I’m a firm believer in the advice that, as a mental health professional, we need to see a mental health professional. I’ve been seeing my therapist*, Deborah, since 2014. I began seeing her when my mother was terminally ill and I needed some help balancing the stresses of my personal and professional life.
Early on, and probably for the first year, I saw my therapist about once a week. But as time went on and life felt more manageable, I’ve stretched out my sessions to about once a month. Deborah has been through a lot with me; the death of my mother, the death of my dog, marriage and divorce of adult children, a move, the birth of multiple grandchildren, mourning a terminal diagnosis and eventual death of a client, and processing my own values and stuff that could influence my work with my clients. And that’s really just the short list.
My therapist holds my story and provides a nonjudgmental space to process my stuff.
This may be an oversimplification, but therapy helps me to be my best self. Professionally, therapy helps me to ground my clinical reasoning and decision making. It also helps me to stay out of judgment and empathize more with my clients without my own baggage getting in the way.
Written by: Jackie Dunagan