capturing the beautiful calamity of healing in therapy

Your Therapist Will Not Change Your Life

Your Therapist Will Not Change Your Life

Even though I’m a therapist, I’m certainly not a miracle worker. I (mostly) can’t read your mind. And, I won’t change your life.

I will guide, assist, empathize, and support you unconditionally.  I will sit with you while you explore your inner demons and love you for them, because I will see the beauty in the elements you perceive as hideous and unlovable. I will believe in you, maybe even more than you ever believed in yourself, because I will be able to distinguish what is and what is not in your control.

If any change is happening, it’s happening on your terms, on your timeline, and with your tenacity.

You are the one exploring and testing the waters of the universe. You are the one deciding to walk into a strange room,  take the risks, and expose yourself. You have the strength. It is within you, and maybe you just haven’t been able to access it for whatever reason until now.

Somehow, you or someone who cares about you has somehow decided that something in your life is not working. And either you or someone else will want that something to be changed. It is your perseverance, willingness, and desire that will make those changes happen. Do not underestimate your role in the magic. The greatest therapist in the world can only provide the ingredients for the recipe. It is the client who must cook the dish.

Whether you and I like it or not, I don’t hold the magic wand. At best, I am only a source of unconditional support and guidance. At best, I will do what I can to show you that life can change, that you can change. I will trust in you, because that increases the chance for you to trust in yourself. And, when you can trust yourself, the world expands and the opportunities feel limitless.

You deserve every ounce of that change. You always have. You just may have not known it until now.

I have shelves upon shelves of self-help books. Most therapists do. If they were as beneficial as promised, we could “read” any mental illness and negative emotion away. The solution does not lie in the formulas or the solutions. The solution lies in the power of human connection and the power of having someone embrace you for who you are and who you want to be.

Having an experience of vulnerability and the subsequent experience of feeling accepted and loved for any perceived flaw or blemish cannot be read in a book. It can only occur within a relationship.

Therapists are just humans with inner struggles and weaknesses and fears. We may have the fancy trainings and the eloquent speech and the facade of professionalism, but there is no magic in the jargon. There is only love, faith, and trust.

A therapist cannot change a client. A client must change a client.

In my role, I watch, encourage, hope, nudge, support, challenge, and ask. I may go into uncomfortable areas. I may talk about topics that feel scary or uncertain. I may suggest you try something that feels impossible. I use my academic background and clinical expertise to tie together unforeseen connections and provide alternative views.

But even with my navigating, you are always in the driver’s seat.

I can offer directions, but you own the wheel.

I hope the best for you. I will nurture and take care of you in the best, implicit ways I know how. I will do what I can to make you feel safe and secure. You will get to sharpen your identity and your needs. You will get to learn more about yourself and the world around you. And, in the most organic of ways, we will both grow together.