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September 1, 2021

Therapists have Feelings Too.

 

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One of the things they never teach you in grad school is how to be okay and carry on after clients leave you.

At the time I was in school, I thought it would be easy— that I have a job to do, and now that job is over. I realized that might be a leftover from my prior corporate life. But, it’s definitely not as cut and dry as it was then.

Though that was never easy either, I just learned how to do it. I hope that never happens with this new path. I mentioned to a colleague the other night that it’s like a relationship has ended when our clients leave us. Clients imprint on us. We attach to them, even though “we’re not supposed to.” Every time a client moves on, I find that I have to pick myself up on my own. And that is part of my job. And I’m okay with that. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To all the clients who have left me, this is what I know:

>> Know that I will still think of you and our time together.

>> Know that you affected me in many ways and helped me grow as a new therapist.

>> Know that I will miss you and continue to wonder what’s happening in your world. And what finally happened with that “thing” that we talked about so often.

>> Know that I’m proud of you and all the work you did.

>> Know that I felt honored when you emailed me your art, thoughts, and musings about life.

>> Know that I will still chuckle as memories show up of times when we couldn’t stop laughing together.

>> Know that you inspired me to research and read as many books as I could to enrich our conversations. You did that. You made me want to do better.

>> Know that I got excited for you when things were going well.

>> Know that I wanted to cry with you when they weren’t. And sometimes I couldn’t stop a tear from welling up during the session. Or I cried after the hour was over.

>> Know that I worried I wasn’t asking the right questions. Or saying “the right thing.”

>> Know that I will wonder what is going to happen to you and for you, and it makes me sad that I won’t know nor get to celebrate with you.

>> Know that it brought me joy when you gifted me a small window to the wonderfulness that is you.

>> Know that I’m grateful for you showing up and doing the work, even when it was hard or didn’t feel like things were moving.

>> Know that I never approached our work together as a “job.”

Thank you for opening up your world to me in ways others don’t get to see. For that, I’m grateful.

~

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