That’s me sometime in December waiting to see my own therapist. I find myself ridiculously nervous. I do not want to be there – at all!! It actually begins the week prior, when I was thinking that maybe I don’t need therapy. I’m a therapist after all and have been doing therapy on and off since I was 22. I decided that I would cancel the appointment but needed to have a “good excuse” and find time to call to cancel. However, it never happened and I found myself in the waiting room 15 minutes too early. Just enough time for me to worry about not having something to talk about, wondering her judgement of me, wondering if I was boring her and she dreaded her appointments with me, or wondering if maybe she would think that I’m not good enough to be a therapist myself.
Feeling the urge to quit and cancel an appointment abruptly is surprisingly not a new place for me. I’ve seen it both in myself and with the people who I see in my own practice. Often when we want to quit that’s the time when progress is about to be made. That healing may happen accidently as we begin to give compassion and kindness to ourselves. It’s not pretty though, and usually for me personally I cry A LOT!! I’ve learned that the tears are usually an indication that something is moving through me, usually something big…and I’m feeling it. It’s interesting, in my own practice, that people will apologize for crying in session, and I apologize too in my sessions with my own therapist. But really, crying is good, as uncomfortable as it can be. When I have a client in session who is crying all I can think is how brave they are and holding them in compassion and kindness. Somehow in my own work with my therapist, I find it hard to hold myself with the same compassion which I hold my clients. It really is something that I have to figure out.
As a therapist, being in therapy has been one of the most transformative experiences personally and has a significant impact on my own practice. Sitting on the couch across from a therapist is terrifying, but also incredibly necessary. As I constantly remember how scary it really is for someone to really seek treatment and see me, it reminds me of the courage that my clients have each time they come for an appointment. Whether it’s someone coming in for their first appointment, or someone I’ve been seeing for years returning yet again. I am inspired by the courage of my own clients, and I decide to stay in the waiting room and flip anxiously through my phone as I anxiously wait another ten minutes for my therapist to call my name. Eeek!!