Tonight I interviewed David Bedrick for my show called It’s All About Relationships. He is a therapist who was trained in process oriented psychology and ‘meets clients where they are’, which is what I, as a social worker was taught to do as well. Where we are really IS the only place we can start the therapeutic journey. He is the author of the book called Talking Back To Dr. Phil which answers the idea of main stream psychology that seems to be more about action and the mind, rather than deeper insight that can lead to profound healing.
As we were speaking, it occurred to me that an effective therapist is someone who ‘walks with’ his or her client, accompanying them on their journey. I’m not dissing anyone’s therapeutic style or education/orientation, but I have discovered that when I sit with, walk with, BE with the one sitting before me, as they are baring their heart and mind, I can tap more deeply into what they are saying or not saying. I have noticed that when I am allowing for full presence with myself, I offer it to them as well.
A recent change has allowed me to get real with the woman in the mirror, peeling off layers, taking off the mask, daring to bare what lies beneath, being patient while I sometimes sit in the muck and mire. Intimidating, as I confront my scary monsters that lurk and hiss, showing fangs and threaten to topple my sometime precarious house of cards that makes up my life. Last week as I was in my office in a drug and alcohol counseling center, I was uncharacteristically silent much of the time, listening rather than giving instruction, being rather than doing. My clients seemed more forthcoming as a result and believe it or not, I felt more ‘productive’ than when I spoke more. The beauty of silence allowed them to really be heard.
Over the years, I have been amazed at the ultimate resilience of my clients, many of whom had survived horrendous abuse and debilitating trauma. I was at times, in a desperate scrambling search for whatever might ‘kiss the boo boos and make them all better,’ since it was sometimes excruciating to bear witness to their pain, even as honored as I was to be able to do that. I sometimes rushed them through their process and as a result, may have cheated them of true healing. These days, as I am more at ease with my own pain, I can be with theirs as well. I am willing to be a companion on their healing journey.
Thanks, David for that reminder.
www.vividlife.me to hear our interview archived