Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Helpers Need Helpers and Helpers of Helpers Need Helpers Too

I am a therapist. I have a therapist/counselor I see every week. It turns out that she is an intern, still in training for her MSW degree. I honestly would not have known that if she would not have disclosed it to me in our initial session five weeks ago. Her demeanor, her acceptance of what I have to say, her facial expressions, concern, and the questions she poses are already those of an experienced professional. In a field (counseling/life coaching) that is filled with those of questionable personal qualifications for the academic credentials they have acquired.  My counselor is a "natural" therapist. So when she asked today at the end of our session, if I would permit her to make an audio recording of our next meeting, I responded affirmatively without hesitation. Any heart that can last on a sleeve, will fare no worse recorded.  I have so little to hide from anyone who is truly interested.

For my counselor this is an academic requirement of her internship, for me it is an opportunity for a helper who needs a helper to help that helper. Full circle engagement....the way I like it. Giving as well as taking. Helping as well as being helped. Having trained over 800 occupational and physical therapists during my academic career, I am committed to anything that will contribute to "repairing the earth" Tikkun Olam...one soul at a time. While I will certainly never see nor know the results of our interaction next week being evaluated by a graduate school faculty member....I know that my evaluation, which I shall withhold until the conclusion of our period of therapy, will be far more informative and useful feedback than that from a dis-interested third-party. I have known this woman for only five hours (actually 5 x 50 minutes) of my life. Already she knows as much or more about me than most, but not all, of my friends. It is a strangely compact and nurturing relationhship. It is so very helpful to me at this time in my life.  

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