How do therapists listen to problems day in and day out? Dr. Vicki Van Cleave shares how she does.
Do you think you need therapy but are scared to share your inner-most thoughts with someone? Don't be. Read on to learn why Dr. Vicki Van Cleave loves her job and how you can know when to trust your therapist.
People often ask me how I can listen to everyone’s problems day in and day out. When I'm asked that question I look at them puzzled, thinking how can we not listen to others. How could I pass up an opportunity to really connect to another human being in their most intimate moments that require such courage, vulnerability, openness and risk to even share with another being. Yet, here they are, wanting to share with me, a mere mortal who is full of her own frailties. Now granted, I have gone to school for 23+ years to learn a few things that qualify me to help others. But I’ve been to therapists myself with whom I wouldn't share anything with, let alone my deepest pains. So, that makes me appreciate that every single person I meet who opts to talk to me, has made a decision to speak to me. To let me see them. And, what an incredible honor that is to be invited, even if out of a person's desperation to stop suffering.
For me, the hardest part of being invited in by someone is to walk with them in their life's journey. To be in it in pleasure, pain, joy, sorrow, anger or any other emotion. While I am designated a competent, good enough, qualified provider and expert in certain arenas, there are always the worries I have: What if I can’t help? What if I screw it up or don't know the answers? What if I make a mistake? What if there is nothing I can do? Well, if I am wholly honest with myself and everyone else, there will be times I cannot help. There will be times I make mistakes. There will be times there is nothing I can do. And, there will be many times when I just don't know. Hopefully, there will not be times where I screw up, although, mistakes will be made. I certainly try to avoid those. So, I choose to be up front and honest with everyone who decides to talk to me, to open themselves and share with me. I will walk with you. I will guide you and share with you the things I know. I will not know everything, yet I strive to learn as we walk together. I bring to the table my passion, ability to connect, and various pieces of knowledge and strategies about increasing your possibilities and unlocking your potential as a human being.
I LOVE what I do. I LOVE connecting with others. How can I listen hour after hour and day after day? Because I LOVE that moment of connection where no matter what painful emotion is being felt, there is that moment where one KNOWS he/she is not alone in the world. Someone is there, and it is okay. YOU are okay, and I am okay, and all is okay, even though life is not feeling right. We are NOT alone. Yet we are all ONE. It's amazing to me and that is why I still continue to love my job.
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