I see you.
As a psychotherapist who has experience working in trauma and grief, I have a sense of the space you are holding. Currently, I am not working fulltime as a psychotherapist. I have been focusing on transitioning my family after our cross-country move. I am also building a training platform and focusing on writing during this stage in my life. However, I know well the raw emotions that are emerging. I know that holding this space requires all of you: the presence of body, mind, and soul.
I know well the ruptures they are enduring. They are experiencing what I call a crisis of narrative and a crisis of meaning. They don’t know what is happening in the world. They no longer have a complete sense of who they are (crisis of narrative). They question if their life holds meaning (crisis of meaning). They don’t know that they can hold themselves together. So you hold them, in that moment, until they hold themselves. And sometimes you aren’t sure they will hold themselves. So you hold them for moments beyond the session.
You, dear helper, also need holding.
Yet, here we are in a new day–a day marked by separation and isolation.
We are all in transition. Many of us alone, with no holding.
Your colleagues and supervisors also are navigating unknowns. You may wonder:
- Who can I turn to?
- Who knows what is going on?
- Who has the answers?
The answers, of course, depend on the question.
What’s going to happen? I need the answer so I can help others.
This is not the question. Nobody knows what is to come:
- We can make projections based on science.
- We can have hunches based on experience.
- We can have feelings based on intuition.
But we don’t really know what is going to happen.
You are still enough.
In school, we learn a lot of theory. We learn even more during supervision and then as we go on to acquire various advanced certifications. knowledge and science are extremely important.
Not-knowing also has its place.
Make room for it.
In circumstances like this, the pursuit of knowledge and certainty can obscure the answer:
- You are the answer.
- The client is the answer.
- Your relationship is the answer.
Your willingness to show up to both hold and make contact in the space where raw emotions emerge into the unknown is the answer.
The foundation of this willingness is trust.
- Trust your client.
- Trust yourself.
- You are enough: body, mind, and soul.
Working in the space of not-knowing is sacred work. It is also hard.
Know when to say yes. Know when to say no.
- You can not say yes to the inner voice telling you to create space for your well-being if you don’t say no to whoever or whatever is asking for the same time and space.
- You can not say yes to showing up for your clients if you haven’t said yes to taking care of you.
- Take care of yourself: body, mind, and soul.