It’s no surprise that our clients learn a lot from us therapists. We teach them different ways of thinking about their life, give them tools to better handle challenging situations, and change their lives in profound in lasting ways. But it would probably surprise our clients to know just how much we learn from them.
People often comment how knowledgeable I am on a great range of topics. People assume that I must be very well read or how lived a great and varied life, but the truth is, I can thank my clients for all of that. You see, through my life as a therapist, I know what it’s like to have lived through tragedies, been to prison, been born in a different country, and to have lost things that are very important to you. I feel much much older than my actual years because it can feel as though you’ve lived many lifetimes.
Now some people would argue that just because you’re a therapist you don’t actually “know” what it’s like to live someone else’s life. I suppose they could make a very strong argument for that, but I’m going to disagree. People share things with their therapists that they have never shared with anyone. They also share in great detail. As therapists, we’re also more tuned in to our clients that just a friend listening. We feel what they feel. We know. It’s both a blessing and a cruse, I suppose. Therapy can be painful, from both ends.
I am so grateful to be a therapist. This career has allowed me to experience and know things I would have never been exposed to otherwise. How lucky we are to have this incredible profession.