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Psychotherapist, confessor or just a man?

Communication and interaction are an integral part of human development. As social beings we humans need to exchange, share, transmit thoughts, information and ideas with each other. Something like taking and giving, like inhaling and exhaling. I draw air from my nose through my body, taking what I need from the environment. I take out the air, the excess, and put it back in the middle.

Where is the place of psychotherapy in all this? Do I need to see a psychotherapist to communicate with the environment? I often get the question, “So what do you do, just listen?” or “So what do you like about working with crazy people?” or “Who goes to a stranger to tell their story?” My answer is simple, people often come to me because they are lonely. Well how lonely? – they ask me. My observation is that we are so lonely in our experiences even though we are surrounded by people. Often in sharing, we receive reproach, advice, guidance, silence, misunderstanding, fear. Why?

Definitely not because people are bad and no one likes anyone. On the contrary. When we are emotionally involved with the other person, usually our whole being wants to help and save or make the other person well, happy. Unfortunately, sometimes this is impossible. It’s no coincidence that doctors are not at their most helpful when treating their own relatives. To be present in the pain of another person I love, to listen to the depth of their sadness and sense of hopelessness is often impossible when I am emotionally tied to them.

This is where psychotherapy comes in. To be able to be present with the other person, to hear their story. Without comforting him, without hiding his tears. Hey, it’s human to stand in what he or she is in. Without saving, without giving a solution. Do you know why? Because I often don’t have a solution. Because I believe that when I decide for the other I take away some of their dignity and presence as an adult. I’m saving him, and we don’t need saving. Often our need is not to be alone in our experience, to be shared.

I was reading a book recently, the lady was saying that the psychotherapist is one of the few people in the client’s life who is always on their side. It’s just that we, not knowing the other side, see the world through the prism of what is shared in the room and our feelings and past. It feels so good to share something, even if it’s a slightly nasty thing I’ve done, and not get a verbal slap and reproach in return, but curiosity and reflection. It allows me to get to that infinitely wounded place, wrapped in shame and guilt. To touch the fear of being bad, wrong and inadequate and look at it honestly. In the eyes. To see the tears there, my tears. Sometimes I am bad, wrong and inappropriate. Sometimes there is one story, or several. But looking is possible if I feel supported and believe I can be who I am without my social filter.

Thank you to the therapists in my life who allow me to be able to touch these parts of myself that are so wounded and confess them. To give my forgiveness to myself and allow myself to be with less guilt and shame.

The therapist-client relationship is so personal and sacrosanct. It is wrapped in the magic of human contact. A contact where I see, hear and reflect you without blaming, judging and “healing” you.

Therapy is many more things, techniques, knowledge, but the most important is humanity. And the human in us is our love outside and inside. Psychotherapy is not always easy and pleasant. Sometimes it’s like exhausting workouts that I can’t wait to leave, often with the line “Never again”. And so until the next day. Because I am becoming different, my body is changing. That’s what therapy does, changing sometimes imperceptibly, in small steps, and with a gentle hand caressing our wounded parts hidden deep. And “never again” is often until next time…

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