identify some things that you thought were ‘true’ but actually seem a bit ‘grayer’ upon closer inspection. You might change some things about your relationships, your family, your career, or your goals. It’s our hope that you’ll learn some useful skills along the way, but more importantly, that you’ll come to have a better relationship with yourself and those closest to you. So whether you’re looking for a therapist to address your relationship to people, your body, your identity, your sexuality, your career, or our dumpster fire of a world, we think we might have some fresh perspective to offer you. Reach out today through the contact form on our website or just send any one of us an email. We can’t wait to hear from you. And until then, be well.