Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year Lows...and Highs

I was out running the other day when I met a friend who is a minister in a local church. I asked him how his Christmas was, and he said that while he had enjoyed it, it had been stressful as well because of the number of parishioners had been struggling over the holidays. Others had "held it together" over the holidays as a favor to those around them, and were now allowing things to collapse in their lives.

It's cold, and been cold for weeks. While the days are getting longer, it is still dark more than it is light.

Life is a challenge for many people this time of year. Views to our website as people investigate resources are higher in January than in any other month.

However, a colleague and I were chatting yesterday and commenting on how very fortunate we as therapists can be as we are provided with the opportunity to have front row seats to people as they struggle and wrestle with the muck in their lives, and emerge with feeling more alive, more excited to be alive, and able to laugh with more freedom than before. While many struggled at Christmas, some of our clients who started therapy before Christmas come bounding in now, excited to talk about how this Christmas was different. They had developed some insight about what wasn't working, and found themselves doing things differently, responding to people differently, having different reactions to the old patterns that allowed for delightful change.

As a therapist, I have the chance to stand on what feels like holy ground, as clients struggle with raw pain and despair, and as they begin to leap and dance with newfound freedom. While being a therapist may not be for everybody, it is truly an honor for me.

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